ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Libertad building in Elmira is 1 of 10 projects receiving the 2019 State Historic Preservation Award.
The 1953 low-income apartment complex was rehabilitated into 91 apartments of affordable housing, including 20 units earmarked for homeless veterans.
The former Jones Court public housing was named after John W. Jones, a former slave who settled in Elmira and helped others escape via the Underground Railroad. The blighted property had been vacant for two decades.
“New York has transformed over centuries into a state defined by its diverse history, and there is no better way to see that history than in our unique architecture and places,” Governor Cuomo said. “These historic awards and nominations will proudly preserve the lives and stories of countless New Yorkers into the future.”
Created in 1980, the State Historic Preservation Awards are awarded by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation each year to honor excellence in the protection and revitalization of historic and cultural resources. The Governor also signed legislation in 2013 to bolster state use of rehabilitation tax credits, which have spurred billions of dollars in completed investments of historic commercial properties and tens of millions in owner-occupied historic homes.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Historic preservation helps encourage reinvestment and revitalization in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. This year’s awards demonstrate the extraordinary commitments, hard work and strong partnerships that have made preservation an important tool for community renewal, economic development and job growth in New York.”
A dozen historic locations around the state were also nominated for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which can provide owners with grants and tax credits to support rehabilitation projects.
The North Guilford Cemetery, a one-acre cemetery includes four Revolutionary War veterans, five Civil War veterans and one veteran of the War of 1812, was one of the nominations.