NYPA's Lansing Manor to
get Major Renovation: Temporary Visitors Center for Manor to
Open May 25
May 23, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH BLENHEIMRenovations to
Manor, the historic home located on the grounds of the New York Power Authoritys
(NYPA) Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project, will begin in mid-June. While the
manor will be closed until spring 2002, an adjacent manor building, the Land Office, will
open this May 25 as a temporary visitors center for the manor and include a 30-minute
video walking tour plus lots of historical objects from the collection.
This renovation consists of interior and exterior decorative work, a new roof and
energy conservation improvements. The manor, built in 1819, was restored by the Power
Authority in 1977 to reflect the lifestyles of its residents during its first 50 years.
Several periods, including American Empire and early Victorian, are represented in its
decor. This renovation builds on earlier work, completed in 1996, which involved exterior
painting, restoration of porch flooring, and foundation and drainage improvements to the
"The Power Authority is utilizing the latest in restoration science and
incorporating state-of the-art energy conservation methods, guided by Governor
Patakis commitment to energy efficiency, to improve the beauty and comfort at
Lansing Manor for future generations," said Joseph J. Seymour, chairman and chief
executive officer of the Power Authority."
"We are bringing to this magnificent site, many of the energy saving techniques
the Power Authority uses with businesses and local governments across New York, and also
the knowledge we have gained in energy efficiency, to benefit Lansing Manor."
Energy conservation and structural work will begin this summer with insulation and
venting improvements to the attic, replacement of the roof with one in the historically
correct style, and the addition of storm sashes to the double hung windows to reduce air
leakage. It also includes installation of a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
(HVAC) system. Interior decoration including plastering, painting and wall-papering, with
designs that reflect the manors history, and exterior painting, will take place this
fall. All work has been approved by the New York State Historic Preservation Office.
"Whether it is power plants, transmission lines, wetlands or the historic Lansing
Manor, we take seriously stewardship of all our properties," Seymour added.
Lansing Manor was built by John Lansing, a prosperous New Yorker who, among his many
roles in public service, served as a military aide during the American Revolution and as
delegate to the Constitution Convention in 1787. Lansing built the manor, on farmlands
carved out of his extensive Schohaire County holdings, as a gift to his daughter Francis
and her husband Jacob Sutherland. Lansing had frequently visited the farm, staying in the
tenants quarters prior to the construction of the manor.
The manor, a classic example of Federal architecture, is a square
buildingforty-six feet to a side. It is two stories high with a full basement and
full attic, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is now
run as a museum by the Power Authority in conjunction with the Schoharie County Historical
The manor was operated as a farm by a series of owners and tenant farmers until the
Power Authority acquired it as a wildlife area for animals displaced by construction of
its Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project in 1972. The manor complex features
several other period outbuildings including a dairy barn, added in 1881, which now serves
as the Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center for the power project. A variety of native birds,
foxes, chipmunks and deer can be seen on the project grounds.
The Blenheim-Gilboa Visitors Center is open seven days a week year-round and the
temporary visitors center for Lansing Manor is open Wednesdays to Mondays beginning this
Friday, May 25 through Columbus Day, with both closed on some holidays. Both are admission
free with hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The main visitors center is packed with high-tech,
interactive exhibits and videos, that demonstrate plant operations, plus displays on the
local environment. For more information, please click on www.nypa.gov
or call 800-724-0309.