The Savona Free Library received a 2015 New York State Historic Preservation Award. The award was in recognition of the library’s restorative work of the Mary Helen Joint Meeting House at 7 McCoy St. in Savona. The Mary Helen Joint Meeting house was one of the seven recipients of 2015 New York State Historic Preservation Awards. Established in 1980, the state preservation awards are given each year to honor excellence in the protection and rejuvenation of New York’s historic and cultural resources. The awards were announced by Governor Cuomo on December 3rd.
The Savona Free Library in 2011 purchased the former Seager Funeral Home with the intent of demolishing the building to construct a new library. Through the state environmental review process it was determined that the building was older than believed. The library was strongly encouraged to rehabilitate the building, an 1830s Federal-era house. As a result, the library developed a new plan that incorporates the historic house as an annex to a new library. The house was restored through a combination of state grants and private donations. The building opened in June 2014 as the Mary Helen Joint Meeting House in recognition of generous support provided by Mary Helen Joint. The revitalized landmark offers space for a variety of library activities, including story hours, family movie nights and special events.
The awards were presented at a ceremony held at the State Capital in Albany on December 3. Accepting the award for the library were: Candy Wilson, Library Director, Bill Fiske, President of the Board of Trustees, Kelly Oakley, former Trustee, Irma Benedek, library supporter, and Chet Wilcox of Wilcox Restorations who performed the majority of the restoration. The awards were presented by Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey. In presenting the awards Commissioner Harvey said: “We are pleased to recognize these outstanding achievements, which have made significant contributions to historic preservation and revitalization efforts across the state. These projects are exceptional examples of how historic preservation can be an important tool for community renewal, economic development and job growth in New York State.”
“This award is a really big deal.” Broad President, Bill Fiske said. “When you see that some of the other award winners involved multi-million dollar restorations you realize how special it is for the library to receive this award. The Savona-Campbell community should be proud of this accomplishment by their library. I hope we can rely on the continued support from the community and proceed with phase 2 of the project with construction of the new library building.”