The Preservation Foundation engages in "bricks and mortar" preservation activities to demonstrate the value of historic preservation in enhancing our City and its historic structures and neighborhoods. Below are some of our current and past projects.
Grandstand Water Color by Ashley Halsey 2008 Copyright Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation
Saratoga Race Course
Saratoga Race Course is the jewel of American Thoroughbred Racing, and is an important economic and cultural/historic resource in Saratoga Springs and the upstate region. The grandeur of Saratoga and its racing grounds are legendary. Despite renovations, the track buildings retain their Victorian architectural character, and constitute an important site in the history of thoroughbred racing in the United States. The unique charm of Saratoga is the history that presides over the track itself, and part of its allure is the stylistic ambiance of its architecture.
In 2007, the Foundation through the Saratoga Race Course Preservation Coalition became concerned about the long-term preservation of the historic features of the Saratoga Race Course while the negotiations for the franchise for New York racing were taking place. The Coalition and the Foundation were very pleased that the NYRA agreement with New York State required an appointed Local Advisory Board to complete an inventory of the over 200 buildings and 350 acres of the Saratoga Race Course to be used in assessing the effect of capital improvements on the Race Course's historic character. The Foundation is carrying out this inventory on behalf of the Race Course's Local Advisory Board.
Phase I of the inventory will consist of an architectural building resource survey of several areas identified as potential capital improvement areas as well as a complete cultural resource survey of the entire landscape of the Saratoga Race Course. The inventory is being funded by a grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust. Additional funding has been provided by a Preserve NY Grant from the Preservation League of New York State, a grant from the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency and a grant from the New York Racing Association. Phase I of the inventory will be completed in the Fall of 2010.
To learn more about the preservation efforts for the Saratoga Race Course click here.
Beekman Street Grant Program
With a $190,000 grant from the New York State Main Street Program, the Preservation Foundation has completed a project to rehabilitate commercial buildings and houses in the Arts District on Beekman Street. Grants were provided to seven buildings, resulting in matching investments of several hundred thousand dollars by the buildings' owners. These investments have created a rennaisance for Beekman Street as a lively neighborhood of shops, galleries and restaurants.
First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church is one of the oldest houses of worship in Saratoga Springs. A grand Greek Revival building built in 1855, with a Colonial Revival interior from the 1920s, this church was the largest assembly space in Saratoga Springs when it was first constructed. The original facade included a clocktower on top of the octogonal bell tower. The building recently acquired a new roof, through the generousity of Bonacio Construction, and the cornice has been pointed and repainted. More masonry needs to be repaired and repointed, and improved handicap access needs to be built. The congregation and the Preservation Foundation are committed to the restoration of the building, including rebuilding the clock tower. A preservation plan has been prepared; designs for the restoration, the clocktower and handicap access have been developed.
Gideon Putnam Cemetery
This burial ground is the oldest in the city and was donated to the city by Gideon Putnam, the first city planner for Saratoga Springs. The Cemetery is a West Side landmark. Buried in the cemetery are famous Saratogians like Gideon Putnam and Dr. John Clarke, as well as veterans and resort workers. The Gideon Putnam Cemetery is an important reminder of our city's history.
The Foundation undertook the restoration of the cemetery after many years of neglect and abuse. With grants from New York State securred by West Side resident Gene Corsale, we went to work restoring the Putnam family monuments, cleaning out the overgrown landscape, and installing security fencing. Restoration of grave markers that have been broken or overturned has been undertaken, and an inventory of the cemetery has been completed. Based on an application prepared by the Foundation, Gideon Putnam Cemetery has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a City Landmark.
Over the past 30 years, the Preservation Foundation has taken an active role in the restoration of important buildings and sites in virtually every neighborhood in Saratoga Springs. Some of our past projects have included:
- 5 Clinton Place (rehabilitation)
- Broadway Facades (under easement)
- 117 Grand Avenue (rehabilitation)
- 120 Grand Avenue (stabilization)
- Universal Baptist Church (stabilization)