JAMESTOWN – A manufacturing landmark that is now the location of several human service agencies has been nominated to be added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that a dozen historic locations around the state were nominated for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which can provide owners with grants and tax credits to support rehabilitation projects.
The only location in Chautauqua County to be nominated this year is the Gateway Center building on Water St., which was originally built to house the Empire Worsted Mills in Jamestown. Hundreds of people worked at the Worsted Mills during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The mills closed in 1955 and then became the Chautauqua Hardware Corporation Factory, which remained in operation until the mid 2000s.
Once recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places. Properties are then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered into the National Register.
The Gateway Center is currently home to several agencies, including the Mental Health Association, the St. Susan Center and Community Helping Hands.
In 2018 officials with Community Helping Hands, the Jamestown YWCA and other organizations proposed renovating much of the building in order to develop 75 apartment units on the second, third, and fourth floor of the building known as the Gateway Lofts Project.
However, that proposal is currently in a holding pattern after the Jamestown Planning Commission determined in October 2018 that the proposed project does not comply with the spirit or intent of the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Plan, adding that as proposed, the Gateway Lofts will create a significant impact on the environment that will perpetuate the cycle of devaluating, disinvestment, neglect and abandonment identified in the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. As a result a positive declaration was made by the Commission, halting the forward movement of the project.
Since October 2018, the developers of the Gateway Lofts project have reportedly been working with the city planning department to address the issues outlined in the positive declaration and will likely resubmit their proposal at some point in the future.
In addition to the dozen locations being nominated to the State and National Register of Historic Places, another ten projects received 2019 State Historic Preservation Awards – though none are located within Chautauqua County.