NEWS RELEASE: French Heritage Society and Historic Huguenot Street Celebrate Local Preservation Efforts
NEW PALTZ, NY (November 20, 2015) – On Thursday, November 19, Historic Huguenot Street hosted a visit from French Heritage Society (FHS), a non-profit dedicated to preservation, restoration and promotion of French heritage throughout the United States and France. For over a decade, FHS has supported preservation projects at Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), encompassing 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement.
After touring the settlement to see both the completed preservation work and areas in need, FHS and HHS gathered in Deyo Hall for a Grant Ceremony commemorating the organizations' partnership and a luncheon. About 25 French and American representatives of FHS were in attendance, including FHS Chairman of the Board Elizabeth F. Stribling, President Denis de Kergorlay, and Executive Director Isabelle Lefebvre-Vary, along with HHS President Mary Etta Schneider, Vice President Sanford A. Levy and other HHS trustees. Also in attendance were Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers, Town of New Paltz Supervisor Elect Neil Bettez, Ridge Harris (representing U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson), and Elaine Fernandez (representing NYS Assemblyman Kevin Cahill).
HHS President Mary Etta Schneider addressed the connection between the two nations, stating, "there is so much of America that feels very aligned now to France, and I'm hoping we can continue to keep those connections growing stronger so that people learn much more about the importance of French heritage in this country."
Prior to presenting HHS with an award of recognition for its dedication to historic preservation, FHS Chairman Elizabeth F. Stribling said, "there's always something more to discover in your own country that serves as an inspiration. Especially at this moment when we are thinking about France and our western heritage here in the United States, we can reconnect our identities, and the fact that you have this living identity here is very inspiring."
On behalf of U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, Ridge Harris presented both FHS and HHS with special Congressional recognition for their important work.
Village of New Paltz Mayor Tim Rogers described Historic Huguenot Street as " a valuable sanctuary for our community."
Most recently, FHS’ Atlanta and New York Chapters have pledged support for yet another project – the restoration of the Jean Hasbrouck House timber-framed roof, a current preservation priority for HHS. With additional funding in the pipeline, this project is anticipated to begin in 2016.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 New Paltz settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century. It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve the nationally acclaimed collection of stone houses. Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today.
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