Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 04, 2019

New York State Announces 2019 State Historic Preservation Award Recipients

12 Additional Locations Nominated for Listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places

Awards and Nominations Preserve African-American History, Dutch Architecture, the Civil Rights Period and Gaslight Era

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that ten projects preserving state history, ranging from Dutch colonial settlement to the Civil Rights period, have received 2019 State Historic Preservation Awards. A dozen historic locations around the state were also nominated for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which can provide owners with grants and tax credits to support rehabilitation projects.

"New York has transformed over centuries into a state defined by its diverse history, and there is no better way to see that history than in our unique architecture and places," Governor Cuomo said. "These historic awards and nominations will proudly preserve the lives and stories of countless New Yorkers into the future."

Created in 1980, the State Historic Preservation Awards are awarded by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation each year to honor excellence in the protection and revitalization of historic and cultural resources. The Governor also signed legislation in 2013 to bolster state use of rehabilitation tax credits, which have spurred billions of dollars in completed investments of historic commercial properties and tens of millions in owner-occupied historic homes.

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Historic preservation helps encourage reinvestment and revitalization in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. This year's awards demonstrate the extraordinary commitments, hard work and strong partnerships that have made preservation an important tool for community renewal, economic development and job growth in New York."

2019 State Historic Preservation Awards

This year's 2019 State Historic Preservation Awards recipients are:

The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport (New York City)

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

The TWA Hotel transformed the former Trans World Airlines terminal, which was designed by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen in 1962 and closed to the public in 2001, into the centerpiece of a modern 512-room hotel that preserves its neo-futuristic design. The hotel has 50,000 square feet of event space, a 10,000-square foot observation deck and pool, and a 10,000 square-foot fitness facility. Opening in May 2019, the project also incorporated a Lockheed Constellation L1649A "Starliner" aircraft - a post-WWII passenger airliner and one of only four remaining in the world - as a cocktail lounge.

The Marshall Bice House, Village of Schoharie (Mohawk Valley)

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

Flooded during Hurricane Irene, the 19th Century Italianate-style mansion has been remodeled to be more resilient to floods. It has also been rehabilitated into a commercial space and apartments through the use of historic preservation tax credits. It was placed on the National Register in 2017 after years of neglect.

The Coeymans Stone House, Village of Coeymans (Capital Region)

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

This Dutch Baronial Manor House, Dating to approximately 1700, has been restored and reconstructed to its current Georgian form after nearly five decades of historically accurate work. This includes traditional timber framing, jambless fireplaces, Flemish bond masonry and conservation of the home's original "wattle and daub" walls.

Libertad (former Jones Court Public Housing), Elmira (Southern Tier)

Excellence in Historic Building Rehabilitation

This 1953 low-income apartment complex has been rehabilitated into 91 apartments of affordable housing, including 20 units earmarked for homeless veterans. The former Jones Court public housing was named after John W. Jones, a former slave who settled in Elmira and helped others escape via the Underground Railroad. The blighted property had been vacant for two decades.

Innisfree, Millbrook (Hudson Valley)

Excellence in Historic Documentation

Innisfree is a nationally-significant, 150-acre public garden in rural Dutchess County that reflects the vision of master landscape architect Lester Collins, who shaped the property for six decades prior to his death in 1993. As one of the largest intact, modern designed landscapes in America, Innisfree reflects a blend of Japanese, Chinese, modern and ecological design principles. Innisfree was started as a private garden developed by Walter and Marion Beck in the 1930s and was listed this year on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Colored Musicians Club, City of Buffalo (Western New York)

Excellence in Historic Documentation

Formed in 1917, the Colored Musicians Club was one of the oldest continually operating African-American musicians' clubs in the country as well an office for Buffalo Local 533, an early African-American union of musicians. These organizations were part of the response to racism and segregation in Buffalo's musical community. The Colored Musicians Club was home to performances by such notable artists as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Nat "King" Cole, Miles Davis and Cab Calloway.

The Architecture of James H. Johnson Historic Resources Survey (Finger Lakes)

Excellence in Historic Documentation

This survey documents the career and buildings of Rochester architect James H. Johnson, who worked in the area from 1957 until his death in 2016. He designed many distinctive public, private, and religious buildings, favoring free-flowing, curvilinear shapes and later creating more geometrically-oriented variations.

