NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street Receives Major Grant From the National Endowment for the Humanities

NEW PALTZ, NY (December 12, 2016) – Historic Huguenot Street has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections Planning Grant for 2016-2017 in the amount of $49,170. The purpose of this federally-funded grant is to support a team of experts in collections preservation and environmental management to comprehensively review twelve historic structures at HHS. Over the course of several months, the consultants will visit the site and work closely with HHS’ staff, Board, and committee members to recommend sustainable improvements to these sensitive environments. The project entitled “Sustainable Preservation of Collections and Architectural Assets at Historic Huguenot Street” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. 

“The overarching goal for this project is to identify practical strategies to improve environmental management for both our historic houses and the collections displayed within,” said Josephine Bloodgood, HHS Director of Curatorial and Preservation Affairs. “We are fortunate to be working with two outstanding professionals in the preservation field on this project. Their recommendations will guide immediate and long-term preservation planning at the site for years to come.”

“The HHS Board is committed to professionalizing our operations and protecting the valuable assets entrusted to our care,” added Board Chair Mary Etta Schneider. “We are grateful to Josephine for her work in securing this significant grant."

Consultant Michael C. Henry is Principal Engineer/Architect and founding partner of Watson & Henry Associates where he has practiced for the past 33 years, consulting to institutions, cultural heritage stewards and architects/engineers throughout the United States and in India, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Africa, and Tunisia. Henry's work includes sustainable environmental management and monitoring for museum collections and archives; investigation, monitoring, analysis and assessment of historic buildings; and preservation of significant historic structures, especially unconventional or technically challenging buildings.

Consultant Richard L. Kerschner specializes in museum environments and preventive conservation for collections in historic buildings. He is Conservator Emeritus at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont where he established the Conservation Department, managed preventive conservation, and directed the treatment of folk and decorative art objects, paintings, textiles, and works of art on paper for 32 years. He holds an M.A. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Conservation from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, and is a Fellow and past treasurer of the American Institute for Conservation and Fellow and past council member of the International Institute for Conservation.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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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