Historic Potsdam house recommended for state and national Registers of Historic Places
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 2:58 pm

 

POTSDAM – A historic Potsdam house has been recommended for inclusion on the state and national Registers of Historic Places.

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the Watkins-Sisson House at 14 Leroy St. and 16 other places in New York to be added to the registers of historic places.

Such a listing can assist the owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.

The house, built in the mid-1860s as a residence for prominent businessman Henry A. Watkins, a figure in the establishment of Potsdam’s Normal School (a precursor to SUNY Potsdam), and later owned by George Wing Sisson Sr., who was instrumental in the development of Potsdam’s lumber trade, is now owned and occupied by Clarkson University’s oldest fraternity, Omicron Pi Omicron.

Built in the mid-1860s as a residence for prominent businessman Henry A. Watkins, a critical figure in the establishment of Potsdam’s Normal School (a precursor to SUNY Potsdam), and later owned by George Wing Sisson Sr., who was instrumental in the development of Potsdam’s lumber trade.

The house, of brick masonry, reflects two major building campaigns undertaken around 1863-64 and 1903. The house was erected in the immediate pre-Civil War period for Watkins in the prevailing Italianate style of that era and received subsequent upgrades in the Classical Revival taste during its ownership by the Sisson family in the early twentieth century.

It is at 14 Leroy St., at the corner of Broad Street.

Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.