I f the Pember Board of Trustees has their way, Granville’s Town Hall will not be the only building on the National Register of Historic Places.
Board members will seek to have the Pember Library and Museum including on the national registry, which identifies and protects places of historical significance.
“I thought the time would be perfect to include the Pember on the Registry,” Trustee Rob McGuire said, who pointed to the fact the Granville Town Hall was nominated for inclusion earlier this spring.
McGuire said inclusion on the registry could benefit the library in a number of ways, particularly when it comes to acquiring grants.
“It gives us more clout,” McGuire said. “It also opens us up to grants we aren’t eligible for.”
If the library was included on the Registry, the board could receive assistance in revitalizing the building, making it eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants, and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
Its status as a historic place could also benefit the museum’s effort in soliciting donations since its status could potentially give it greater clout among would-be donors.
“It wouldn’t hinder us in any way and the benefits would strengthen our position,” McGuire said.
Construction of the library, which is already including the on New York State Registry of Historic Places, is credited to Ashley S. Wilson, who also built the town hall.
It’s now known whether Wilson was responsible for the design, perhaps in collaboration with Franklin T. Pember or otherwise merely executed plans developed independently but he receives the credit. He is also linked to the construction of the Pember Opera House.
Franklin and Ellen Pember gave the Pember Library and Museum of Natural History to the people of the village of Granville, in 1909, and it was officially chartered as a library on May 1 of that year.
In order to be eligible for inclusion on the registry, a property must meet the following criteria: Be associated with vents that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or be associated with lives of a significant person in the past; or mbody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or prehistory.
The board gave McGuire its unanimous approval to seek the inclusion on the Registry. He said it could take as long as two years for the entire process to run its course.
“I think people in town would be proud to know the library is on the historic registry,” McGuire said.
In other matters, Bob Takto, treasurer reported the board has begun making progress on its pursuit a grants, a key piece of the organization’s plan to restore financially stability.
Tatko said McGuire and Gigi Zietler have created an online document that streamlines the grant application process.
“They’ve done a spectacular job. It’s really great stuff and makes it very simple,” Tatko said.
The document consolidates information about the organization and includes a mission statement that members can tailor to a particular grant.
Last month, the board unveiled its financial strategy moving forward and a central part of that plan was increasing grant money the organization receives. Tatko said the board has a goal of obtaining between $350,000 and $500,000 in grant money.
Tatko said he and McGuire were in the process of applying for a $60,000 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. McGuire is also applying for a grant that would provide money to promote First Fridays the board is exploring with Village Trustee Dean Hyatt a matching grant related to the library’s furnace.
Tatko also plans to contact the Leo Cox Beach Foundation about the possibility of extending a grant deadline. In Sept. of 2013, the library received a letter from the foundation stating it was eligible for $4,000 which it could use for roof repairs. The application, however, was not returned by the March 1, 2014 deadline. Tatko is hopeful the foundation will extend the deadline and the library can still receive the money.
An entry ramp and bathroom will be renovated so that both comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The First Friday celebration for July has been cancelled because it falls on the July 4 holiday.
The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on June 19.