Stone houses of Jefferson County nominated to be designated as historic places

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Thomas L. Knap Mansion, Brownville, New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Stone Houses of Jefferson County have been nominated by the New York State Board of Historic Preservation as a properties to be added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The group pf houses is comprised of 88 remaining stone structures across the County.

“The nominations reflect the state’s commitment to supporting the incredible and sometimes overlooked history forged by the diverse people of New York,” said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “Securing recognition for such places will help to protect and preserve this history so that it can be carried safe and intact into the future.”

State and National Registers listing can assist owners in revitalizing properties, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

A full list of nominees is below:


Capital District

New Lebanon District No. 8 School, Columbia County – Built in 1870, this brick building in this rural hamlet served as a school and later as a Grange Hall for the area farming community. The building is now used as a restaurant/brewery and an apartment.

Church Hill Historic District, Saratoga County – Located in the hamlet of Crescent, the district reflects the heyday of the Erie Canal and includes 13 primarily residential structures dating from the 19th century. Sited on the north side of the Mohawk River, the district includes a remaining section of the Halfmoon Aqueduct, which once carried the Erie Canal across the Mohawk. During this period, the hamlet was a canal shipping point for ice, grain, hay, and molders’ sand produced in southern Saratoga County.

Fitzgerald Building, Schenectady County – Built in 1913 as a business school, the three-story brick building illustrates the American Commercial style and was constructed with metal “cage construction,” used in skyscraper technology. It was once home to Fitzgerald Business College, which trained office workers for nearby General Electric and other firms, and then to Ter Bush and Powell, a national insurance pioneer, which remained there until 1981. In 2018, it was rehabilitated into apartments and commercial space with the support of federal historic preservation tax credits.

Park Mart, Albany County – Located in the Albany’s downtown, this concrete parking garage and grocery store, completed in 1973, represents an early use of post-tensioned concrete, a construction method where steel cables, or “tendons,” are threaded through concrete as it is cast and then stressed with jacks. Promoted by former longtime Albany Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd as part of efforts to revitalize the city’s core, the parking and grocery store structure was associated with Albany’s urban renewal programs. It is also an important example of the work of local architect Robert Louis Trudeau. 

Finger Lakes

Walker-Warren House, Monroe County – Built in 1897, this late 19th century Queen Anne-style residence is in the village of West Henrietta outside the city of Rochester. It served as the home of a prominent local doctor who installed the first telephone line in the village. It was later the residence of a prominent lawyer and remains a residence.

Mid-Hudson

Solomon Resnick House, Westchester County – Built in 1953 as a passive solar house, this Modern-style, single-story residence is made of steel, glass, and concrete. It represented a marked deviation in traditional styles popular in the area after World War II. Landscape design reflected a Japanese-influenced, evergreen plant palette – bamboo, fern, and moss – to harmonize with the area’s natural Fordham gneiss rock.

Larchmont Avenue Church, Westchester County – The Neo-Gothic church was constructed largely in 1930 by a Presbyterian congregation to reflect the growing population of the area stemming from development of commuter rail lines to nearby metropolitan New York City. Still in use, the church has a notable collection of stained-glass windows designed by D’Ascenzo Studios of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

New York City

240 Broadway, Brooklyn – Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood, this five-story, former mixed-used factory building constructed in the Italianate style in 1892 is unusual due to its rare and distinctive cast-iron design. Built for a wealthy German-American furrier, the building is one of only 20 cast-iron buildings that survive in Brooklyn.

Williamsburg Houses, Brooklyn – Williamsburg Houses are 20 four-story apartment buildings covering more than 20 acres and constructed during the Great Depression by the New York City Housing Authority in partnership with the federal Public Works Administration as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The project was one of the earliest public housing projects funded by the federal government and was designed by prominent architects Richmond H. Shreve and William Lescaze. The buildings maintained the scale of the neighborhood and provided tenants with fundamental human amenities such as access to ample light and air.  The buildings themselves exemplify the Modern design aesthetic, characterized by their abstracted geometric form, rows of ribbon windows, and lack of applied ornament.

