East Harlem Organization Receives Funding

New York State Council on the Arts and Preservation League of New York State announce Preserve New York Grant

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The Pleasant Avenue neighborhood in East Harlem, which played a major role in the history of upper Manhattan from the late 1800s through the 1970s, will be the subject of a cultural resources survey.

ALBANY, NY (11/09/2016)(readMedia)-- The New York State Council on the Arts together with the Preservation League of New York State will award a $10,000 grant to CIVITAS Citizens, Inc. and their partner Landmark East Harlem to support a Cultural Resources Survey of the East Harlem / Pleasant Avenue Neighborhood. The Preserve New York grant will be presented on Thursday, November 10 at 1:00 p.m. at East 118th Street at Pleasant Avenue, East Harlem.

The Pleasant Avenue neighborhood in East Harlem played a significant role in the history of upper Manhattan from the late 1800s through the 1970s. By the 1930s, East Harlem housed the largest concentration of Italian immigrants in the country and was the first "Little Italy" in the nation. While the Italian roots of this neighborhood are still visible in its row houses, tenements, stores and churches, the area has recently become a magnet for Mexican immigrant families and businesses. Construction of the nearby Second Avenue Subway and pending rezoning pose a threat to the neighborhood's historic character.

A $10,000 Preserve New York grant will enable CIVITAS Citizens Inc. and Landmark East Harlem to hire preservation consultant Anthony W. Robins of New York City to complete a cultural resource survey of the area. This survey will build on a 2011 reconnaissance level survey by the Columbia Preservation Studio and provide additional support for a New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission historic district nomination or a National Register of Historic Places district nomination.

Preserve New York is a signature grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of New York State, and is made possible with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. "With the announcement of the 2016 awards, the total support provided by Preserve New York since its launch in 1993 is over $2.2 million to 346 projects statewide," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "Preserve New York has a strong track record of bolstering local preservation efforts and delivering a strong return on investment."

"CIVITAS and Landmark East Harlem are thrilled to receive this Preserve New York grant from the Preservation League of New York State and the New York State Council on the Arts," said Jameson Mitchell, Executive Director of CIVITAS. "This funding will go a long way in helping to ensure that historic East Harlem is preserved for future generations. We look forward to sharing the results of the cultural resource survey in the coming months."

"At its August, 2016 meeting, the Preserve New York panel selected 26 applicants in 18 counties around the state to share $202,000 in funding," said Erin Tobin, the League's Director of Preservation. "As always, the competition for these funds was intense. We are delighted to help advance the preservation efforts in East Harlem with timely funding from Preserve New York."

Organizations and municipalities receiving grants in 2016 are: Albany County: Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., Albany - $4,000; Bronx County: Woodlawn Conservancy, Bronx - $6,000; Erie County (5): Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo - $7,000; Preservation Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo - $7,000; Roycroft Campus Corporation, East Aurora - $12,000; Village of Hamburg - $5,000; Village of Springville - $7,000; Franklin County (2): Historic Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake - $2,000; Village of Saranac Lake - $8,500; Hamilton County: Adirondack Historical Association/Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake - $9,000; Madison County (2): Oneida Community Mansion House, Oneida - $8,000; Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Inc., Cazenovia - $7,000; Monroe County (2): Greece Historical Society, Greece - $13,000; David Hochstein Memorial Music School, Inc., Rochester - $10,000; Montgomery County (2): Village of Fultonville - $4,500; Village of St. Johnsville - $9,000; New York County: CIVITAS Citizens, Inc., Manhattan - $10,000; Ontario County: Ontario County Historical Society, Canandaigua - $9,000; Orange County: Village of Warwick - $9,000; Rensselaer County: Village of Valley Falls - $5,500; Schenectady County: Vale Cemetery Preservation, Inc., Schenectady - $10,000; Suffolk County: Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Shelter Island - $9,000; Tioga County: Village of Owego - $5,000; Washington County: Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts & Education, Inc., Cambridge - $12,000; Wayne County: Town of Lyons - $9,500; Westchester County: Village of Tarrytown - $4,000.

For more information on the Preserve New York grant program, please call 518-462-5658 x 10 or visit the League's website at www.preservenys.org.