St. Aloysius Roman Catholic Church at 186 Franklin Street is one of the churches in the West End District. Photo waymarking.com.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced that the New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 23 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The nominations reflect the striking diversity of New York State’s history and include the home of historic painter George Bellows in the Mid-Hudson Valley, a pocket park in Manhattan, one of the oldest tool and machine manufacturing facilities in Buffalo, and an 1855 eclectic Catskills retreat once home to “The Soda Fountain King” John Matthews.
“These nominations will help communities across this great state preserve the historic landmarks and sites that shaped New York’s rich heritage,” Governor Cuomo said. “By recognizing the very fabric of our cities and towns, New York is shining light on important sites and resources in every region, while supporting community development and encouraging residents and visitors alike to experience the diverse history and culture found in every corner of the state.”
State and National Registers listing can assist property owners in revitalizing buildings, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits. Since the Governor signed legislation to bolster the state’s use of rehabilitation tax credits in 2013, the state and federal program has spurred $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties.
“This designation is an important step in helping the owners and caretakers preserve and improve these assets,” said Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “The preservation of these diverse places will help bolster prosperity and quality of life across New York State.”
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations.
Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register. More information and photos of the nominations are available on the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation website.
Among the nominations is Springville’s West End Historic, described as follows:
“The West End Historic District is a primarily residential neighborhood located on West Main, North Central and Franklin Streets to the west of the center of the village. The neighborhood retains extant examples of buildings reflecting the rise and development of the western portion of the village, beginning during the midnineteenth century, when this area was considered outside and remote from the village center, continuing through the late-nineteenth century, when the establishment of the railroad at the west end of the village brought wealth and development, to the slow decline of the area during the post-railroad-boom days.
“This interweaving of periods and styles over time resulted in a neighborhood with a distinctly different feel than that of Springville’s East Hill Historic District (NR-listed, 2015) at the other end of Main Street, which principally features large high-style estates of the most prominent civic and social leaders of Springville.
“The boundary of the West End Historic District includes an area of approximately 20-acres along West Main Street, Central Avenue and Franklin Streets. There is a distinct visual break between the commercial architecture of Main Street and the residential fabric near mid-block between Central Avenue and Academy Street. The district begins directly east of Cochran Street and continues east on West Main Street until a few lots past Central Avenue. The residences at 71 West Main Street on the north side and 90 West Main Street on the south form the east boundary. The district continues north on North Central Avenue from West Main Street to 110 North Central Avenue, which is the northern boundary. Beyond this boundary, there is a notable decline of architectural integrity of the buildings. Rear property lines form the north, south and west boundaries, as adjacent streets to the north and south of the historic district developed during a different era and have a different historic context.”
For more info and a description of specific properties, visit parks.ny.gov/shpo/national-register/documents/nominations/WestEndHistoricDistrictSpringvilleErieCounty.pdf.