Dec. 8, 2009 – The National Grid building in downtown Syracuse earned historic recognition today as the New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended the site for listing to both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
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 nation. In order to receive these distinctions, a building must prove to be significant and maintain integrity within its community.
The National Grid building, originally named the Niagara Hudson Building, was deemed significant by the state board as an outstanding example of Art Deco architecture and a symbol of the Age of Electricity. Completed in 1932, the building became the headquarters for the nation’s largest seller of electrical energy, Niagara Hudson, and expressed the technology of electricity through what was considered a modernistic design and materials and unique program of exterior lighting.
The architectural style of the National Grid building served as the corporate model for the design and restyling of other company facilities in New York State. At the time, the new building, with its central tower and figurative winged sculpture personifying electric lighting, offered a symbol of optimism and progress in the context of the Great Depression. Today, the building is widely recognized as an outstanding example of American Art Deco architecture. It is distinguished by its ziggurat forms, shining metal details and architectural lighting program.
“National Grid is proud to be recommended for listing on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places,” said Susan Crossett, vice president of energy solutions services for National Grid in New York. “The company is honored that its iconic downtown Syracuse building is considered a significant symbol of the past, while National Grid remains dedicated to its customers, its local employees, the Syracuse community and to the future of the energy industry.”
Once the National Grid building recommendation is approved by the state historic preservation officer, the property will be listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and then nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, where it will be reviewed and, once approved, entered on the National Register. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Those sites listed on the State and National Registers may receive assistance in revitalizing the structures, making them eligible for various public preservation programs and services, such as state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.
National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.