Shadowcliff, a historic property in Rockland County’s Upper Nyack, is poised for some national recognition.
On Friday the New York State Board for Historic Preservation announced it had recommended this property, along with 33 others, to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
“Our application is as a local application. We are excited about that and a possible national recognition too,” said Jonette Miller, development director at the Rockland site that is dedicated to working for peace, .
The building, constructed in 1921, is an example of neoclassical residential architecture. Since 1957 it has been the headquarters of the American branch of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an internationally-recognized group established at the beginning of the First World War. Its founders, explained Miller, were an English Quaker and a German Lutheran who shook hands in 1914 and agreed while their countries were at war they would not be at war with each other.
The Fellowship pursues a vision of a free and ‘demilitarized’ world, says its website, ” in which the earth’s resources sustain life and promote the well-being of all people.” During the 1950s meetings were held there by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council (SNCC), she added as an example of the group’s mission.
An interfaith nonprofit organization, it makes its grand property available for religious observances and social events including weddings, memorial observances and confirmations.
Miller said that if approved the recognition would give the site added prominence and that it turn would help it to maintain its facility and core mission.
“There are things we want to do because of our history and because of the age of our building,” she added.
Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said all of the recommended properties should be congratulated for being good stewards of historic properties and taking part in preservation efforts.
“Placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places is an important tool in their long-term survival and helps communities embrace their history and culture,” Harvey said in her announcement.
Shadowcliff is the working headquarters of FOR. It plans to hold its annual Winter Stolstice form 1 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 22. This is a community event and house party that includes a concert and announcements of the winners of annual peace awards.
There are 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites throughout the state listed on the National Register of Historic Places, individually or as components of historic districts. Property owners, municipalities and organizations from communities throughout the state sponsored the nominations. Once the recommendations are approved by the state historic preservation officer, the properties are listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where they are reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register.
The State and National Registers are the official lists of buildings, structures, districts, landscapes, objects and sites significant in the history, architecture, archeology and culture of New York State and the country. State and National Register-listing can assist property owners in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as matching state grants and state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.