ALBANY, N.Y. — The site of the first U.S. settlement of the Shaker Christian sect and a crumbling Erie Canal aqueduct are among some of New York’s most endangered places, according to a statewide preservation group.
The Preservation League of New York State on Tuesday released its “Seven to Save” designees for 2018-2019.
The late 18th-century Shaker settlement site just north of Albany and the 19th-century canal aqueduct over Schoharie Creek west of Albany made the list.
Founded by Ann Lee, the Shaker site in the suburban town of Colonie is bordered by Albany’s airport and two highways and is threatened by encroaching development. The property includes clusters of buildings constructed in a mix of classic Shaker-style architecture.
The canal aqueduct was built at Fort Hunter in the Mohawk Valley in 1839, 14 years after the waterway linking Lake Erie and the Hudson River opened. After the canal was rerouted the aqueduct fell into disrepair. Despite efforts by the state to stabilize and restore the structure, preservationists say sections have collapsed.
The Preservation League, which has issued a list every year since 1999, works to draw attention to New York’s at-risk historic places and prevent them from being demolished.
Andy Kitzman, assistant director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, called the Fort Hunter aqueduct “an engineering marvel.”
Making the Preservation League’s list can help organizations obtain grants, loans and other funding aid, he said.
Other places making the list include:
An Albany neighborhood settled in the mid-19th century by Irish and German immigrants who worked on the city’s riverfront. Many of the homes have been abandoned, leaving behind a deteriorating historic district.
Once home to stores, theaters, clubs and studios, the district’s Romanesque architecture requires stabilization to preserve its tin ceilings, decorative woodwork and fixtures.
Developed in the late 19th century by John Talcott Wells Sr., the structures — only found in neighboring Monroe and Livingston counties — feature a unique truss system that improved the region’s typical post-and-beam barn construction.
Located along a rail line formerly used to haul coal from Pennsylvania west to Buffalo and east to New York City, the Manchester Roundhouse in Ontario County was where workers fixed trains, refueled, exchanged freight and switched cars. Long vacant, the property has been designated a brownfield.
The venues were built in rural villages as well as in major cities, and they often served to anchor main streets as a place to socialize as well as be entertained. While many have been lost to demolition, some survive but are in need of preservation.