PACNY’s relaunched threatened properties list includes Georgetown’s Spirit House
Georgetown’s Spirit House (Brown’s Hall) earned a spot on the Preservation Association of Central New York’s threatened properties list, renamed the Eight That Can’t Wait, for its role in Central and Western New York’s mid-19th-century period of religious fervor.
Spirit House, 916 NY 26, was built ca. 1864-1868 by Timothy Brown, a follower of Spiritualism, a religion that emphasized communication with spirits. PACNY hopes this listing will encourage the owner to work with public and private entities to ensure the building’s preservation for future generations.
The list, central to PACNY’s preservation advocacy mission, will be released Wednesday, October 17, at PACNY’s Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony at the Erie Canal Museum. PACNY selected sites in the five-county Central New York region for its new threatened properties list, relaunched after a 16-year hiatus.
The purpose of Eight That Can’t Wait is to raise public awareness about historic resources that are threatened by issues such as neglect, redevelopment, natural disasters and inappropriate alterations. Such lists are common among preservation advocacy organizations and include the National Trust’s “Eleven Most Endangered” list and the Preservation League of NY’s “Seven to Save.” In addition to raising public awareness, PACNY will track progress on the endangered properties and offer technical assistance to property owners and community members to help affect positive outcomes for the properties.
PACNY’s board of directors selected nominees from each of the five counties, two from the City of Syracuse, and one at-large listing. Next year, PACNY will solicit nominations from its membership. Nominees to the Eight That Can’t Wait can include individual buildings, structures, and objects; landscapes such as parks and historic districts; and archaeological sites. In the future, region-wide historic preservation issues may also be included in the threatened list.
These are the properties named the 2018 Eight That Can’t Wait:
- Spotlight Threatened Property: Oakwood Cemetery Entrance Area, City of Syracuse
- City of Syracuse: First Baptist Church (Mizpah Tower), 215 East Jefferson Street, Columbus Circle
- Onondaga County: Gere’s Lock, Enlarged Erie Canal Lock No. 50,
- Gere Lock Road, Town of Camillus
- Cayuga County: Osborne Library, 99 South Street, Auburn
- Cortland County: Sig Sautelle Circus House, 159 South Main Street (US 11), Homer
- Madison County: Spirit House (Brown’s Hall), 916 NY 26, Georgetown
- Oswego County: Nelson Corey Farm, 135 Godfrey Road, Pennellville, Town of Schroeppel
- Regionwide threatened property: Urban Neighborhood Churches
- First Congregational Church, Cortland
- Wall Street Methodist Church, Auburn
- South Presbyterian Church, Syracuse
PACNY was founded in 1977 and covers Onondaga, Oswego, Cortland, Cayuga and Oneida counties. The organization is dedicated to the preservation of the historical and architectural resources of Central New York. Learn more at PACNY.net.