The Preservation League of NYS has received a $33,000 grant from the 1772 Foundation. This grant is expected to allow the League, in partnership with Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, to identify and study vacant and underutilized historic buildings along a portion of the NYS Canal System and Empire State Trail that could be sensitively repurposed to provide services for recreational travelers along that corridor.
The survey area will focus on a 90-mile radius around the League’s Albany headquarters, from Utica to Whitehall, all within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
In January 2017, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the Empire State Trail, a 750-mile long multi-use recreational trail for cyclists, runners, and walkers. This trail follows existing Erie and Champlain Canalway trails and will link 40 multi-use trails across the state through creation of 350 miles of new trail and existing roadways. New York State’s 2017-18 budget included $200M earmarked for this project with an anticipated completion date in 2020.
Funding from the 1772 Foundation to help identify land and water-based trail user needs and link these needs with historic building resources is expected to help contribute to economic development.
This project is broken down into two phases:
- Identify vacant or underutilized historic structures that can fill the gaps in services and amenities
- Increase understanding of and further quantify existing services and gaps in service and amenities for recreational trail users, focusing on lodging needs
- Initial contact with local officials and community members for reconnaissance assessment of buildings and lodging
Phase two is expected to be informed by what is learned in phase one, determining how best to proceed to reuse the buildings identified. The League plans to wrap up its initial report by the end of 2019.
More information and updates can be found online.