Grant will fund Cultural Resource Inventory in Childs hamlet

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 2 August 2022 at 3:06 pm

Cobblestone Museum seeks to have hamlet included on National Register of Historic Places

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Cobblestone Universalist Church, built in 1834, is the oldest cobblestone church building in North America. It is among several historic sites in the Childs hamlet near the intersection of routes 98 and 104. Three cobblestone buildings at the museum – the church, the Ward House and a schoolhouse – are listed as a National Historic Landmark.

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Society and Museum is one of this year’s Preserve New York grantees, Museum director Doug Farley announced Monday.

A check for $8,000 received on Monday will fund a Cultural Resource Survey of the hamlet of Childs, which will go on to inform a National Register of Historic Places nomination. The Preservation League of New York State and their program partners at the New York State Council on the Arts are thrilled to help fund this important work, Farley said.

“A successful listing on the National Register will make tax credits available for approved rehabilitation projects by both home and business property owners in the designated area,” Farley said. “National Register listing will also allow the Cobblestone Museum to qualify for certain grant funding that requires NR designation.”

Through its Preserve New York grant, the Cobblestone Museum will work with the Landmark Society of Western New York to conduct a cultural resource survey of the hamlet of Childs. This reconnaissance level survey will be used to inform a National Register historic district nomination, which will include the Cobblestone Museum buildings and surrounding properties. This project seeks to build on the momentum created by the inclusion of the hamlet on the Landmark Society’s 2019 Five to Revive list. The Museum has been in contact with the New York State Historic Preservation Office and has identified preliminary district boundaries, according to Farley.

At its 2022 meeting, an independent grant panel selected 22 applicants in 18 counties to receive support totaling $235,920. Each grant supports important arts and cultural initiatives, as well as economic development related to the state’s arts and cultural heritage. Many of these grants will lead to historic district designation or expansion, tell the stories of communities throughout the state and allowing property owners to take advantage of the New York State and Federal Historic tax credits. This is even more valuable now, Farley said, with the New York State Commercial Historic tax credit recently expanded for small projects, granting property owners a 30% credit. With this announcement of the 2022 awards, support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 totals more than $3.5 million for 510 projects statewide.

Erin Anheier with the Cobblestone Society wrote this new grant because she has written several successful National Register nominations in the past, and was best prepared to tackle the task, Farley said.

“We currently apply for about 15 grants each year and receive about 10,” he said. “The check came Monday and work on the Historic Register nomination should start very soon. This grant certainly benefits the Cobblestone Museum, but I am also pleased that his particular grant has many benefits for the entire historic hamlet of Childs.”

The Preserve New York program is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts and the Preservation League, made possible with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State legislature.

Since 1993, Preserve New York has been providing funds to municipalities and nonprofit organizations that need technical, professional assistance to guide a variety of preservation projects. This historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports and cultural resource surveys funded through this program lead to positive outcomes across New York’s 62 counties, Farley reported.

“The Preserve New York program ensures arts and culture organizations continue to be beacons of New York’s rich history,” said Mara Manus, NYSCA executive director. “By preserving significant spaces and sites, we promote vitality and drive economic activity across our great state. NYSCA applauds the Preservation League of New York State for their stewardship of this crucial opportunity and extends our sincere congratulations to all awardees.”

“The projects funded by Preserve New York exemplify the excellent preservation planning work being done throughout our state,” said Katie Eggers Comeau, vice president for Policy and Preservation at the Preservation League. “With each of these grants, a meaningful historic place takes a significant step toward a more secure future, and we are pleased to be working with such dedicated project sponsors to make this work possible.”