Nominations Sought For Historic Sites & Structures

Last year, I was pleased to assemble a Heritage Task Force to consider means of celebrating cherished elements of our community’s past and ensuring that historic preservation is valued in plans for our future growth. One of the Task Force’s key initiatives launches today: a Heritage Plaque Program aimed at providing formal recognition to historic sties and structures and raising public awareness about New Rochelle’s rich history.

Nominations for specific properties are invited from individuals, organizations, businesses or community leaders. Eligible properties must fit into one or more of the following categories: 18th century structure; stellar restoration of a residence; stellar restoration, adaptive reuse; home of a nationally prominent individual; significant architect or architectural style; landscape or landscape feature (e.g. cemeteries, stone walls, signs; excepting gardens); or public building.

Nomination forms are available in my office at City Hall and at the New Rochelle Public Library’s Community Bulletin Board. You can also download a nomination form HERE. Nominations must be submitted by September 7, 2007. Winners will be announced by October 1, 2007.

All nominations will be reviewed and this year’s winners selected by a distinguished panel of judges including: Katie Hite, Executive Director, Westchester County Historical Society; Nora Lucas, Historic Preservationist; Jeffery Williams, Historic Preservation Planner for the County of Westchester, President of the Yonkers Historical Society; Judith Spikes, Village of Larchmont Historian; and Barbara Davis, City of New Rochelle Historian.

The selection of winning properties will be based on a number of factors, including the extent of their continuing contribution to historic or cultural heritage; the extent of accepted preservation techniques in maintaining the historic form, appearance and materials of a property; and improvement between “before” and “after” conditions.

An attractive heritage plaque will be introduced on each winning property. In addition, winning properties will be included in future maps and publications that reference historic sites in New Rochelle. It is expected that this will be an ongoing program with winners selected every year.