FROM: Preservation League of New York State
44 Central Avenue
Albany NY 12206-3002
CONTACTS: Colleen M. Ryan, Director of Public Relations
Preservation League of New York State
518-462-5658, ext. 17; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dare Thompson, Executive Director
The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
Restoration of Philipse Manor Railroad Station to be Honored
ALBANY, 8/2/2005 – The Preservation League of New York State has selected The Hudson Valley Writers' Center (HVWC) to receive its prestigious Excellence in Preservation Award for 2005 for their work to restore the Philipse Manor Railroad Station in Sleepy Hollow. This statewide awards program recognizes individuals and organizations for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the preservation of New York State’s irreplaceable architectural heritage.
“The restoration of the formerly abandoned railroad station is a wonderful example of the beautiful results that can be achieved through attention to professional standards in historic preservation and a creative approach to adaptive re-use,” said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League. “Once neglected and in disrepair, the station is now an amenity to the community and a year-round hub of activity.”
Contributing to the success of the project were the efforts of architects Joanne Tall and Jonathan Felsman of Bond Street Architecture and Design.
Erected between 1910 and 1912, this handsome granite edifice became the gateway for one of the nation’s first (1903) planned suburban developments, Philipse Manor. In the 1970s, MetroNorth ceased using the building, and its great fireplace and American Chestnut-paneled waiting room fell victim to vandals. The HVWC successfully restored the majestic building as a space for offices, prose and poetry readings, writing workshops and other cultural programs.
“When the handsome stone walls of this structure cried out for restoration, not demolition – we listened,” said Margo Stever, founding board member of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. “Today, the former train station, in a striking site on the Hudson River, serves as an inspiration to commuters, writers, and lovers of the arts and history. We are delighted to receive this award for our efforts.”
Donald Stever, a lawyer and member of the HVWC Board of Directors, was also actively involved with the restoration effort and handled the finances for the basic restoration project. "Acquiring the building so we could do the work was very complicated, and took some finessing," said Mr. Stever. "Among the many who helped, Nick Robinson and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky deserve special appreciation for their help in putting this all together."
The award will be presented at the Preservation League’s Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony in New York City at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17th at The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue.
Other award-winning projects include: The Gibb Mansion Restoration in Brooklyn; Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo; The Powers Library in Moravia, Cayuga County; Garden Street Rehabilitation in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County; St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Rochester; and Old Main: The Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center in Utica. The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation in Western New York and the Sage Colleges of Albany and Rensselaer Counties will also be honored for Organizational Excellence.
“Excellence in Preservation Awards are our principal means of honoring the preservation community and educating the public about the important contribution that historic preservation projects make to our quality of life throughout New York State,” said DiLorenzo. “Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable projects, and 2005 was no exception. We are delighted to give The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and its work to restore the Philipse Manor Railroad Station the statewide recognition they deserve.”
The Preservation League Statewide Awards Program is funded by a generous grant from the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation of Miami, Florida. By leading a statewide preservation movement, sharing information and expertise and raising a unified voice, the Preservation League of New York State promotes historic preservation as a tool to revitalize our neighborhoods and communities, honor our heritage and enrich our lives. ###