The Village of Penn Yan is one of this year’s Preserve New York (PNY) grantees.

The grant of $7,320 will allow the village to hire Bero Architecture of Rochester to complete a comprehensive building condition report to determine the causes and severity of maintenance issues at the Oliver House Museum. This report will assist the village and the Yates County Historical Society in keeping the building in good condition so it will continue to be enjoyed by visitors and residents of the local community.

The Preservation League of NYS and their program partners at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) help fund this important work.

The Oliver House, a brick Italianate residential building, was constructed in 1852 by Dr. Andrew Oliver. It is an excellent example of a mid-19th century upper middle-class home complete with a characteristic Italianate cupola as well as some Greek Revival architectural influences – particularly the pilasters at the main entrance to the house. 

Although this structure was built just as Italianate style buildings were becoming fashionable, it clearly held onto the Greek Revival influence that had been very strong in Western New York. The Village of Penn Yan owns the Oliver House and works with the Yates County Historical Society to operate this space as a museum. The Oliver House sits on Main Street and is easily accessible on foot or by car for visitors exploring the area or attending a public program.

As with other structures of its age, the biggest threats to the building are time and natural deterioration. Issues persist with the foundation, windows, pests, humidity control, and climate control.

The 2019 PNY grant cycle was the most competitive in the program’s 26-year history, according to a statement by PNY. An independent jury met in June to review more than 70 applications. After two days of deliberations, $262,498 was awarded to 31 projects in 25 counties.

Preserve New York is a regrant partnership between the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the Preservation League of NYS. PNY enables the Preservation League to support projects in all of New York’s 62 counties.