Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial restoration in Saratoga Springs to be honored

Preservation League Announces Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards

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Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial. Credit Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.

ALBANY, NY (05/03/2016)(readMedia)-- The Preservation League of New York State has selected the Spirit of Life and Spencer Trask Memorial to receive an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.

The League's statewide awards program honors notable achievements in retaining, promoting and reusing New York State's irreplaceable architectural heritage.

"This memorial sculpture and architectural surround was dedicated in 1915, and represents an important partnership between sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. "The restoration included addressing the masonry elements of Indiana limestone, concrete and stucco. The bronze sculpture and surrounding landscape were also restored through a combination of grassroots fundraising and municipal support. We applaud all involved."

The project team included Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture, LLC of Northampton, MA; Daniel Wilson of Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson Architecture & Preservation, LLP of Albany; Daedalus, Inc. of Watertown, MA; PCC Contracting, Inc. of Schenectady; Mid-State Industries, Ltd. of Schenectady; JC McCashion Construction, Inc. of Albany; the City of Saratoga Springs and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.

In 1913, Katrina Trask – philanthropist, Yaddo founder and Saratoga resident – commissioned the memorial to her late husband along with his business partner George Foster Peabody. She wished to honor Trask for his efforts to protect and preserve Saratoga's natural springs while further beautifying Congress Park. The park was named a National Historic Landmark in 1987, and the Memorial, and more specifically, the bronze Spirit of Life sculpture, have become a defining symbol of the city.

"The Foundation was pleased to partner with the City and members of the community to preserve this important landmark that honors Spencer Trask and serves as a reminder of our civic responsibility to preserve our nationally and locally significant cultural resources," said Samantha Bosshart, Executive Director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.

The awards will be presented at the Preservation League's Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11th at the historic New York Yacht Club, 37 West 44th Street.

The complete list of award winners is: The Renaissance Albany Hotel (Historic DeWitt Clinton Hotel) – Albany; Apple Store, Upper East Side – Manhattan; United Nations Campus Headquarters Glazed Façades Replacement – Manhattan; Babcock Shattuck House – Syracuse; Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial – Saratoga Springs; 845 Commons (Historic Mica Insulator Co. Building) – Schenectady; T. G. Hawkes Glass Co. Apartments – Corning; and Maverick Concert Hall, Woodstock.

"With our annual awards program, the Preservation League explores not just the present, but the future of historic preservation. Many of the 2016 award winners provide valuable examples for others by incorporating energy efficiency techniques, adaptive reuse strategies and Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits," said DiLorenzo. "Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable nominations, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to celebrate the beautiful restoration of the Spirit of Life and the Spencer Trask Memorial, and to commend all members of the project team for their leadership and vision."


The Preservation League's Excellence in Historic Preservation awards program is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation.

The Preservation League of New York State invests in people and projects that champion the essential role of preservation in community revitalization, sustainable economic growth, and the protection of our historic buildings and landscapes. We lead advocacy, economic development, and education programs all across the state.