The annual Excellence in Historic Preservation Award recognizes the best examples of preservation happening across New York State
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kingston, NY, 11/01/23 — The Kingston City Land Bank has received a 2023 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of NYS. Since 1984, the League’s annual Excellence Awards program has shined a light on the people who are using historic preservation to make all our lives better —through exemplary restoration projects, indispensable publications, individual action, and organizational distinction. This year’s Award winners will be recognized at a public reception at the Century Association in NYC on Monday, December 4. Event details can be found here: preservenys.org/excellence
“Receiving the Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State is an enormous honor and validates many years of hard work for us at the Kingston City Land Bank,” said KCLB Board Chair Daniel Kanter. “When we set out to rehab single family homes to offer at affordable prices to first-time homeowners, we knew we wanted to approach it a little differently than we typically saw affordable rehabs performed elsewhere. Through a careful balance of budget and thoughtful design, we’ve repeatedly stewarded the worst homes on the block into becoming jewels of their neighborhoods. These homes have not only provided a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our buyers but have demonstrated that—with enough dedication—even the most ordinary, run-down house can (and should) be brought back to life, returned to productive use, and help reclaim the historic integrity of their respective neighborhoods. We’re exceedingly proud of each of these homes, and to receive recognition on a state-wide level is beyond anything we could have imagined when we embarked on this work five years ago.”
In 2018, the Kingston City Land Bank was formed to return long-vacant tax-foreclosed properties to the tax rolls. In a city with a relatively low foreclosure rate, rising property values, and a pressing need for affordable housing, rehabbing single-family homes into affordable first-time homeownership opportunities quickly became a top priority. Through their focus on preserving and restoring rather than modernizing and flipping, the KCLB has been creating a new model for how affordable housing can be produced and what it looks like. Their mission is to foster an equitable community where vacant or distressed properties are transformed into community assets that improve the quality of life for Kingston residents, stabilize and enhance neighborhoods, and create new pathways for social and economic development.
The Kingston City Land Bank does its important work thanks to strong partnerships with The City of Kingston, NN; Community Foundations of The Hudson Valley; The Novo Foundation; Enterprise Community Partners; New York State Attorney General’s Office; New York State Housing And Community Renewal; Community Preservation Corporation; Liscum Mccormack Vanvoorhis Architects; Dutton Architecture; Maeda Construction.
“The 2023 Excellence Award winners span the state, from Olean to Brooklyn,” said Preservation League President Jay DiLorenzo. “They represent how historic preservation addresses critical issues, from climate action to affordable housing, from spurring economic development to uplifting underrepresented histories. We are honored to recognize the incredible work each Award winner has done for their communities and beyond.”
Olean’s First National Bank & Siegel’s Shoes Revitalization | Olean, Cattaraugus County; Nash Lofts | Buffalo, Erie County; Claudette Brady | Brooklyn, Kings County; Bridge to Crafts Careers Program | Brooklyn + the Bronx; The Rehabilitation of Pier 57 | New York, New York County; Bent’s Opera House | Medina, Orleans County; Julie Nucci | Owego, Tioga County; Kingston City Land Bank | Kingston, Ulster County
Recipients of the Excellence Award represent the very best of what the League stands for and supports in historic preservation. They exemplify best practices in the field and demonstrate how preservation is integral to building stronger neighborhoods, boosting local economies, tackling the affordable housing crisis, mitigating climate change, opening our eyes to overlooked history, and saving the places that are special to all of us. Our shared cultural heritage grounds us and unites us. The Excellence Awards celebrate those who work so hard to protect that shared heritage.
About the Kingston City Land Bank
We believe everyone has the right to a safe, affordable, and high-quality place to live. The mission of the Kingston City Land Bank is to foster an equitable community where vacant or distressed properties are transformed into community assets that improve the quality of life for Kingston residents, stabilize and enhance neighborhoods, and create new pathways for social and economic development. Learn more at kingstoncitylandbank.org/
About the Preservation League of New York State
Since its founding in 1974, the Preservation League has built a reputation for action and effectiveness. Our goal has been to preserve our historic buildings, districts, and landscapes and to build a better New York, one community at a time. 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 across the state. Connect with us at preservenys.org, facebook.com/preservenys, instagram.com/preservenys, and youtube.com/c/PreservationLeague