State expands Hanover Square historic district

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An expanded Hanover Square historic district in downtown Syracuse is one of 28 sites across New York announced today as nominations for the State and National Registers of Historic Places.


The other Syracuse site nominated was the former West Brothers Knitting Company building, at 700-710 Emerson Ave.


What is now Hanover Square was one of the first business areas in the new village of Syracuse in the late 1820s, according to the application for the expanded district.
The expanded district includes 14 buildings east and south of the original district, buildings that all had some relationship with the Erie Canal.


The buildings straddle both sides of East Water Street and with some on East Genesee and Montgomery streets. The district also brings in several buildings that had been previously listed individually in the National Register: the Weighlock Building – which houses the Erie Canal Museum on Erie Boulevard, the Courier Building on Montgomery Street and Syracuse City Hall on East Washington Street.


The original Hanover Square historic district was created in 1975.


The Hanover Square neighborhood boomed after 1829, when the Oswego Canal was completed, according to the application. The new Oswego Canal branched off the Erie Canal at the turning basin on East Water Street, and brought a host of boats with goods and people from Oswego to Syracuse.


The former West Brothers Knitting Company building was constructed on what had been a salt manufacturing site. It is currently owned by John Oster, of Edgemere Development, Inc., in Rochester.


Around the time the building was built, between 1906 and 1907, textile mills were providing new employment opportunities for women and were the second-largest employers in the Syracuse area. Only iron and steel mills employed more. The West brothers employed 175 at the mill. The company moved to North Carolina in 1927.


The largest site among the new nominations is the Barge Canal Historic District, which sprawls 450 miles over 18 counties and encompasses 23,000 acres. The Barge Canal, constructed between 1905-1918, was the last significant expansion of the Erie Canal, which first opened in 1825.


A listing on the State and National Register can qualify building owners for matching state grants, state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.


New York has more than 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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. They are reviewed again and if approved, entered on the National Register.



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