Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 28, 2018

Randy Simons | Dan Keefe
518-486-1868 |

New York State Announces Restoration of Gustav Stickley House Exterior in Syracuse

House to become unique museum/hotel highlighting American Arts & Crafts Movement

Investment Complements "Central NY Rising"—The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and New York State Homes and Community Renewal today announced the restoration of Gustav Stickley House exterior, completing the first phase of a project to create a heritage tourism destination in Syracuse honoring the famous Craftsman furniture maker who lived there. The project is moving forward with the assistance of private donations spearheaded by the University Neighborhood Preservation Association and Gustav Stickley House Foundation as well as $700,000 in state grants. The project complements "Central NY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development.

"UNPA is excited that the phase I project is completed and looks forward to future progress to complete the restoration of this building," said David S. Michel, project manager for UNPA. "The Gustav Stickley House restoration contributes to the Central New York Regional goal to increase tourism in Central New York. The State grants from OPRHP and HCR were critical to the success of this effort. The Governor's commitment to historic preservation as part of his regional economic strategy is appreciated"

"Central New York's cultural institutions are critical contributors to the region's high quality of life and economic development potential," said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "Investing in the revitalization of the Gustav Stickley house capitalizes on Syracuse's history and culture while enhancing the surrounding neighborhood. I'm grateful Governor Cuomo is helping provide the tools to revitalize this one-of-a-kind landmark of the American Arts and Crafts Movement."

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Restoring and preserving our historic gems creates attractions that drive tourism and grow our economy to keep Central New York rising. The Gustav Stickley House celebrates our cultural history, and we are proud to have helped ensure it remains an attraction for decades to come."

Preservation of the exterior was Phase One of the plan to save the house, which had fallen into disrepair over the years. A significant part of this phase was the reconstruction of the original front porch, which was removed over 50 years ago. Exterior work also included extensive repairs to the siding and trim; window restoration; structural stabilization; a new roof; asbestos abatement and painting the house with same colors that extensive research determined Stickley used on his home.

Gustav Stickley, one of the leading furniture designers and makers, and major proponent of the American Arts & Crafts Movement of the early 20th century, owned the house from 1900 to 1911 and lived there again from 1919 to 1942 when he passed. Listed in the State and National Register of Historic Places, the home is widely regarded as the first fully designed Craftsman interior in the country. Much of Stickley's interior design remains intact on the first and second floors.

The Gustav Stickley House was donated two years ago to UNPA, its current owner, by the L. & J.G. Stickley Co. of Manlius, N.Y., which had owned the house since 1996. L. & J.G. Stickley Co. had purchased the home to preserve its legacy and prevent the historic interior from being dismantled. UNPA is working in close conjunction with the Gustav Stickley House Foundation Inc., the not-for-profit friends group created two years ago. GSHF is dedicated to planning and fundraising for the restoration, preservation and interpretation of the house. Fundraising is now under way for Phase Two work which will focus on the interior of the home.

Ownership of the home will eventually be transferred to the Onondaga Historical Association, which will oversee the house as a unique museum/hotel that will give guests the experience of spending time in the historic living space that Gustav Stickley shared with his friends and family.

The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation provided a $500,000 Environmental Protection Fund grant and New York State Homes and Community Renewal who supported the project through a $200,000 NYS Urban Initiatives Grant.

"Preserving the Gustav Stickley House recognizes Syracuse's influential history within the Arts and Crafts Movement and develops its potential as a unique tourist attraction in Central New York. I thank Gov. Cuomo for his leadership in creating regional tourism and economic development opportunities," Sen. David J. Valesky said.

"I am proud to have supported to the state grants that contributed to the restoration process of the Gustav Stickley House. This project preserves our regional history and increases interest in tourism. With the exterior complete, we now have significant progress towards completing the project. I look forward to the continuing restoration and the benefits it will bring to the community," Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter said.

Other organizations who financially helped to support the Phase One project include:

  • The Central New York Community Foundation.
  • The William and Mary Thorpe Charitable Fund.
  • The Arts & Crafts Society of Central New York.
  • A Preserve New York grant, a signature grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts and Preservation League of NYS.
  • The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Accelerating Central NY Rising

The State has already invested over $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to some of the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.