Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 13, 2007

Eileen Larrabee

New York State Historic Preservation Awards Announced

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash today announced the recipients of the 2007 State Historic Preservation Awards.

"The Historic Preservation Awards honor the efforts and achievements of individuals, organizations and municipalities that make significant contributions to the effort of historic preservation throughout New York State. This year's awardees exemplify our agency's mission to protect and preserve our state's great historic treasures for generations to come," Ash said.

Ash noted that the State Historic Preservation Awards were established in 1980 to honor excellence in the protection and rejuvenation of New York's historic and cultural resources. Today's recipients were honored at a ceremony at Peebles Island, home of the State Historic Preservation Office, Bureau of Historic Sites.

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt

Public Sector Achievement Award

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, who represents the 144th Assembly District (including Buffalo's west side and Grand Island on the Niagara River), is honored for his outstanding contribution to advancing historic preservation and community improvement activities across the state.

"Assemblyman Hoyt is a dedicated public servant who demonstrates a strong commitment to enhancing the conditions and economic vitality of neighborhoods and historic places in his district. Assemblyman Hoyt has also been the state's prime advocate for establishing and expanding the new state preservation tax credit program which contains incentives for both commercial reinvestment and residential rehabilitation projects. Today's award recognizes Assemblyman Hoyt's long commitment to improving the quality, character and heritage of this great state," Ash said.

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Project Achievement Award, Bonnie Dimun, Executive Director, Roberta Gratz, Founder and President Emeritus

The Eldridge Street Project is recognized for its outstanding contribution to restoring and revitalizing the Eldridge Street Synagogue, one of New York's most prominent historic religious properties.

"This project combines outstanding preservation practices with exemplary stewardship and a strong commitment to interpreting the history, architecture and culture of the Lower East Side," Ash said.

Universal Preservation Hall

Project Achievement Award, Mattthew Kopans, Director

The Universal Preservation Hall project in downtown Saratoga Springs is recognized for transforming a distinguished yet deteriorated historic church into a vibrant center for art, culture and community events.

"Through the effort of this unique partnership, this church is now structurally sound, weather tight, and is being adapted for community use. Project sponsors collaborated with various public and private partners and are directly responsible for preserving this valuable historic resource, infusing it with new life and vitality," Ash said.

Town of Roxbury

Community Achievement Award, Town Supervisor Tom Hynes, Town Historian Peg Ellsworth

The Town of Roxbury, located on the East Branch of the Delaware River, is being honored for its variety of creative approaches to integrating historic preservation into the everyday life of the community, especially in the hamlet of Roxbury.

"The Town of Roxbury has made impressive progress developing a comprehensive educational, economic and social program that draws upon its history. These efforts serve as a model for other communities in the region and across the state," Ash said.

Adirondack Architectural Heritage

Non-profit Achievement Award

This regional non-profit organization is honored for expanding and enhancing the public's understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the area's historic and cultural treasures.

"Through a wide range of cooperative efforts, this organization has helped preserve many significant yet endangered historic properties in New York State's Adirondack region and has made outstanding contributions to preserving the region's rich heritage," Ash said.

The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which is part of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, helps communities identify, recognize, and preserve their historic resources, and incorporate them into local improvement and economic development activities. The SHPO administers several programs including the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit, state historic preservation grants, the Certified Local Government program, and the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places, which are the official lists of properties significant in the history, architecture, and archeology of the state and nation. There are more than 4,400 State and National Register listings in New York, including nearly 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites.