Friday, October 9, 2009

Grant to fund study of lower Washington Avenue

Hello Friends and Neighbors --

During the summer of 2008, you may have participated in the Neighborhood FORUM in 118-120 Washington Avenue, you may have submitted a letter to the BZA or testified to oppose the demolition of these buildings, or you may have written a letter to the editor of the Times Union.

Whatever you did personally, we - collectively - made it very clear to the City of Albany that we didn't think it was a good idea to trade sound urban fabric for parking lots. As a result of our advocacy and resulting political pressure, the Fort Orange Club withdrew its request for a demolition permit, and has pursued an alternative plan for its desired building expansion.

However, without the protections afforded by historic district designation, the threat of demolition continues to loom for these and other buildings.

Now, in a happy intersection of my vocation and my avocation, I am delighted to invite you to attend a special announcement one week from today (details are pasted below).

The Preservation League of New York State (my employer) will present a grant to Historic Albany Foundation to complete an intensive-level cultural resources survey of the two blocks of Washington Avenue between Lark and South Swan Streets.

Hopefully, the cultural resource survey will provide sufficient documentation of the 30 grand 19th-century rowhouses interspersed with early 20th-century commercial buildings, as well as a few remaining modest early 19th-century houses -- like 118-120 Washington Avenue -- to secure historic district designation for these two blocks.

I hope you will join us to celebrate this important milestone in our efforts to keep Albany's historic streetscape from being chipped away one building at a time.



WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Iron Gate Café - Courtyard; 182 Washington Avenue, Albany

  • Erin Tobin, Regional Director; Technical and Grant Programs, Preservation League of New York State
  • Susan Holland, Executive Director, Historic Albany Foundation

WHAT: The Preservation League will present a $7,500 Preserve New York Grant for an intensive-level Cultural Resources Survey of the south (even-numbered) side of lower Washington Avenue between Lark and South Swan Streets in Albany.