Preservationists to be honored at gala
TROY, N.Y. » The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway will honor preservationists Robert and Ruth Pierpont at its upcoming annual gala.
The 2017 gala will feature a brief ceremony, buffet, live music, cash bar, and silent auction from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 18 at Pat’s Barn, 125 Defreest Drive, Troy, in the Rensselaer Technology Park.
The event is the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway’s largest fundraiser, and money raised each year helps to keep it in operation. The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway is a not-forprofit, tax-exempt, charitable and educational corporation chartered by the Regents of the State of New York. Headquartered in the Burden Iron Works Museum at the heart of the Silicon Valley of the 19th century, it promotes regional economic prosperity through the appreciation of the Capital District’s historic industries and the appropriate use of its historic architecture.
In choosing this year’s honorees, the gateway board unanimously voted to recognize the Pierponts for their many contributions to the preservation of the Hudson-Mohawk region’s internationally significant commercial and industrial heritage.
Among his many accomplishments as a preservation architect, Bob Pierpont has done the lion’s share of the design work for more than $1 million in recent renovations at the gateway’s Burden Iron Works Museum, always going the extra mile to do the job right. “He has been basically our lead architect on the work that we have been doing here at the museum for 40 years,” said executive director Michael P. Barrett, calling him “absolutely instrumental” in doing a large chunk of the gateway’s architectural work.
His wife, Ruth Pierpont, has had a profound effect upon historic preservation, first as a planner for the City of Troy, and then as a pivotal executive in the New York State Historic Preservation Office, where she capped her career as the deputy commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Today, Barrett said Ruth is well respected as an administrator in the historical preservation field. Advocacy for significant preservation tax credits is just one of her many successes.
Honorary chairs for the event will be Amy E. Facca and Frederick J. Cawley, preservation-
ist professionals who, like the Pierponts, have long been passionate and effective advocates for historic preservation. Among other things, Facca is a former Gateway president. Most recently, Cawley supplemented his long resume by serving as the mind behind the Masters Program in Building Conservation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Previous recipients honored by The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway include John Hedley, TAP, Inc., Senator Joseph L. Bruno, Jeffrey and Deane Pfeil, The Watervliet Arsenal and The Ross Valve Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Looking ahead, one big project on the gateway’s to-do list is renovating its interior walls. “We’re moving forward,” Barrett said. “We’re on the verge of a major step forward in getting the inside of the building done.” Barrett hopes that this step will help the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and Burden Iron Works Museum secure funding from some national foundations.
One of the gateway’s goals for the future is to raise awareness locally about their museum and organization, as well as Troy’s history as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.
Though visitors from all around the globe come to see the Burden Iron Works Museum, there are still some Trojans who don’t realize it’s there. Located at 1 East Industrial Parkway in the former office of one of the most important firms in the history of iron and steel, the Burden Iron Works Museum educates guests not only about the history of iron working in South Troy, but also about the transformation of the region around the confluence of the Hudson and the Mohawk Rivers into the Silicon Valley of the nineteenth century.
Further information on the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and Burden Iron Works Museum is available by calling 518-274- 5267, by sending email to email@example.com, or by visiting the website at hudsonmohawkgateway.org.
Robert Pierpont test a mockup of an LED chandelier at the Burden Iron WorksMuseum in this 2012 photo.