The Columbia County Historical Society (CCHS) is one of this year’s Preserve New York (PNY) grantees. Their grant of $10,000 will allow the CCHS to work with Walter Wheeler of Hartgen Archaeological Associates to complete a Historic Structure Report (HSR) of the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse in Kinderhook.
The HSR project will assess the current condition of the building, make recommendations for repair and restoration and serve as a guiding document for continued interpretive use and future preservation. The schoolhouse is not currently listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, and the Historical Society hopes that the research provided through the HSR process will create a strong case for a future nomination.
The Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse was initially constructed in 1850 at the intersection of Route 9H and Fisher Road as the District #6 Schoolhouse for the town of Kinderhook. Although the structure was moved just 200 yards from its original location in 1974, it remains an excellent and intact example of a rural, one-room schoolhouse with a gable roof, clapboard siding, and a single pent-roofed entrance.
The interior consists of a large classroom with two adjacent cloakrooms – one for boys, and one for girls. The building was never modified to have heat or hot water and still retains its original 1929 wood burning stove, wood flooring, chalkboards, and double-hung sash windows. Several condition issues are present that must be addressed in the near future: the condition of the metal roof and the stability of the structure, as the building still rests on the steel girders that were used to move it in the 1970s.
“We are thrilled the Preservation League of New York has endorsed our commitment to the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse with this grant.” said CCHS Executive Director, Lori Yarotsky, “The iconic literary character is an important part of Columbia County heritage and we want to preserve its namesake schoolhouse–including its architecture–for future generations and visitors. Thanks again to the Preservation League for their recognition and support.”
“NYSCA is proud to support the vitality and character of our communities through our Preserve New York partnership, which provides key resources to historic sites, buildings, and cultural centers statewide and underscores the importance of architecture and landscape design in community revitalization and economic development,” said NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus.
“Thanks to the League’s record of making effective preservation grants through Preserve New York and TAG, our program partner, the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), has increased regrant funding significantly over the past several years,” said Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation and the Preservation League, “At the same time, in response to growing demand, the League has successfully lined up additional support to leverage NYSCA funding and League resources. NYSCA and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation make these grants possible through their program partnership and financial support.”
The 2019 PNY grant cycle was the most competitive in the program’s 26-year history. An independent jury met in June to review over 70 applications. After two days of deliberations, $262,498 was awarded to 31 projects across 25 counties.
Preserve New York is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS. PNY enables the Preservation League to support projects in all of New York’s 62 counties.
The Preserve New York grant program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has provided additional support for projects in Nassau, Suffolk and Bronx Counties.