Cohoes Music Hall Receives State Grants for Building Upgrades

Cohoes Music Hall will soon receive a major upgrade, thanks to funding awards recently received from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

cohoes music hall

As reported by WAMC, the city of Cohoes received the funding for an upgrade to Cohoes Music Hall and visitors center. A total of $1.88 million in funding through grants will help to restore and preserve the historic hall, the fourth oldest in the state still in use, having opened in 1874. The building will be transformed into one that is energy efficient, as well as carbon neutral, just in time for the sesquicentennial of the venue.

The money is part of the Restore Historic Cohoes Initiative that began three years ago under Democratic Mayor Bill Keeler. The initiative is centered around the preservation and restoration of City Hall, the Public Library and Cohoes Music Hall.

And about the same time, we began discussing what we dubbed our cleaner, greener Cohoes initiative, which described our efforts to use 21st century technology to create energy efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions. So we are very excited to learn to Cohoes will receive about 1.9 million in New York state grants to use towards the restoration of our musical building.

The state funding will help us honor and preserve the architecture the beautiful 19th century Cohoes Music Hall building that was left was by our forebears while at the same time allow us to transform into an energy efficient, carbon neutral building that will be powered by European floating solar project and enjoyed by future generations for centuries to come.

Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler

The grants and work on historic Cohoes are occuring in conjunction with the Albany County city’s Municipal Floating Solar installation on its water reservoir, as noted by City Director of Operations Theresa Bourgeois.

The Cohoes Music Hall was first opened in 1874, and then in 1906, it was closed again for a long time, but it reopened 100 years later in 1974, after the community came together to restore it. So 2024 marked the 150th anniversary of its initial opening and 50th anniversary of its rebirth. So we have been focused on bringing it back to life again, when it’s an active theater, but it needs a lot of work.

We call it a gem in need of a polish. So now with these two amazing grants, the NYSERDA grant and the Parks Preservation grant, we’re on track to ensure that it continues as a vital community and regional gathering space, another 50, 100, maybe 150 more years, which is very, very exciting. And it’s not just restoring its historic features, but it’s doing it in a way that makes it more energy efficient and clean energy. So it’s contributing not only to the past but to its future.

City Director of Operations Theresa Bourgeois.

State Assemblymember John McDonald, a Democrat from the 108th district and former Cohoes mayor, shared his excitement about the upcoming upgrade to Cohoes Music Hall.

As a former mayor I know the building very well, And actually is really not only in the best interest of historic preservation, in the best interest of continuing to allow music quality to be a very strong contributor to the arts here in the Capital Region, but also saves the taxpayers on the city of halls, significant funding, so a true win win win. We thank the governor and the team at NYSERDA for their support. And I can’t wait for the improvements to come to bear.

State Assemblymember John McDonald

The grants were awarded to Cohoes as part of the 2022 Regional Economic Development Council Annual Consolidated Funding Application Process. Stay tuned for more info on the upgrades coming to Cohoes Music Hall.

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