By Derrick Ek
Corning Leader Posted Nov 20, 2011
A local preservation group wants to establish a historic district in Elmira’s Lower Maple Avenue neighborhood.
Historic Elmira Inc. is pushing for the designation, which it says would help property owners along Lower Maple Avenue by making them eligible for tax breaks on upgrades to their properties.
"We're not just doing this because we love historic preservation or for the aesthetics of it," said Kaye Newbury, president of Historic Elmira Inc. "We see it as an economic development tool."
The organization, using a grant from the Preservation League of New York State, commissioned a survey by consultant Nancy Goblet. It found that of the 3,187 residential and 254 commercial properties, more than half were 100 years old or more.
Many of the impressive, architecturally significant homes along Maple Avenue date back to the late 19th century and early 20th century, a period of prosperity in Elmira.
Volunteers from Historic Elmira Inc., led by Maple Avenue neighborhood residents Harold and Winnie Watts, will soon begin the process of filling out the nomination forms and submitting them to the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The process is expected to take at least six months, Newbury said.
If the nomination is approved, the district will be added to the New York State Register of Historic Places, and it will then be reviewed for addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
A handful of homes along Maple Avenue are already on the registers.
The city currently has two historic districts, the Near Westside Historic District and the Elmira Civic Historic District, which includes downtown Elmira landmarks.
By Architect Staff
Architect Magazine posted Nov 23, 2011
Historic Elmira (N.Y.) is trying to have the city’s Lower Maple Avenue neighborhood added to the New York State Register of Historic Places. Derrick Ek reports that the district would be the third in the city. “We’re not just doing this because we love historic preservation or for the aesthetics of it,” Historic Elmira president Kaye Newbury says. “We see it as an economic development tool.” The application process should take six months and, if successful, would lead to an application for the National Register of Historic Places.
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