Programmatic Agreement with the New York City Housing Authority

Excellence in Historic Preservation and Environmental Consultation

The New York City Housing Authority collaborated with State Parks to create a streamlined process for National Historic Preservation Act reviews. The Housing Authority worked on more than three dozen city housing projects now on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Village of Wyoming Gas Light Restoration (Finger Lakes)

Excellence in Historic Preservation Environmental Consultation

The small village of Wyoming, which has used its original natural gas streetlights since the late 19th Century, will carry the tradition into the 21st Century with modern gas streetlights. The village, commonly known as "Gaslight Village," is one of the state's last surviving examples from an era when streets were illuminated by gas lights. The replacement project was supported by a State Parks grant.

The Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest & Ninevah Steering Committee (Long Island)

Excellence in Historic Preservation Organizational Achievement

Community volunteers worked for nearly four years to get the 2019 listing of the Sag Harbor Hills, Azurest and Ninevah Subdivisions Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. The area is historically significant as a summer community created by and for African-American professionals and their families. The district is located in the incorporated village of Sag Harbor, Suffolk County.

State and National Registers of Historic Places Nominees

This year's nominations for the State and National Registers of Historic Places include:

Sanford W. and Maude Smith House, Chatham (Capital Region)

Approximately built in 1875 and extensively remodeled in 1906, the house was home to Sanford W. Smith who was a state Senator, Deputy Attorney General, and State Court of Claims Judge and State Supreme Court judge.

Ezra A. Huntington House, Auburn (Central Region)

Influential 19th-century clergyman Ezra A. Huntington was a key leader of Auburn Theological Seminary. His 1861 residence is a rare surviving artifact of the seminary which was an important fixture in Auburn for more than a century.

Merrell-Soule None Such Mincemeat Factory, Syracuse (Central Region)

Dating to 1904, the factory complex is an example of industrial diversification in Syracuse during the early 20th Century. A widely popular canned mincemeat product was produced at the factory until 1981.

Daniel and Minerva DeLand House, Fairport (Finger Lakes Region)

Originally built in 1856 and updated in 1867, the house was the family residence of the DeLand family that owned a factory that produced aleratus, baking soda and baking powder, which revolutionized home baking.

Accord Historic District, Accord (Mid-Hudson Region)

The Accord Historic District grew around landings on the Delaware & Hudson Canal, which was opened in 1828 as one of the earliest canals completed in the U.S. It also served as a railroad hub when a line opened in 1902 along the canal.

Broadway Historic District, Monticello (Mid-Hudson Region)

The commercial center of Sullivan County in the Southern Catskills, Monticello thrived as a summer resort area for Jewish New Yorkers during the first half of the 20th Century. The region was commonly known as the Jewish Catskills or the Borscht Belt for its expansive array of hotels, boardinghouses and cottage colonies enjoyed by Jewish New Yorkers.

Cornerstone Baptist Church (Former Lewis Avenue Congregational Church), Brooklyn (New York City)

The Sunday school and church were erected in 1889 and 1893 respectively at the peak of residential development in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The Cornerstone Baptist Church was a historic feature in one of the most important African-American communities in Brooklyn.

National Headquarters, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 170 W. 130th St. (New York City)

This 1884 building served as the planning headquarters for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which drew nearly a quarter-million people. The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the largest civil rights demonstration in U.S. history when it occurred.

North Guilford Cemetery, North Guilford (Southern Tier)

This one-acre cemetery includes four Revolutionary War veterans, five Civil War veterans and one veteran of the War of 1812. The cemetery is also notable for its collection of a dozen early 19th-Century grave markers containing artwork by the Crandall School of carvers.

Buffalo Public School #78 (PS 78), Buffalo (Western New York)

Built in 1928, the former elementary school was an example of rapid population growth in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood in Buffalo, which increased from 18,000 people in 1920 to 49,000 in 1930.

Empire Worsted Mills, Jamestown (Western New York)

Hundreds of people worked at the Empire Worsted Mills during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The mills closed in 1955.

Forsyth-Warren Farm, Cambria (Western New York)

This former tavern and farmhouse, dating back to 1808, is among the earliest surviving historic resources in Western New York and directly associated with the Holland Land Company's efforts to settle Niagara County in the early 19th century.

New York's State Historic Preservation Office is a division of State Parks that helps communities identify, evaluate, preserve and revitalize historic, archeological and cultural resources.

Once recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places. Properties are then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered into the National Register.

More information and photos of the nominations are available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 74 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generate $5 billion annually in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs and over $2.8 billion in additional state GDP.

For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.