Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

September 29, 2023

Dan Keefe | (518) 486-1868 |

OPRHP, PIPC Announce $750,000 Grant to Support Preservation Work at Senate House State Historic Site

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) announced a $750,000 federal grant award to support rehabilitation work at Senate House State Historic Site.  

The grant is from the National Park Service (NPS), which has awarded $10 million in the second round of funding for their Semiquincentennial Grant Program commemorating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States. Created by Congress in 2020 and funded through the Historic Preservation Fund, this round of grants supports 20 cultural resource preservation projects across 14 states, including rehabilitation of two historic buildings at Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston. OPRHP also received a $500,000 Semiquincentennial Grant in the first round of awards in 2022 for masonry preservation at Old Fort Niagara State Historic Site in Niagara.  

OPRHP Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "New York played a critical role in the American Revolution and our historic sites help tell that remarkably rich narrative. They are especially important tools for telling our state's diverse history through our Our Whole History initiative. Through rehabilitation projects such as these, we will ensure the longevity of this significant historic architecture. We recognize that some of these structures are also early examples of public commemoration efforts connected to the American Revolution and that makes them even more interesting as we approach these upcoming anniversary years." 

PIPC Executive Director Joshua Laird said, "As one of six historic sites in the Palisades Region of New York State Parks under jurisdiction of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission that are significant for their associations with the American War for Independence, Senate House State Historic Site embodies the efforts of our founders to establish self-governance as well as subsequent generations' recognition of this vital connection to our past. For nearly 150 years the Senate House has operated as a public historic site and continues to this day to provide an immersive experience that brings our dynamic history to life. The Semiquincentennial Grant Funding will secure the long-term preservation of this significant historic resource for future generations. The Commission gratefully acknowledges the National Park Service and New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for their essential investments in the Senate House State Historic Site."     

Congressman Pat Ryan said, "The Senate House and much of Kingston was burned during the Revolutionary War in retribution for Patriots declaring their freedom from tyranny and adopting the first New York State Constitution. It stands as a testament to New York's resolve and patriotic spirit, I'm proud to deliver the funds to rehabilitate the building and ensure it remains a cornerstone for Hudson Valley families to celebrate Kingston and New York's rich history for generations to come."  

Senate House State Historic Site in Kingston is significant for both its association with the establishment of New York State government during the American Revolution as well as later efforts by the public to commemorate that history. The Senate House is a building of vernacular Dutch characteristics, erected over multiple phases during the 17th and 18th centuries, and subsequently modified during its state ownership. As the meeting place of New York's first Senate, the site reflects the state's political response to the events of the Revolution and the individuals who shaped that response. The site is also noteworthy for efforts to protect and commemorate places of interest related to the Revolution; Senate House is the second oldest state historic site in New York, the first being Washington's Headquarters in Newburgh. The 1927 Museum Building was erected, in part, for commemorative purposes; its Colonial Revival-style design pays homage to Kingston's vernacular building traditions. Contemporary sources also indicate that it was the centerpiece of celebrations staged for the sesquicentennial of the Revolution. The site's interpretation of colonial history, along with its history as a place of commemoration and historic preservation, mark it as a vital resource for interpreting local, state, and national history. 

Rehabilitation work at Senate House State Historic Site, which is slated to start in spring 2024, is being supported in part by a $750,000 Semiquincentennial Grant from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The scope for the $2.7 million project includes work for both the Senate House and Museum Building: roof replacement and repairs; masonry work; repair of exterior woodwork, windows, and doors; and site drainage improvements. These interventions are critical to fixing and preventing structural damage caused by ongoing water infiltration, and will reflect period-appropriate restoration solutions.   

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which saw a record 79.5 million visits in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit, download the free NY State Parks Explorer app or call 518.474.0456. Joins us in celebrating our Centennial throughout 2024, and connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and the OPRHP Blog. 

More about the Semiquincentennial Grant Program: Congress appropriated funding for the through the Semiquincentennial Grant Program Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, assisting with a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars, with the intent to mitigate the loss of a nonrenewable resource to benefit the preservation of other irreplaceable resources. 

Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized at $150 million per year and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to states, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Administered by the NPS, HPF funds may be appropriated by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation's cultural resources. 

For more information about NPS historic preservation programs and grants, please visit