Annual Impact Report 2017
Thank you for supporting Historic Ithaca in 2017. Here’s what you made possible…
We are honored to share with you this report of Historic Ithaca’s activities in 2017 that you made possible. Thank you for being an advocate for the historic built environment and enhancing our community.
You made your voice heard through advocacy.
Thanks to you, Historic Ithaca advocated at the federal level on behalf of the:
* Historic Tax Credit program, which was retained in the federal tax bill;
* Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD);
* National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Locally, we’ve been especially active in Collegetown. The Larkin Building was approved for local landmark designation on October 4, 2017; the Chacona Block did not receive designation. Late in 2017, a preliminary proposal for landmark designation of The No. 9 Fire Station was introduced. Visit the Advocacy page for updates on its progress in 2018.
You helped share our history and skills with our community through education and events.
Thanks to you, more than 100 participants learned and practiced new skills, including window, furniture, and lighting repair, and 867 people were part of Historic Ithaca-sponsored programs:
* Tompkins County Bicentennial Walk & Talks tours, in partnership with the county’s municipal historians, showcased eight towns and villages in honor of the 2017 bicentennial celebrations;
* The first annual Ithaca Heritage Pub Crawl, in which people explored Ithaca bars housed in historic buildings;
* Our 8th annual That Old House Tour gave attendees access to private, historically significant homes in the Village of Dryden;
* We continued our tradition of offering tours in the Ithaca City Cemetery, expanded in 2017 to take place every weekend in October, and held several cemetery clean-up days in the spring and fall and culminating with the one-mile Cemetery Sprint;
* Ithaca Heritage, a partnership of Historic Ithaca and The History Center in Tompkins County, was launched in 2016 to promote heritage and cultural tourism. Seventeen Heritage Ambassadors were trained in 2017 to be a resource for visitors and residents.
* Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council announced that the new Tompkins Center for History and Culture was awarded funds for its new home in the former Tompkins Trust Company building on the Ithaca Commons. Stay tuned for a 2019 opening!
You helped celebrate and honor those who believe in preservation.
The Annual Preservation Awards are Historic Ithaca’s longest-standing tradition, with the first award given in 1968 to Joseph Ciaschi for his conversion of the abandoned Lehigh Valley Railroad Station into the Station Restaurant, one of the earliest adaptive reuse projects in Tompkins County. In 2017, awardees included:
* Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes in Ithaca;
* Trumansburg Liquor Store;
* Centerline Farm in Dryden;
* Laughing Goat Fiber Farm in Ithaca;
* Strebel Barn in Varna;
* Tea Pavilion in Stewart Park;
* Griffin Building (home to Simeon’s Restaurant) in Ithaca;
* and several private residences.
Gina Prentiss of the Dryden Town Historical Society–and former Historic Ithaca board president–received the Joseph O. Ciaschi Award for Preservation Excellence.
You found new homes for vintage treasures at Significant Elements.
Significant Elements, our store for salvaged architectural treasures, gives items a new lease on life. Thanks to the more than 12,500 individual items donated in 2017, our sales increased 8% over 2016 and 12% over 2015. We welcomed over 9,000 visits throughout the year. We also donated materials to local non-profits and to projects including Second Wind Cottages, Southside Community Center, Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles (RIBS), First Street Mural project, the Ithaca Waldorf School, and more. We partnered with regional historical societies to sell their items on consignment, providing income for their programs, and repaired 138 pieces of furniture and lamps for customers who chose repair and sustainability over replacement.
You helped our community through the Work Preserve Job Training Program.
Youth and young adults learn by doing in Historic Ithaca’s Work Preserve job training program. Participants, referred by local social service agencies, acquire practical, transferable job skills in a real workplace environment at Significant Elements. In 2017:
* 22 participants (ages 17 to 33) were referred by 7 partner agencies (BOCES, Learning Web, Workforce NY JobLINK, Ithaca Youth Bureau YES, Tompkins County Mental Health, OAR, and Challenge Workforce Solutions);
* 17 participants completed at least 25 hours of training in basic job readiness skills, 9 completed Level 1 job readiness training, and 3 moved on to employment;
* Total training hours provided: 1,488.
Donors and partners—like you—make it happen!
Collectively, Historic Ithaca secured over $50,000 in private support and successfully achieved our budget projections. We had 100% participation by the board of directors and committee members. Our local businesses and friends, who as event sponsors gave more than $11,000, as well as in-kind donations and services, helped to make all of this possible. Public and private grants funded our Work Preserve Program, with awards from the City of Ithaca Community Development Block Grant Program and the Park Foundation.
Our programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional funding comes from Tompkins County Tourism grants.
Ithaca and Tompkins County are special, in part because your many contributions and unwavering support for local preservation efforts have made an enormous difference. Thank you! We look forward to working with you in 2018!