The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have announced that twelve historic rehabilitation projects in rural Western New York will be supported by more than $470,000 in federal grants and local matching funds. Made under the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Grant Program (GVRR), this second round of funding will support such projects as structural repairs and restoration work of historic commercial buildings, ADA compliance upgrades to public spaces, and window improvements for a creative arts center. The first round of grants was announced in September 2021 and included over $300,000 to five awardees.
In Wayne County, grants were issued to Cracker Box Palace in Alton. Cracker Box Palace will receive $50,000 for the stabilization and renovation of Shaker First House, Wayne County’s largest animal shelter, which is listed as a contributing structure on the National Register of Historic Places and was recently severely damaged by a fire.
Also attaining a grant was United Methodist Church of Sodus (Wayne County): The United Methodist Church of Sodus will receive $50,000 for a boiler and elevator lift replacement as well as funding for nomination to the National Register, since the building is eligible but not yet listed in the State/National Registers of Historic Places. It is used primarily as a house of worship but also serves as a community gathering space available for several different functions, including a popular farmers’ market.
“These business owners, nonprofits, and local government units are deeply connected to the economic health of their rural communities, and all have historic assets that need support,” said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “We are thrilled that these projects aim to increase accessibility and sustainability through preservation efforts and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that investments in local historic resources can have a powerful impact for New York’s rural communities.”
GVRR is supported by a $750,000 award made to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) through the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Fund as administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Another $43,250 in matching funds were provided by the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Letchworth Gateway Villages, and the Landmark Society of Western New York.
For more information about the GVRR grant program, contact Megan Klem, Preservation Planner at the Landmark Society of Western New York, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.landmarksociety.org/GVRR.