- Politics and Social Issues
Yorktown Landmark Preservation
Calling for volunteers. Any resident of Yorktown Hts. NY who is interested in preserving our history and heritage.
The commission requires a minimum of 5 board members.
Please contact Yorktown Town Hall to apply.
Some Related Links
- Current list of landmarks
- Yorktown Historical Society
Yorktown Historical Society
- Old Stone Church
Some historical background...
- Yorktown Museum
Yorktown Museum web site.
- LOHUD story 11/23/2007
A latest news story appearing in the Journal News calling for new volunteers.
- The Winery at St. George
- NYS Historic Preservation Office
NY State Parks Preservation Office
- Yorktown Code Chapter 198
Yorktown code regarding landmark tax abatement.
- Town Adminstrator proposal
A new proposal for a Town Administrator to run Yorktown Hts...
St. George Church
A recent application for the Old Stone Church was voted down.
- DECISION - OLD STONE CHURCH
Upon motion by Councilman Bianco, seconded by Supervisor Cooper,
WHEREAS, the Landmark Preservation Commission has recommended to the Town Board that it designate that certain property commonly referred to as the “Old Stone Church” as an historic landmark; and
WHEREAS, the Old Stone Church, a/k/a St. George's Church, is located at 1715 East Main Street, in Mohegan Lake and is identified on the Tax Map of the Town of Yorktown as Section 15.12, Block 2, Lot 53; and
WHEREAS, Commission Chairman Garrison Corwin, on behalf of the Commission, submitted substantial documentation discussing the unique characteristics of the Old Stone Church and the arguments supporting its designation as an historic landmark; and
WHEREAS, a public hearing was convened on January 17, 2006, and thereafter adjourned to and reconvened on February 21, 2006 to discuss the landmark designation; and
WHEREAS, at the public hearing, Garrison Corwin, presented the Commission's arguments in support of its recommendation that the Old Stone Church be designated as a landmark; and
WHEREAS, at the public hearing, the owner of the Old Stone Church, Thomas DeChiaro, appeared and was represented by legal counsel, Marc S. Oxman, who stated that there would be no objection to landmark designation of the structure so long as the designation clearly specifies that, although it applies without exception to the exterior stonework, it applies only to specifically enumerated elements of the interior of the church building; and
WHEREAS, by letter dated February 10, 2006, Garrison Corwin, on behalf of the Commission, notified the Town Board that, at its February 8, 2006 meeting, the Commission determined that the landmark designation should apply to the entire exterior of the church building, the site on which it stands and the elements of the interior of the structure having historical significance, namely, “(1) the mosaics in the floor as they currently exist and (2) the beams in the ceiling, which are at least in part and may be in their entirety, original laminated beams, from the original construction”; and
WHEREAS, by letter dated March 10, 2006, the Commission also expressed its particular concern that “. . . the chandeliers' [be added] to the interior elements which have historic designation.”; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown hereby designates the Old Stone Church, a/k/a St. George's Church, as a landmark pursuant to Chapter 198 of the Town Code of the Town of Yorktown; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the landmark designation made by this resolution applies to:
(1) the exterior stonework and roof of the church building; and
the elements of the interior of the structure having historical significance, namely, the mosaics in the floor as they currently
Councilman Bianco stated that the Town Board recently passed a law which states that the Town Board does not need a property owner’s consent to landmark a structure. He believes this structure should be landmark due to its historic value to the community. It is more than one hundred years old.
Councilman Martorano stated that he appreciated the good intentions of the Landmark Commission in wanting to preserve this structure. But, we must honor the rights of property owners.
Councilman Campisi stated that he voted against the Landmark Preservation Law because owner consent was not required. He considers this a taking of someone’s property. He further questioned the need to landmark all of this building because very little with the exception of the outside stone is original to the building.
Councilman Metz agreed with Councilman Martorano that this is a balancing act, weighing the right of a property owner and the town’s desire to have this structure land marked. He would like to see the property land marked
Supervisor Cooper stated that she believes the building should be land marked. She further stated that she does not believe that just because you landmark a building, you cannot adapt new uses.
Cooper, Bianco, voting aye
Martorano, Campisi, Metz voting nay
My common sense approach to Landmarking
Landmark Preservation Position Paper:
Dec. 2, 2007
Jack C. Lee
Yorktown Hts. NY
My common sense position as a newly appointed member of the Yorktown Landmark Preservation Commission.
What is a Landmark?
A building, property or location that is old (>50 years), that has some unique attributes, that has some historical significance in the local town and is in the private domain.
Purpose of Landmark?
First is to preserve a landmark such that it will be maintained and not be subject to degradation or neglect, or destruction by the current or future owners.
Second, to help promote it and insure it is put to good use.
What are some of the criteria when deciding if qualify for landmark status?
1. must be old
2. be significant
3. is unique
5. has value
What should be the benefits of Landmark status?
Local tax credits.
Certificate and a plaque.
What kind of assistance available?
Public funding assistance for preservation.
What should be the responsibility of the owners?
Abide by rules and regulations.
Seek out advice and consent when pursuing modifications or improvements.
Have common sense.
Is there a way to remove the status once conditions change?
Yes, there should be a process that will remove a site from Landmark status.
What are the penalties for violating Landmark restrictions?
Lost of tax credit.
Penalties and fines.
How to promote a Landmark?
Plaque, website, newspaper, brochures.
Who are the players?
Parks and recreation
Chamber of Commerce
Private concerned citizens
Owners and neighbors
- Jack Lee appointed to the Landmark Preservation Commission - Aug. 2007
- Attended Preservation Conference in New Paltz NY - Nov. 9-10, 2007
- First meeting with Tom DeChiaro at St. George Winery - Nov. 29, 2007
- Sent letter to Yorktown Town board - Dec. 1, 2007
Potential Landmarking sites in Yorktown...
- Baldwin Plaque.
- Pratts Inn
- Wilken's fruit farm
- St. Patrick's Stone Church
- Beaver Farm
- IBM T.J. Watson Research lab.
Documentation on Preservation
A list of documentation available...
- Historic Preservation Conference - New Paltz 2007
Click on this link to access the PDF version that is also searchable...
Anyone have suggestions or recommendations for Landmarking status, please submit here.