Washington, D.C. – As a key decision today moves Yaddo one step closer to gaining National Historic Landmark status, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for its swift approval by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The National Park Service Advisory Board officially recommended Yaddo’s designation to Secretary Salazar today, with his final decision expected in the coming months.
“Saratoga’s own Yaddo has a legacy of artistic tradition that sparked a century’s worth of creativity, and should be considered a National Historic Landmark,” Senator Gillibrand said. “To this day, Yaddo continues to house artists on the same grounds that were once home to some of America’s influential artists. Landmark status would give Yaddo the recognition it deserves in America’s history, and help attract more visitors and strengthen our tourism industry.”
Yaddo offers residencies to professional artists that work in choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video. Since Yaddo’s opening in 1900, artists who have worked there have collectively won 66 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 MacArthur Fellowships, 61 National Book Awards, 40 National Book Critics Circle Awards, 108 Rome Prizes, 51 Whiting Writer’s Awards and a Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, and countless other honors.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Gillibrand renewed her call for approval of landmark status, emphasizing Yaddo’s place in American art history – giving refuge and inspiration to budding artists, and offering beautiful recreational space to local residents and visiting tourists.
The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is below:
November 29, 2012
The Honorable Ken Salazar
United States Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Secretary Salazar,
I am writing to you today on behalf of Yaddo as you consider potential sites for National Historic Landmark Designation. I strongly encourage you to designate Yaddo as a National Historic Landmark which I understand has now been recommended for this honor by the National Parks System Advisory Board.
Yaddo is a beautiful 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York with the purpose of inspiring creative innovation in American artists who are chosen to live and work there. Founded in 1900 by Spencer and Katrina Trask, Yaddo has supported various talented artists by offering them a quiet location in which to conduct their work and collaborate with others alike. Yaddo has been a haven for many notable artists and American cultural icons such as Truman Capote, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Edgar Allan Poe, all of whom have praised the nurturing and stimulating environment that Yaddo provides.
To this day, Yaddo offers a home to filmmakers, performers, musicians and those working in traditional forms without regard to financial means. Each guest is chosen by a panel of their peers and is permitted to stay for up to two months. The preservation of this wonderful and unique site would not only ensure the conservation of its inimitable history but it would also allow its sustained operation and a future home for current and young artists. The designation of National Historic Landmark would allow Yaddo to receive the resources it needs to continue to play a key role in the support of America’s artists.
Thank you for your attention to this important request. If you should have any questions or would like more information about my request, please contact Jamal Halepota (Jamal_Halepota@gillibrand.senate.gov) in my Washington, DC office.