Pictured from left, at the recent Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards ceremony are Randy and Beth Crawford, Sen. Ritchie, and Debbie and David Kingsley.
HEUVELTON -- State Senator Patty Ritchie recently congratulated the team behind the revitalization of Pickens Hall and Opera House for receiving a 2017 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award from the Preservation League of New York State at a special ceremony held in New York City.
At a ceremony at the New York Yacht Club, those who played a major role in the project — including Heuvelton Historical Association President David Kingsley and his wife Debbie, as well as Beth and Randy Crawford of Crawford and Sterns Architects and Preservation Planners — were among eight other groups and individuals from throughout the state honored with Excellence in Historic Preservation Awards.
“The restoration of Pickens Hall and Opera House is a perfect example of what dedicated community members can achieve when they work together toward a common goal,” said Senator Ritchie. “I could not be prouder of my hometown, and those behind this important project. Thanks to their efforts, history has come to life and our region again has a center of music, art and culture that brings everyone together.”
Built in 1858, Pickens Hall first contained a post office, a meeting hall, the original Pickens General Store, an opera house and was home to the Heuvelton Bee newspaper.
Decades later in 2001, after learning of plans to demolish the building, the Heuvelton Historical Association began work to save the historic structure, working with community members to raise funds to restore building, which is part of the State and National Historic Registers.
Senator Ritchie helped to secure $100,000 in funding to assist with final stages of the project.