Preser­va­tion­ists to be hon­ored at gala

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Lau­ren Hal­li­gan lhalligan@troyrecord.com

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 info@hud­son­mo­hawk­gate­way.org, or by vis­it­ing the web­site at hud­son­mo­hawk­gate­way.org.

P. THOMAS CAR­ROLL PHOTO

Robert Pier­pont test a mockup of an LED chan­de­lier at the Bur­den Iron Work­sMu­seum in this 2012 photo.

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