Commercial art gallery

Roe Jan Brewing wins State Historic Preservation Award | News

HILLSDALE – The Roe Jan Brewing Company received a New York State Historic Preservation Award in 2021 for its rehabilitation work on the former Bulkeley store building.

The site was built by Joshua Bulkeley to house The Bulkeley Store, a former heavy-frame commercial building, erected in 1851 to house the Hillsdale Mercantile Association. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Hillsdale Hamlet Historic District.

Over the years, the building has housed many general stores; a shirt factory, a beer bottling operation, a farm supply store, a lumber storage business and a pop-up art gallery.

When Steve Bluestone and his wife Kathy purchased the historic building in June 2018, the space had been vacant for over 20 years and was slowly deteriorating.

“We wanted to make it look like it was when it was built,” Steve said.

The foundations were crumbling and the walls were starting to crumble. To restore the building, a new foundation was built and the ground was lifted 6 feet from the ground. About half of the original windows were salvaged during the renovation. In addition, in order to preserve the architectural integrity of the historic building, the outer layer of the cladding was peeled off and the rotten roof supports were replaced with replicas of the originals. Throughout the process, Steve and Kathy are committed to preserving the historic and architectural features of the building, in order to honor its rich history.

Their restoration efforts were recognized this year by the state; the award they received went to nine groups and one individual who have contributed to the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic sites.

“It probably would have been cheaper to build a whole new building,” Steve said. He worked in construction all his life and declared categorically: “there was no other way but to restore the building”.

The news comes just two weeks after the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation released New York State’s Historic Preservation Plan (2021-2026). One of the goals of the plan is to “help plan the continued use and preservation of heritage resources for the benefit of future New Yorkers.”

The plan is an attempt to induce New Yorkers to benefit socially and economically from historic preservation. It also offers owners of certified historic income-generating properties a 20% Federal Preservation Income Tax Credit and 20% for active restoration projects.

The Bluestones estimate that 30% of the “millions” they spent on the project will be deducted from their taxes. So, for example, if they receive a tax credit of $ 300,000, whatever they owe in personal taxes will be deducted from that amount each year until it is fully used. The tax incentive is provided by the state to encourage New Yorkers to turn old historic buildings on their properties into business operations and to create jobs and tourism in cities across the state.

“The diversity of recognized projects demonstrates that preservation begins with passionate local individuals extending their advocacy into productive partnerships,” said Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner of National Parks. “We are proud to be one of these partners and congratulate all individuals and groups for their extraordinary efforts to preserve these historic places.

The State Historic Preservation Awards were established in 1980 by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

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