Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

May 15, 2006

Cathy Jimenez

Peebles Island Resource Center Hosts Annual Open House

May 20th Event to Celebrate National Historic Preservation Month

(Albany, NY, May 15, 2005...) New York State's preservation and conservation center at Peebles Island State Park in Waterford will host its annual Open House on Saturday, May 20, 2006 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to a behind-the-scenes look at the Peebles Island Resource Center, which houses an incredible collection of artifacts and treasures from New York State historic sites and other state-owned landmarks.

Peebles Island Visitor Center

"Governor Pataki remains committed to preserving and revitalizing our state's most cherished historic and cultural treasures," said Commissioner Bernadette Castro, State Historic Preservation Officer. "The dedication and talent of the staff at Peebles Island to preserve New York's most valuable artifacts will ensure that future generations will experience the unique history of the Empire State. I encourage everyone in the region to attend the Open House and enjoy the outstanding work of some of America's finest experts."

The Resource Center will be offering a variety of activities throughout the day, including self-guided tours of the facility's conservation laboratories, where some of the state's most important historic treasures are restored. Visitors can view the conservation progress of two Frank Lloyd Wright designed tables from the Darwin Martin House State Historic Site; a hands-on portrait cleaning demonstration of a Letchworth landscape depicting the Genesee Valley Canal and the famous High Bridge; and the cleaning and stabilization of a late17th century tapestry from Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park.

Other displays include a collection of Revolutionary War artifacts that will be displayed this fall at the Fort Montgomery visitor center as well as two Civil War flags from the New York State Battle Flag Collection. The flags are at Peebles Island for conservation as part of the New York State Battle Flag Preservation Project, a joint effort between New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center to help conserve the flags.

There will be a presentation on the monumental job of packing objects for the Olana Treasures exhibit. A collection of 18 works from Frederic Edwin Church are traveling to six separate venues across the country for exhibition. Craig Williams, Senior Historian from the New York State Museum, will discuss plans for preservation of the Day Peckinpaugh, an early 20th century canal barge in the process of being restored for use as a traveling canal museum.

Local preservation organizations will be present with information and displays and guided history tours of the island will be given and preservation tours of the former Cluett, Peabody & Company Bleachery Complex are scheduled.

The Peebles Island Open House coincides with the nationwide celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, which highlights a different aspect of historic preservation each year. The National Trust for Historic Preservation created Preservation Week in 1971 to spotlight preservation efforts around the country. Due to its overwhelming popularity, the National Trust extended Preservation Week to Preservation Month to provide larger opportunities for communities to celebrate their diverse and unique heritage. Thousands of people participate annually in Preservation Month celebrations with events including workshops and lectures, home and garden tours, festivals and military re-enactments.

In celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, a number of state historic sites will offer free admission on May 20 to coincide with the Open House. Parking and admission to the Open House are free.

The approximately 158-acre Peebles Island State Park is located at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and offers spectacular river views. Visitors are always welcome to enjoy the many outdoor activities at the park including fishing, hiking, canoeing, and picnicking.

For more information about historic preservation, please visit the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation web site at or call 518-237-8643.

Editor's note: Historic sites operated by non-profit partners and sites with previously scheduled special events may not be participating in the free admission day. Additionally, vehicle use fees may remain in effect. The following is a list of state historic sites that will be offering free admission on Saturday, May20, 2006.

Albany County
Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site
Columbia County
Clermont State Historic Site
Dutchess County
Staatsburgh State Historic Site
Essex County
John Brown Farm
Fulton County
Johnson Hall State Historic Site
Herkimer County
Herkimer Home State Historic Site
Jefferson County
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site
Madison County
Lorenzo State Historic Site
Montgomery County
Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site (except at the boat launch site)
Oneida County
Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site
Ontario County
Ganondagan State Historic Site
Orange County
New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Rockland County
Fort Montgomery State Historic Site
Rensselaer County
Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site
Crailo State Historic Site
Ulster County
Senate House State Historic Site
Westchester County
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site