The Downtown Oneonta Historic District is representative of more than two centuries of economic activity and urban development. The district remains largely intact, and contains an architecturally significant collection of commercial, converted residential, and civic buildings.
The downtown district characterizes broader trends in small urban areas where disinvestment and rural poverty are a direct threat to historic resources. Small cities like Oneonta represent important parts of the overall historic tapestry of New York State that without creative solutions could be lost forever.
Investing in their historic fabric could bring renewed interest to Downtown Oneonta, alleviating vacancy and deterioration, and bringing more life to an important Mohawk Valley city.
Historic preservation can serve as an economic life raft for upstate cities like Oneonta, but the public perception of preservation is a challenge for community buy-in.
The Preservation League of New York State has included the Downtown Oneonta Historic District on the 2022-2023 Seven to Save list. The list highlights New York’s most endangered historic sites and the League offers listed places wider visibility, assistance with advocacy, and technical services.
For more information about the Seven to Save program and this year’s list, click here.
Photo of 11 Ford Avenue in Oneonta courtesy Preservation League of New York State.