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3 properties recommended for historic register

What do a once-opulent hotel, a late 19th century schoolhouse and 170-year-old farmhouse have in common?

They are three local historic structures out of 35 properties and districts statewide that were recommended to be included on the State and National Registers of Historic Places by the state Board for Historic Preservation.

Once the properties are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo, Ceres School in Allegany County and Morse Cobblestone Farmhouse in Niagara County will join two historic Niagara Falls neighborhoods in becoming official landmarks.

"Survival of these noteworthy homes, civic institutions and neighborhoods is crucial in preserving the great diversity of New York's communities and fostering their economic revitalization," said Carol Ash, commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in a statement Wednesday.

A listing on the register makes the properties and neighborhoods eligible for various preservation programs and services such as matching state grants, as well as state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

The Hotel Lafayette, at Washington and Clinton streets, is a French-renaissance style structure that was completed in 1902. It is widely considered to be the most important building left standing that was designed by Louise Bethune, the nation's first woman architect. Bethune also designed many school buildings in Buffalo.

Buffalo developer Rocco Termini is planning to convert the six-story, 367-room hotel into a mixed-use development with 115 apartments, a boutique suites hotel, five restaurants, 15,000 square feet of office space, and a "one-stop" banquet facility.

The Ceres School in the Town of Ceres in Allegany County is a one-story frame structure built in 1893. It is a surviving example of a late 19th century schoolhouse that once served students from both Pennsylvania and New York.

The Morse Cobblestone Farmhouse in Wilson, was constructed about 1840 and is considered an excellent example of cobblestone masonry construction in New York State.

Two historic Niagara Falls neighborhoods have been recommended for the register. The Chilton Avenue-Orchard Parkway Historic District includes residential buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that reflect the appearance and character of Niagara Falls in its heyday.

The Chilton Avenue-Orchard Park Historic District features examples of late Italianate and Victorian-era Queen Anne-style houses, as well as revival styles that were built in the early 20th century.

e-mail: citydesk@buffnews.com

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