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Canajoharie, NY ,

Ravage details village's National Register Historic District plans

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - Updated: 9:26 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE -- Preservation Consultant Jessie Ravage visited the Canajoharie Village Board on Tuesday evening, detailing the process of nominating a portion of the village as a National Register Historic District, detailing the work that will go into that process, which, if successful, will see part of the village officially designated sometime in early 2015.

Ravage explained that she has done a number of National Register Historic District nominations in her 25 years active as a freelance preservation consultant, the nearest being in Fort Plain.

She noted that there is "lots of misinformation" existing, as there are numerous types of nominations. A National Register Historic District is also usually a state-registered entity, and "they come with very few limitations to private property owners," Ravage said, explaining that such a distinction "opens up some opportunities for people who own property in a National Register Historic District," which she said is very different from a locally administered historic district, "which can be very restrictive."

The first step is to draw a boundary. Ravage presented a map with a proposed boundary for the district, which she said "is a tiny bit fluid," but will "eventually become set."

The creation of a boundary in Canajoharie is largely complete thanks to the fact that the village has been studied numerous times, notably prior to New York State Department of Transportation projects, and "parts of the village have been reviewed and the state knows there is a potential district here," said Ravage.

Part of the process will involve Ravage describing the approximately 700 properties in the district's proposed boundary, taking representative photography of 50-60 properties. Determinations will be made whether a building is a contributing structure or not. Properties significantly changed from their original structure or not yet 50-years-old will be designated non-contributing.

The nomination will look like a binder filled with extensive paperwork, along with property photos, detailing the reasons why the proposed district is historically significant, not only focusing on the properties contained, but potentially also significant individuals; Ravage used Bartlett Arkell as an example.

Ravage will spend numerous months in the spring and early summer documenting properties, and the plan is to have a final proposed draft submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office by mid- to late-July, with work on her end wrapped up completely by late-August, at which point each property owner (using county tax records) in the proposed area will be contacted and officially informed of the plan to designate their property as part of the larger district.

A well-advertised public meeting will be held in Sept. or Oct., then the nomination will go to the State Review Board in December, "provided there is not a significant negative public input about this proposed district," said Ravage. The SRB will "judge the nomination based on its merits," and if accepted, it will then be listed on the State Register of Historic Places, to be listed as a National Register Historic District by Feb. or early March, 2015.


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