“Endangered Churches” – From PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly – Featuring 2013 Symposium Keynote Speaker A. Robert Jaeger

A recent story featured on the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly includes a discussion with A. Robert Jaeger, the President of Partners for Sacred Places and keynote speaker for our 2013 Sacred Places Symposium.

Across the nation, declining church membership is taking its toll on the physical state of houses of worship. In Philadelphia, churches are venturing into new partnerships to try and preserve their historic buildings. “Congregations have shrunk so much and budgets have shrunk so much that it’s hard for congregations to keep up with their buildings,” observes Bob Jaeger, president of Partners for Sacred Places, who calls the neglect of houses of worship a national crisis. “Unless they do something creative and bold, many of them will close or merge in the next ten, twenty years,” he adds.

You can watch the segment from the PBS video below or see the official show page featuring a transcript of the event.

Preservation Association of Central New York’s 2014 Awards Ceremony

By Tom Magnarelli


The attending crowd at the awards ceremony. Click for a larger view.

The Preservation Association of Central New York (PACNY) held its 2014 award ceremony on May 22. More than 70 people attended the event at the High Peaks Club at the State Tower Building in historic Downtown Syracuse. The ceremony honored 12 exemplary projects and community advocates who have made a significant contribution to historic preservation in central New York.


The attending crowd during the awards ceremony. Click for a larger view.

Murray Gould, President of PACNY, served as the Master of Ceremonies and presented the awards to all of the recipients.

“PACNY was very pleased to host and honor all of this year’s very worthy award recipients. We are thrilled to see all of the positive developments in historic preservation and the rehabilitation and reuse of historic structures that have been ongoing in our region over the past few years. Congratulations to all of our 2014 awardees – we look forward to continuing our advocacy and partnerships to support historic preservation in the coming year!” (Murray Gould, President of PACNY)


Waiting for the ceremony to start. Click for a larger view.

Some of the honorees included the exterior restoration of the Babcock-Shattuck House, the renovation of the Kallet Theater in the Village of Pulaski, and the newly opened Pike Block in downtown Syracuse.

PACNY’s Award Committee, Chaired by Patricia O’Reilly, coordinated the award nomination and selection process and organized the event. The High Peaks Club at the top of the State Tower provided a dramatic setting and all of the attendees enjoyed the best views of the city that are available in Downtown Syracuse.

Check out a complete list of all of the award winners:

Pat Earle Award for the exterior restoration of the Babcock-Shattuck House in Syracuse.

Pat Earle Award, for the Kallet Theater and Conference Center in Pulaski.

Jasena R. Foley Public Education Award to Dr. Samuel D. Gruber for his ongoing, sustained leadership and contribution to education, promotion, and advocacy of historic preservation in Central New York over the last 20 years.

Harley J. McKee Award to Gary Wright of CNY Builder Services for excellence in the promotion and application of appropriate preservation technology and fine craftsmanship.

Paul Malo Award to the Pike Block Project in downtown Syracuse.

Preservation Merit Award to the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. for promoting the economic revitalization, beautification, security, and preservation of the built environment in Downtown Syracuse.

Preservation Merit Award to Kate Auwaerter for her advocacy for historic resources in our community.

Preservation Merit Award to the Stevedore Lofts project for adaptive reuse of the former Standard Yarn Company woolen mill and warehouses in the City of Oswego.

Preservation Merit Award to the St. Patrick’s Lofts project for adaptive reuse and renovation of the former St. Patrick’s School.

Stewardship Award to Karen Howe for her leadership in the restoration of the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion.

Stewardship Award to Laura Serway and Cindy Seymour for Laci’s Tapas Bar.

Stewardship Award to SUNY Oswego in recognition of their outstanding care for Sheldon Hall in Oswego.


The 2014 PACNY Awardees. Click for a larger view.

Sunday, June 29th – Come Join PACNY For A Summer Afternoon In Auburn!

PACNY has arranged for a special tour of the Seward House Historic Museum in Auburn on Sunday, June 29. We will take a specially-guided tour of the house beginning at 2 pm, followed at 3 by a private reception on the south porch of the house. The cost is $10 for PACNY members, and $12 for non-members.


The Seward House is one of Central NY’s most intact historic houses, with original furniture and collections that have remained intact from the early 19th century until today. The house was built by Elijah Miller in 1817, whose daughter married William Henry Seward in 1824. Seward, who served as the Governor of New York, as a U.S. Senator, and as President Lincoln’s Secretary of State, moved into the house in 1824 after his marriage. He and his descendants lived in the house continuously from then until 1951, when it became a house museum, with four generations of family furniture, collections, and memorabilia remaining intact.

Come join with PACNY as we explore this incredible look into the history of Auburn and the Central New York region, and into the lives of this prominent family. Please RSVP by email at email@pacny.net by Thursday, June 26.

While in Auburn, we encourage you to explore more of the riches of museums and historic houses, including the Harriet Tubman House, the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, and the Cayuga Museum of History and Art.