Loew’s Kameo Theater, Brooklyn – Located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, the four-story building is an intact example of a 1920s neighborhood movie palace in New York City. The exterior of the building features an ornate, eclectic mix of classical, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian designs, while the 1,400-seat interior was done in the neoclassical Adamesque style. The theater remained open until 1965 and was converted into a church in 1974 by the Philadelphia Church of Universal Brotherhood, an African American Seventh-day Adventist congregation.

Lorraine Hansberry Residence, Manhattan – An apartment in a three-story building at 337 Bleecker Street is nationally significant as the residence of Lorraine Hansberry, an influential African American lesbian playwright, writer, and activist, from 1953 to 1960. She lived there while writing the acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun, which is considered a milestone in African American theater. This listing was supported by an Underrepresented Community Grant from the National Park Service.

Women’s Liberation Center, Manhattan – This former 19th-century firehouse on West 20th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood served as the first permanent advocacy space for women’s and lesbian’s organizations in New York City – as well as one of the first in the nation – when the Women’s Liberation Center opened there in 1972. The center played a pivotal and sustaining role in the women’s rights movement and had an early and profound importance in the struggle for lesbian civil rights. The center closed in 1987, and the building is now used for non-traditional job training for women and nonbinary individuals. This listing was supported by an Underrepresented Community Grant from the National Park Service.

North Country

Westport Historic District, Essex County – Located on the western shore of Lake Champlain on Northwest Bay, this small town’s architecture reflects its history as an important shipping point for lumber starting in the 1820s and later as a seasonal tourist destination after the arrival of the railroad in the 1870s. The multi-block district contains more than 300 residential, commercial, religious, and civic buildings, and nearly 30 sites, objects, and structures.

Stone Buildings of Jefferson County – This county, at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River with Lake Ontario, contains more than 100 historic native limestone and sandstone buildings from the 19th century, with the earliest structures reflecting French settlement of the region, which was followed by English, Dutch and German arrivals. “The Stone Houses of Jefferson County Multiple Property Documentation Form” serves as framework for current and future listings of this distinctive construction type.

Samuel F. Ballard House, Jefferson County – Built in 1825 in the hamlet of Talcott Corners, this limestone residence was the centerpiece of a 30-acre farm. The property remained a significant farm in the region until the 1960s.

Southern Tier

Kimble-Nellé House, Cattaraugus County – Constructed circa 1875 in Gowanda, this Second Empire-style brick house was the home of Polish-born dancer, set designer, choreographer, director, and artist Anthony Z. Nellé (born Zdislaw Antoni Nellé; 1894-1977).  Nellé led a long and prolific career staging more than 100 classical ballets, 200 ballets tableaux, 160 jazz dance numbers, 28 opera ballets, 250 operettas, and 180 dance numbers for revues, cabarets, and films. Though classically trained in ballet, Nellé was most known for his extravagant staging, which included art deco, art moderne, and surrealist designs with large troupes of dancers. 

Western New York

The Buffalo Club, Erie County – Founded in 1867, this social club was highly influential in the development of the city of Buffalo in the aftermath of the Civil War, and counted significant political, industrial, and civic leaders among its members, including former U.S. Presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland. The club served as the unofficial seat of the federal government after the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in the city, when Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and the Cabinet used club offices to conduct affairs of state.

Harrison Radiator Corporation Company, Niagara County – Established in the city of Lockport in 1910, this business by the 1930s was the world’s largest manufacturer of automobile radiator and heat transfer equipment. During World War II, the plant developed and manufactured engine turbochargers that enabled high-altitude aerial bombing. During the early years of the space program, the company created heat exchangers for astronaut spacesuits used for manned space flights. The factory operated until 1995 and is now used for various commercial and office purposes.

John Kam Company Malt House and Kiln House, Erie County – Built in 1901, the brick buildings are rare examples of the cutting-edge pneumatic malting and kiln processes for the brewing of German-style beer. The company was one of the largest malt producers in the U.S.in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is significant in Buffalo’s long beer brewing history associated with immigrants from Germany and central Europe

The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology and culture of New York State and the nation. There are more than 120,000 historic properties throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts.

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