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Historic preservation grants include Trudeau home/office in Saranac Lake

Dr. E.L. Trudeau’s old home and practice at 118 Main St., which Historic Saranac Lake plans to convert into a museum in a multi-year renovation, is seen in January 2019. (Enterprise photo — Jesse Adcock)

Historic Saranac Lake, the Adirondack Experience museum and the Whallonsburg Grange Hall are three Adirondack organizations that have been awarded grants from the Preservation League of New York State, the league announced Tuesday.

The grants are intended to help restore and reuse historic buildings in areas that have lost jobs and investment due to the downturn in the forest products industry. These funds came to the league from a $1 million award by the Northern Border Regional Commission, split evenly between the four states the NBRC serves: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Fifteen projects were chosen in all, including four in New York: Historic Saranac Lake will receive $75,000 to rehabilitate the former Trudeau home and medical office at 118 Main St., Saranac Lake. This project will lead to an expanded museum campus intended to help drive heritage tourism in the North Country. The space will host exhibits, collections storage, a resource room, public space for arts and cultural events, and rented office space. The over-5,000-square-foot building was built in 1894 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Adirondack Experience (formerly Adirondack Museum) in Blue Mountain Lake will receive $68,000 to restore the Log Hotel, an 1876 structure, along with two adjoining cottages. The work will address deterioration of the historic structures, which are the centerpiece of this museum that welcomed more than 54,000 visitors in 2019, including many regional school children.

The Whallonsburg Grange Hall will receive $35,000 to renovate and repurpose a large, vacant building and riverfront green space across the road from the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, a performing arts and community center in Essex. The restored Whitcomb’s Garage will house two small businesses, a pottery and ceramics studio, space for classes, a retail store and cafe. The project builds on the successful volunteer-led renovation and rebirth of the Grange and is a step forward in the economic revival of this rural hamlet.

The Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida will receive $52,000 to repair and rehabilitate a roof, masonry facade and associated internal framework of this National Historic Landmark building. Upon completion, this will pave the way for expanded commercial space, allowing wellness and food service businesses to grow, as well as allowing the Mansion House to host public performances.

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