Lockport neighborhood may be nominated for National Register of Historic Places - The Buffalo News
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Lockport neighborhood may be nominated for National Register of Historic Places

LOCKPORT – The neighborhood surrounding the intersection of High and Locust streets may be nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.

Robert J. Hagen, chairman of the city Historic Preservation Commission, said the state Board for Historic Preservation is to vote on the nomination at a meeting June 12 in Albany. The U.S. Interior Department makes the final decision on new designations to the national list.

A meeting for neighborhood residents has been called for 6 p.m. Wednesday in City Hall to discuss the program and the possible benefits that may result for owners of buildings deemed historic.

For example, homeowners who carry out $5,000 or more in pre-approved building improvements will be eligible for a credit of 20 percent of the cost on their state income taxes.

Owners of multiple dwellings or commercial property in the historic district who make similar improvements are eligible for the state credit as well as a 20 percent federal income tax credit.

“Quite frankly, there’s no loser in any of this,” Hagen said.

“Listing in the state and national registers is a prestigious honor that will recognize the special architectural character of this part of our city,” Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said.

Eighty-five homes, some dating back as far as 1840, and about 35 other buildings are considered contributors to the historic character of the neighborhood because of their 19th-century architecture, Hagen said. The neighborhood includes most of Locust Street south of Genesee Street and High Street between Park Place and Washburn Street.

The district boundaries actually extend as far east as Erie Street, but the city didn’t have enough money for a detailed building survey east of Washburn, so the area between Washburn and Erie streets is not included in the nomination prepared by the architectural firm Clinton Brown Co. of Buffalo.

That detailed survey, carried out in March and April, cost $21,400, which included a $10,000 grant from the state Historic Preservation Office; $6,400 from the Preservation League of New York; and $5,000 in city funds.

It followed a more general survey conducted in the neighborhood in 2011. Hagen said this year’s results show that only 32 of the 152 buildings in the survey area were considered noncontributors to its historic character.

The 52-page nomination the Brown firm prepared was edited by the state Historic Preservation Office to be introduced at the June 12 board meeting. The material is available on the preservation agency’s website.

email: tprohaska@buffnews,com

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