With the support of the Altman and Hearst Foundations, the Conservancy’s newly launched Nonprofit Technical Assistance Grant (NTAG) Program seeks to empower nonprofit property owners by supporting them with the financial and technical assistance they need to maintain and restore their buildings. Formerly known as the City Ventures Fund (CVF), the NTAG Program provides grants of up to $30,000 to preserve the character of landmarked and non-landmarked, but architecturally significant buildings. Since 1986, the program has invested over $1.5 million in 75 buildings in low-and moderate-income neighborhoods assisting nonprofit organizations to maintain their historic buildings. The program creates an important link between preservation and community development throughout the City.
Recent NTAG projects include the following updates.
We are excited to report the completion of work at the Weeksville Heritage Center’s Summer House restoration in March. The $8,500 grant provided for the repairs to the damaged screens and woodwork, repairs to the roof and gutter system as well as painting the interior and exterior of the one-story structure. Weeksville will be able to use the restored building to house workshops and programming beginning this spring.
The $5,850 grant funded the recently completed assessment of the historic building on Surf Avenue for Coney Island USA. This historic building was built in 1917 by John C. Westervelt as a Childs Restaurant building located near the Prospect Park and Coney Island railways lines and is located close by the famous amusements of the area. Since 2007, it has been the location of Coney Island USA and the Coney Island Museum, which documents the history of this unique New York City neighborhood. The building was designed in the Spanish Revival style and is a rare survivor from Coney Island’s history. The conditions assessment documented the conditions of the historic building and provided recommendations and a scope of work to prioritize repairs.
In February, the Conservancy awarded a $6,650 grant to the Kingsbridge Historical Society for an architectural conditions assessment report as well as $6,750 towards an assessment and report documenting the condition of four original Tiffany stained glass windows at the former Edgehill Church located in the Bronx. The building was landmarked in 1980 by the City’s Landmark Preservation Commission and added to the State and National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Today, the Kingsbridge Historical Society is the oldest historical society in the Bronx. They work to preserve and keep alive the history of the area through archival records, guest lectures, and tours. The Kingsbridge Historical Society acquired the historic former Edgehill Church in December 2022 as a place to store its archives, hold meetings and serve the neighborhood in a historic landmarked building as a community hub. The church building was designed by architect Francis Hatch Kimball in 1888 in a picturesque manner and originally served the hundreds of iron foundry workers at the nearby Johnson Iron Foundry. Assessment of the building and original Tiffany windows is currently underway.
In March, a $4,000 grant was awarded to the Frederick Douglass Memorial Park, Inc. for a conditions assessment of their office building located on their burial grounds in Staten Island. The Frederick Douglass Memorial Park was established by a group of Harlem businessmen in 1985 who wanted to provide a final resting place for their loved ones. At the time when the burial grounds were established, segregation was a commonplace practice in cemeteries. The cemetery opening drew notables from the Harlem Renaissance as well as everyday African Americans and remains an active cemetery today.