TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Wednesday, New York State Senator Dan Stec took a trip up to the north side of Lake George, to join others at historic Fort Ticonderoga. The purpose wasn’t tourism, but rather the celebration of a restoration that will give tourists and travelers more to see.
Stec, Fort Ticonderoga CEO Beth Hill, and other stakeholders gathered to celebrate the completion of part of a $70 million historic restoration effort. The effort’s first phase: the $9 million restoration of a historic house first constructed in 1826.
“Fort Ticonderoga is exceedingly grateful to all of our partners who made this significant project possible,” said Hill. “The Pavilion restoration saved a national treasure, and expanded Fort Ticonderoga’s capacity as a major cultural destination.”
The Pavillion is a registered National Historic Landmark. Built by William Ferris Pell in 1826, the building is considered one of the earliest summer homes in America. Since then, it has served as a hotel, and a private residence again, before falling into disrepair by the start of the 21st century. Fort Ticonderoga highlighted it as a place of high priority for historic restoration, a process that began in 2014.
The result: a house reborn. The Pavilion now sports new amenities for visitors, a full conference center, the capacity for private events, and a new educational and exhibition space to illustrate the building’s role in the history of Ticonderoga – in step with the community’s development following the Revolutionary War.
“Fort Ticonderoga is one of New York’s premier attractions and a crown jewel for the Adirondacks, welcoming a diverse range of guests and appealing to many interests,” said Empire State Development Vice President and Tourism Director Ross D. Levi. “The newly restored and renovated Pavilion will encourage more visitors to experience the fort through new opportunities and special events, complementing any New York State getaway. We encourage everyone to come be a part of it and plan a trip to find what they love in New York State.”
Funding for the restoration came from a number of sources. A $2,445,000 grant came from the New York State Council for the Arts, joined by $500,000 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; $100,000 from the state DEC; and $70,544 from I LOVE NY. Foundation support, a private donor, and a tax credit partnership with the Arrow Corporation helped fill out the rest of the cost.
With phase 1 done, there’s still a lot more work to do – roughly $61 million worth of it, to be exact. The fort has raised almost $20 million for the phases to come. Next up, Fort Ticonderoga will acquire a private collection of 18th-century military materials related to the location’s history, as well as the construction of a new museum house to store those and other materials that help to tell the Ticonderoga story. The museum is planned to act as a premier location for early North American military history.
As of 2016, the fort had an estimated economic impact of $12 million on Ticonderoga, drawing tourists to learn and explore the history that the region thrives on. By 2030, that number is estimated to rise to $77 million.
“The completion of the Pavilion restoration project is great news for Fort Ticonderoga and surrounding communities,” said Stec, a Queensbury resident south of Lake George’s other end. “Restoring this historic site will expand opportunities and potential, making Fort Ticonderoga an even better destination for tourists. This will provide vital revenue and jobs for our region for years to come.”