Schoharie County and the Schoharie County Historical Society have been awarded a $3,968 grant from Preserve New York (PNY) which will allow them to hire Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker of Albany to complete a building condition report of the Old Stone Fort.
The report will help guide future maintenance efforts to ensure that the historic building stays in use for years to come.
Also, awarded PNY funds was the Jefferson Historical Society, a $6,883 grant.
Together, Schoharie County and the SCHS operate and steward the Old Stone Fort as a museum and programming space in the Village of Schoharie.
Visitors and guests can view local artifacts and history or take in a public program, experience the grounds, and view the historic buildings at the Old Stone Fort complex.
The fort was built in 1772 by Palatine settlers in the Schoharie Valley as a High Dutch (German) Reformed Church.
Later, during the Revolutionary War, the building was converted to use as a fort.
During the 1780 raid by the British, local inhabitants defended the Schoharie Valley – many of their descendants still live in the area today.
In 1857, New York State purchased the fort and made some modifications to the structure in order to utilize it as an armory during the Civil War.
In 1873, the state turned the building over to Schoharie County for preservation.
The Historical Society was chartered in 1889 and has operated as a museum ever since then.
The Old Stone Fort was nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2002.
County and museum administrators would like to understand the current condition of the building before proceeding with further repairs or maintenance, as areas of concern have already been identified.
“I cannot stress enough how important this grant is to both the county and the historical society,” said SCHS Outreach Director Melinda McTaggart.
“It will help us become more informed stewards of this wonderful building for future generations.”
The 2019 PNY grant cycle was the most competitive in the program’s 26-year history.
An independent jury met in June to review more than 70 applications.
After two days of deliberations, $262,498 was awarded to 31 projects across 25 counties.
Preserve New York is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS. PNY enables the Preservation League to support projects in all of New York’s 62 counties.
Since 1993, the Preserve New York grant program has been providing funds to municipalities and nonprofit organizations that need technical, professional assistance to guide a variety of preservation projects.
The historic structure reports, building condition reports, cultural landscape reports, and cultural resource surveys that are funded through this program can have profound impacts on the sites they are studying.
With the announcement of the 2019 awards, support provided by PNY since its launch totals more than $2.8 million to 438 projects statewide.
Other recipients include:
Bronx County: Historic Districts Council - $14,000.
Cayuga County: Seward House Museum - $10,000.
Chautauqua County: Jamestown Renaissance Corporation - $4,208.
Clinton County: Town of Schuyler Falls - $10,000.
Columbia County: Philmont Beautification, Inc. - $10,000 & Columbia County Historical Society - $10,000.
Delaware County: West Kortright Centre - $4,764.
Dutchess County: Village of Rhinebeck - $7,875 & Red Hook Public Library - $2,600.
Erie County: Preservation Buffalo Niagara - $20,000.
Essex County: The Depot Theatre, Inc. - $4,712.
Greene County: Zadock Pratt Museum, Inc. - $6,400 & Greene County Council on the Arts - $13,191.
Lewis County: Lewis County Historical Society - $10,000.
Madison County: Smithfield Community Association - $13,017.
Montgomery County: Greater Mohawk Valley Land Bank - $5,200 & Historic Amsterdam League - $14,560.
Nassau County: North Shore Land Alliance - $12,000.
New York County: Ascendant Neighborhood Development Corporation - $10,000.
Rensselaer County: Village of Castleton-on-Hudson - $3,000.
Rockland County: John Green Preservation Coalition - $8,000.
Saratoga County: Town of Corinth - $10,000.
Suffolk County: Preservation Long Island - $7,900 & Yaphank Historical Society - $9,200.
Tioga County: Village of Owego - $8,000.
Warren County: Richards Library - $4,000.
Wayne County: Baptist Rural Cemetery Association of Sodus Center - $1,700.
Westchester County: Village of Larchmont - $10,000.
Yates County: Village of Penn Yan - $7,320.
“NYSCA is proud to support the vitality and character of our communities through our Preserve New York partnership, which provides key resources to historic sites, buildings, and cultural centers statewide and underscores the importance of architecture and landscape design in community revitalization and economic development,” said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus.
“Thanks to the League’s record of making effective preservation grants through Preserve New York and TAG, our program partner, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), has increased regrant funding significantly over the past several years,” said Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation and the Preservation League.
“At the same time, in response to growing demand, the League has successfully lined up additional support to leverage NYSCA funding and League resources. NYSCA and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation make these grants possible through their program partnership and financial support.”
The Preserve New York grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional support for projects in Nassau, Suffolk and Bronx Counties.