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Sites in Ontario, Tompkins, and Wayne counties nominated for state, national historic registers

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced 37 new nominations for the State and National Registers of Historic Places, including a diverse array of sites such as a new historic district in Harlem, an industrial complex in Poughkeepsie, and a light station on Long Island. These nominations, recommended by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation, are a testament to New York’s rich and varied history, encompassing significant properties ranging from a grange hall in Westport to a medical building in Buffalo. These sites highlight the state’s commitment to preserving its historical architecture and the stories they represent.

The inclusion in the registers enables property owners to access various public preservation programs and incentives, like state grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits. This initiative is part of New York’s broader strategy to utilize historic infrastructure not just as a reminder of the past but as a resource for present-day community revitalization, housing initiatives, and economic development. New York leads the nation in the use of historic tax credits, generating significant economic benefits, including over $12 billion in project expenditures since 2011, and creating tens of thousands of jobs. The nominations showcase the state’s dedication to connecting communities with resources to preserve and promote historical assets, ensuring these structures continue to contribute to New York’s cultural and economic vitality.

South Farmington Friends Cemetery and Meetinghouse Site, Ontario County – The South Farmington Friends Cemetery and Meetinghouse site consists of two discontiguous properties in the Town of Farmington that are significant to the early development of the Town of Farmington and its affiliation with the Quaker community. The cemetery, which has roots to 1823, reflects how Quaker burial practices changed from unmarked graves to having simple, unadorned markers. The small public park, now named Meetinghouse Park, was originally the site of the 1823 Quaker Meetinghouse that was dismantled in 1928. The collective landscape not only features the layout of a settlement-era cemetery, but also includes historic iron cemetery fencing, an 1895 chapel, an 1898 Romanesque Revival stone vault, and a 1928 historic marker. The 1895 chapel reflects the plain style of the Quaker tradition and while it sustained damage from a tornado in 2015, the interior has been stabilized and still has original features such as hand-hewn wainscoting on the interior walls, pine floors, and double oak doors with original hinges and metal door handles.

Third Methodist Episcopal Church of Sodus, Wayne County – The Third Methodist Episcopal Church of Sodus, now known as the United Third Methodist Church, is an excellent example of a late nineteenth- century Romanesque Revival-style church in the Village of Sodus. Constructed 1887-1889, the nominated church is cruciform shaped and was designed by the well-known Rochester architectural firm of Jay Fay and Otis W. Dryer. An addition was added in 1963 for classroom and office space. There is also a ca. 1846 two-story wood frame vinyl-sided parsonage. Romanesque Revival features include round-arched stone lintels and door surrounds, stone corner buttresses, and narrow paired or single windows in the towers or flanking a large rose window on the facade. The interior of both buildings retains several historic features that include the layout, historic stairs, wainscoting, and wood doors and trim. Today, the space is shared with other congregations, community groups, as well as the Sodus Farmers’ Market.

John Creque House, Tompkins County – The John Creque House in Trumansburg is an example of an early nineteenth-century style home that was updated and expanded in 1868 in a way that reflects the economic development of the village and the change in architectural tastes among upwardly mobile homeowners. The home was first built in the Federal Style around 1815 by John Creque, a blacksmith who had recently relocated to the area from New Jersey. Creque and his family witnessed the massive growth of Trumansburg following the opening of the Erie Canal. As Trumansburg became an important manufacturing center, Creque expanded and diversified his blacksmithing business to become a dealer in hardware, paints, building materials, and more. After Creque died in 1866, the home was sold, expanded, and modernized with Italianate architectural elements including a bracketed roof, a decorative tripartite window, and front porch complete with Italianate columns. This expansion and remodel were successful, as the property sold four months later for more than double its original sale price. The home remains today as an important example of an early settlement house that was remodeled and revisioned during a historical period of prosperity and changing architectural tastes.