Sen. Seward announces grant to restore Hyde Hall, boost economy


COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Sen. James Seward announced a $250,000 legislative grant Friday to restore and preserve Hyde Hall in Cooperstown, a project he said will help boost local tourism and create more jobs.

"Sometimes history needs a little modern help that's why we're here," said Sen. Seward.

Hyde Hall was built nearly 200 years ago by one of the richest men in America, George Clark. Seward called it one of the finest examples of neo-classical country in the U.S.

"It's a living, breathing piece of not only Otsego County's rich history, but of this entire region in New York State," said Sen. Seward.

And they're hoping to keep it that way, using the grant to restore the floors, stairs, heating system and the water closet. That would be the bathroom, and it was the first one in Upstate New York.

The grant will also be used to restore and preserve Tin Top, the oldest surviving gatehouse in New York State. It will be converted into a visitor center by next summer.

"This will help draw more visitors to the region. It's one more reason to visit the Cooperstown area and our region and while people are here visiting, they spend money here in our hotels, our restaurants, and our shops and that's all good in terms of our local economy," said Sen. Seward.

Beyond boosting tourism, Seward said it will also create more jobs.

"All of the detailed work taking place here at Hyde Hall is being performed by local craftsmen. They understand the importance of this project and they have a true passion for Hyde Hall," said Seward.

"Hyde hall is a representative of the kind of sophistication, wealth, comfort and elegance that was being experienced and being built in the state at that time and it's part of what made us the empire state and part of why we are the empire state still," said the executive director of Hyde Hall, Jonathan Maney.

Restoration projects are set to start this fall and will take about three years to complete.

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