The National Park Service recently recognized the Conant house, 30 West St., Fairport, by listing it on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Conant property met two National Register criteria for designation: it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the history of Fairport and is a distinct architecture style.
The property was built by Austin R. Conant in 1876 and is an example of a late Gothic Revival home. Conant was head accountant for the DeLand Chemical Co. for 40 years. The company was in business from 1852 to 1903 and contributed to the era of industrial growth in Fairport.
The home has ornate trusses, three porches and a bay window, window hoods, cutwork patterns and pendants. The house includes a carriage barn built prior to 1885.
“The Fairport Historic Preservation Commission has been designating our village structures since 2007 when the commission was formed,” Fairport Mayor Fritz May said. “We now have five structures and two bridges that have been recognized for listing on the National Register, supporting how important these structures are to Fairport’s history. The five properties can benefit from financial incentives that can help the owners maintain these structures. We are grateful to the National Parks Services for their support in recognizing that these are historically and architecturally important to the Village of Fairport.”
Owners of National Register listed properties can take advantage of the New York State Historic Homeowners tax credit program and/or the State and Federal Commercial Rehab Tax Credit programs.
Each program provides tax credits worth 20 percent of qualified rehab expenses. These incentives are used across the state by homeowners and developers to encourage investment in historic buildings and communities.
The Conant house was converted into three apartments in 1960 and an addition was built for kitchen space for two of the apartments. Since 2000, previous owners have worked to restore the house to a single-family dwelling.
“I can remember in high school standing in front of this home and thinking it’s the house to live in within the village; 35 years later Cathy Harrison and I have had the opportunity to purchase the home,” said Norm Schillaci, a current owner. “We are planning on using the NYS tax credit to help in the final conversion into a single family home.”
Their plans include moving the kitchen from the addition into the original floor plan and converting the existing kitchen into a morning room. The morning room will include two windows from the original home, making the 1960 addition appear to be part of the original home.
A nonoriginal closet will be eliminated to the foyer and central air conditioning will be added.
“We congratulate the village and the homeowners on this recent National Register listing,” said Caitlin Meives, preservation planner with the Landmark Society of Western New York. “Not only does this listing recognize the Conant house’s historic and architectural significance, it makes it easier for the homeowners to continue to maintain this important historic home and it furthers the village’s efforts to promote historic preservation as an investment and economic development tool. Preservation bolsters property values, increases tax revenue, supports local businesses and helps create a sense of community identity and pride. Communities, like the village of Fairport, that have embraced preservation as a planning tool have benefited enormously.”
For information: nps.gov/nr/, fairportny.com.