October 22, 2014

After Gillibrand’s Push, Barge Canal To Be Placed On The National Register Of Historic Places

Senator Wrote Letter to National Park Service in Support of the Application in September

Washington, D.C. – At U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s urging, the National Park Service will now place the Barge Canal on the National Register of Historic Places. Senator Gillibrand urged the National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis to add the Barge Canal to the National Register of Historic Places in September and stressed its significance. Including the Erie Canal, Oswego Canal, Champlain Canal and Cayuga-Seneca Canal, this designation will expand opportunities for federal historic tax credits and other resources, to support economic development initiatives near the Barge Canal.

“The Barge Canal includes some of the nation’s most recognized waterways and is a New York gem,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Spanning the Erie Canal, Oswego Canal, Champlain Canal and Cayuga-Seneca Canal, the Barge canal is a true historic destination. I am pleased the National Park Service has granted this designation, which will help preserve the Barge Canal and expand opportunities for local developments in the area.”

“We are grateful to Senator Gillibrand for her leadership and support for helping us reach this momentous milestone,” said Bob Radliff, Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.  “This recognition greatly enhances our ability to achieve our goals of promoting the Corridor as a world-class destination and fostering vibrant communities connected by our treasured waterways.”

The Barge Canal spans more than 500 miles and includes the Erie Canal, the Oswego Canal, the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, and the Champlain Canal. The Erie Canal was established in 1825 and development of other canals soon followed. According to a report by the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canal’s non-tourism economic impact is more than $6.2 billion annually, supporting over 8,800 direct and 26,400 indirect jobs. The canal systems have shaped history in upstate New York, and created opportunities for economic developments throughout the state.

In her letter to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “Listing the NYS Barge Canal in the National Register of Historic Places would be an exciting and appropriate action, further establishing the waterways’ stature and creating additional economic development opportunities for NYS residents and business owners. The NYS Barge Canal has had a great impact on the northeastern region since its construction. To this day, the canal remains widely visited by tourists and school groups who go to learn of the rich history associated with the waterway. National recognition of the Canal on the Register of Historic Places is important to the preservation and celebration of this national treasure.”

Full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to the National Park Service Director is attached.