Historic Assessment Along the Empire State Trail

The Preservation League is proud to announce that it has received a $33,000 grant from the 1772 Foundation. This grant will 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 League’s survey area will focus on a 90-mile radius around its Albany headquarters, from Utica to Whitehall, all within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Funding from the 1772 Foundation to help identify trail user needs and link these needs with historic building resources is very timely, ultimately ensuring that trail user experiences will be world-class and New York State’s trail network will help drive community economic development for decades to come.

This project will be broken down into two phases:

Phase One

  • 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 will be informed by what is learned in phase one, determining how best to proceed to reuse the buildings identified.

The League is already moving forward with phase one, with plans to wrap up its initial report by the end of 2019.