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City of Elmira awarded $10,000 Preserve New York grant from Preservation League

September 22, 2010

The City of Elmira and the Preservation League of New York State are pleased to announce that the city has been awarded a $10,000 Preserve New York Grant to perform a historic structure report of Brand Park Memorial Pool with the aim of developing a plan for adaptive reuse of the structure.

The analysis, to be completed by preservation architect, Elise Johnson-Schmidt and her firm Johnson-Schmidt & Associates Architects, of Corning, will result in a detailed description of the historic development of the Brand Park Pool, an architectural and engineering analysis of existing conditions, recommendations for possible restoration and re-use, and cost estimates. The findings will be used for local planning, future historic designation, and grant applications.

"We're grateful to the Preservation League for this grant, which is part of a long-term redevelopment of Brand Park and the pool structure," said Mayor John Tonello. "The City of Elmira looks forward to continuing discussions with groups such as the Brand Park Beautification Committee, nearby residents and other concerned citizens about their ideas for developing a feasible and affordable plan for the pool structure that will respect its unique history and allow it to remain a community asset."

The grant is an important piece of the city''s efforts to improve Brand Park, said Councilman Robert Bailey. "This grant provides an excellent opportunity for us to take a comprehensive look at the Brand Park Pool, and how it fits in with the future of an improved Brand Park," he said.

The Preserve New York Grant Program, a partnership program of the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts, supports outstanding local preservation projects throughout the state. Since 1993, Preserve New York has awarded over $1.5 million in direct support to 250 projects.

"Seventeen grants in 14 counties totaling $109,149 were made by the Preserve New York Grant Program in 2010," said Tania Werbizky, the League's Regional Director of Technical and Grant Programs in central and western New York. "In a very competitive grant cycle, the Brand Park Pool project stood out because of the structure's unusual Modernist design and the community's strong interest in exploring how it can be an asset to Elmira again."

The Brand Park Memorial Pool is an art deco style pool designed by Wesley Bintz. The current structure was built circa 1949 to replace a pool that was destroyed in the Flood of 1946. It is one of only a handful of Bintz pools in the nation that have not been demolished.

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