Preservation League Announces Building Selections for Industrial Heritage Reuse Project
ALBANY, NY (07/15/2014)– The Preservation League of New York State will announce the launch of a demonstration project designed to breathe new life into upstate New York’s vacant and underutilized industrial buildings at the Rodger’s Liquor Building, 960 Broadway in Albany, on Wednesday, July 16 at 12 noon.
The Preservation League is working with Troy Architectural Program (TAP) to create development and rehabilitation plans for selected buildings, to illustrate the potential of the sites and to celebrate their host communities’ history. The project is supported by the J.M. Kaplan Fund with additional assistance from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
The buildings are: Rodger’s Liquor Building (International Harvester Company), 960 Broadway; The Sanford Clock Tower Building, 37 Prospect Street, Amsterdam; Mooradian’s Building (Wilbur Campbell Stephens Company Factory), 599 River Street, Troy; Lindy’s Hardware, 285 2nd Street, Troy; and the former Grossman’s Bargain Outlet, 1410 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady.
The Industrial Heritage Reuse Project will provide building owners with: a schematic reuse plan; code evaluation; cost estimate; list of funding assistance; and outline of approvals required.
The report will include a discussion of proposed use, possible alternatives, budget, code issues, approval processes, scope of services, and time constraints.
From the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 through the mid-20th century, companies constructed headquarters, warehouses, mills, manufacturing and utility buildings to support leading industries. However, in the second half of the 20th century, as much of manufacturing abandoned upstate New York, massive industrial buildings were left vacant. These structures now present significant development challenges.
“With the Industrial Heritage Reuse Project, the League will leverage the momentum of the latest industrial development boom – computer chip fabrication – within a 40-mile radius of GlobalFoundries’ Fab 8 plant in Saratoga County,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “Through this effort, we hope that the owners of historic industrial buildings and elected and appointed officials will begin to see these structures as developable assets instead of liabilities.”
TAP, Inc. has been part of the popular Preservation League workshop series, Enhancing Main Street: Making Upper Floors Work Again, for the last nine years. TAP has a long history of assisting owners with preliminary evaluation of reuse plans and with applying State and Federal tax credits to their projects.
“Any building owner with vacant upper floors owes it to him- or herself and the community to evaluate the possible reuse of those upper floors,” said TAP’s director Joe Fama. “The circumstances need to be right, but when they are, you will be doing yourself and everyone around you a tremendous service by going forward. Publicizing the Industrial Heritage Reuse Project studies should convince many owners that analyzing the opportunity is a relatively easy way to decide whether or not the time is right for their project.”
Project findings will be made available to building owners and the general public through a final report and a regional symposium. This will be the first project of its kind in New York State.
“The reuse of New York State’s industrial buildings can play a vital role in preserving historic structures and revitalizing communities,” said Amy Freitag, Executive Director of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. “For decades the Fund has supported the reuse of industrial heritage and we’re pleased to support the League with this important initiative.”
Erie Canalway Director Bob Radliff said: “The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is proud to partner with the Preservation League on this much-needed initiative to facilitate reinvestment into historic buildings and existing infrastructure. We hope this project will further catalyze private and public investment into cities, villages and hamlets where these jewels typically reside, thereby fostering vibrant communities connected by our past and leading the way toward a diverse and sustainable future.”
“The former Freight Station, which most recently housed a Grossman’s Bargain Outlet, was acquired with the desire to improve the Erie Boulevard corridor while preserving a reminder of Schenectady’s rich history,” said Jeff LeGere, partner. “We at Legere Restorations are very pleased that the Preservation League has selected this location to study and look forward to discovering how their findings can help us adapt the site for future use.”
According to Bretton McCarthy, President of Sun Tzu Corporation and co-owner of the Clock Tower complex, “We are excited that The Sanford Clock Tower is one of properties selected for the Industrial Heritage Reuse Project. We believe that the property will directly benefit from the study with increased exposure, drawings and plans for adaptive reuse, as well as assistance with nomination to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. We are looking forward to seeing the completed study and its recommendations for the future use of our property.”
“New York State has a remarkable variety of buildings that currently stand as symbols of the decline of upstate industry,” said DiLorenzo. “The League hopes the Industrial Heritage Reuse Project will help return these buildings to productive use, provide a model for other communities across the state, and encourage municipalities to embrace and promote their industrial heritage.”
For more information on the Preservation League, please call 518-462-5658 or visit the League’s website at www.preservenys.org.