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Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization (GVRR) Grant: Round 2 Awards Announcement!

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In partnership with the NYS Office of the Governor and NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, the Landmark Society is pleased to announce the recipients of Round 2 funding through the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization (GVRR) Grant Program!

This program, funded by the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program through the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, aims to support historic restoration and rehabilitation projects in our rural Finger Lakes and Western New York communities. Additional funding was provided by the Rochester Area Community Foundation. The funding awarded in Round 2 exhausts the funding currently available. However, we hope to apply for and receive another Paul Bruhn grant in the future. Over 50 applications were received in Round 2 with more than $2 million in grant requests. Eleven projects have been selected and a total of $462,230 has been awarded in Round 2.

Cracker Box Palace (Shaker First House) – Sodus (Wayne County)
Derek Poole / Cracker Box Palace
Grant Amount: $50,000

The Shaker First House is located on the grounds of Alasa Farms, a 640-acre property owned by Cracker Box Palace, a non-profit that manages the property and operates a shelter for farm animals. The property was part of a Shaker settlement originating in 1826 and was used by several other groups prior to being purchased in 1926 and becoming Alasa Farms. A priority is to repair and rehabilitate the historic buildings on the site, including the fire-damaged Shaker First House. GVRR Grant funding will be used to stabilize the structure and replace the roof as a first step toward rehabilitation and reuse of the building. Alasa Farms was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Nunda Village Building (Village Hall) – Nunda (Livingston County)
Village of Nunda
Grant Amount: $8,850

The Nunda Village Hall, built c. 1900, is an excellent example of modest civic design and retains its original floor plan and much of the historic fabric. The building has been continually used by the village since its construction and houses both the police station and firehall. GVRR Grant funding will be used for ADA upgrades to the building, including the installation of a compliant restroom, signage, and threshold adjustments, which will allow the upper floor to be used for public meetings and events. This building will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource to the proposed Village of Nunda Historic District.

Wellsville Creative Arts Center – Wellsville (Allegany County)
Andrew & Christina Glanzman / Architectural Rescue LLC
Grant Amount: $50,000

Wellsville Creative Arts Center is in the historic downtown of Wellsville and the owners have been rehabilitating the three-story commercial building for over fifteen years. The basement houses a ceramics studio, while the first floor is used for public gathering space and a coffeehouse and café. Due to the condition of the upper story windows, the second and third floor spaces are limited to seasonal art classes and events. GVRR Grant funding will help with the window restoration and installation of storm windows on the two upper floors. This building will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource to a proposed village historic district.

Phelps Town Hall – Phelps (Ontario County)
Town of Phelps
Grant Amount: $50,000

The Phelps Town Hall, an 1840s Greek Revival style sandstone building with an early 20th century Classical Revival remodel, has been the center of Phelps’ civic life since its construction. After significant structural issues were discovered due to a leaking roof, the clock and bell tower were removed. GVRR Grant funding will be used toward roof replacement and the restoration and reinstallation of the tower, restoring the historic appearance of this iconic building, and allowing for continued and new uses by the community. This building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Ellis Block – Lima (Livingston County)
Leta Button / Livingston Integrated Management Associates, LLC
Grant Amount: $50,000

The Ellis Block commercial building is prominently located along the northern portion of the Downtown Business District and retains a high degree of historic integrity, although in need of repair and rehabilitation. Upon completion of rehabilitation, the building will house a barbecue restaurant on the first floor and six apartments on the upper floor. GVRR Grant funding will assist with the restoration of the front façade storefronts, glass block transoms, and cornice, as well as masonry repointing, lighting, and weatherization, which will add to the efforts to reignite the economy and life of Lima’s commercial core. This building is a contributing resource to the Lima Village Historic District.

Chief Engineer’s House – Willard (Seneca County)
Romulus Historical Society
Grant Amount: $6,300

The c. 1840s farmhouse, known as the Chief Engineer’s House, is on the grounds of the former Willard State Hospital and is an example of an early 19th century Greek Revival residence. Currently occupied by the Romulus Historical Society, the building has undergone several repairs over the past decade. GVRR Grant funding will be used for repair of the concrete-faced fieldstone foundation and the installation of insulation in the attic. As a result of the funding, the building will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

Rolling Hills Asylum – East Bethany (Genesee County)
Sharon Coyle / Rolling Hills Asylum LLC
Grant Amount: $50,000

Originally founded in 1826 as the Genesee County Poor Farm (The County Home), buildings were added to this complex into the mid-20th century as part of the self-sufficient working farm. After the facility was closed in 1974, the buildings sat vacant and underutilized for decades prior to purchase by the current owner. Suffering from lack of maintenance and significant deterioration, GVRR Grant funding will assist with the roof repair and replacement on a wing of the main building, which is an important step toward complete rehabilitation and use of the site. As a result of the funding, the site will be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Sutton Company – Naples (Ontario County)
Dierdre Stevenson
Grant Amount: $50,000

The Sutton Company, founded in 1867 and manufacturer of the legendary Sutton Spoons, a type of fishing lure, is housed in one of the few remaining wood frame commercial buildings in the Village of Naples. The rear c. 1898 addition is experiencing structural failure and was deemed in danger of collapse. GVRR Grant funding will help make possible much needed structural work including stabilization, leveling, and repairs to the addition. The building is listed in the National Register as part of the Central Naples Historic District.

Genesee Library – Little Genesee (Allegany County)
Genesee Library
Grant Amount: $50,000

The Genesee Library is a unique wood frame, Queen Anne style civic building. Constructed in 1903 as a schoolhouse, the building became the library and temporary village offices in 1947. Today, the building continues to operate as the public library, offering programing and internet access to the community. GVRR Grant funding will be used toward a number of needed upgrades, such as a tankless water heater, electric heater, building weatherization, gutter and downspout replacement, pipe and attic insulation, a basement drainage system, and electrical upgrades. As a result of the funding, the building will also be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

United Third Methodist Church of Sodus – Sodus (Wayne County)
United Third Methodist Church
Grant Amount: $50,000

The United Third Methodist Church, dedicated in 1889, is the second church to occupy this site for the congregation and was designed by prominent architectural firm of Fay & Dryer. Today, the church serves the community in numerous ways by providing meeting space to different groups and hosting the Sodus Farmer’s Marker. GVRR Grant funding will allow for replacement of the boiler and a new ADA lift, which is the only way to access the sanctuary for those with mobility limitations. As a result of the funding, the building will also be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

Ward House – Gaines (Orleans County)
Cobblestone Society and Museum
Grant Amount: $47,080

The Ward House is part of the collection of historic buildings at the Cobblestone Museum. Constructed c. 1840, it is believed the home originally served as the parsonage to the church next door. The home remained as a private residence until the Cobblestone Society and Museum purchased it in 1975. To remediate ongoing water issues in the basement, the non-profit organization has undertaken several projects, including re-grading of the landscape away from the foundation. GVRR Grant funding will assist with the repair of the stone foundation, masonry repointing, repair to the framing, and lower-level window restoration. This property is within the National Historic Landmark Cobblestone Museum and proposed Hamlet of Childs Historic District.

Learn about Round 1 grantees here

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Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization (GVRR) Grant: Round 2 Awards Announcement!

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