McKownville Improvement Association
   McKownville - Country Club Highlands Historic District

4 Norwood St - a
        Sears kit house built in 1911

The nomination and review process for the proposal that McKownville - Country Club Highlands be placed on the NY State Register of Historic Places was completed by a unanimous vote of approval at the meeting on 9th December 2021 of the NY State Board for Historic Preservation.

The nomination was accepted by the National Park Service and the McKownville - Country Club Highlands Historic District became listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 2nd June 2022. [notification letter from the State Historic Preservation Office]

The McKownville Improvement Association has always attempted to preserve the residential character of our neighborhood. Inclusion on these Registers will provide a new and significant measure of protection for our unique neighborhood.

The Historic District includes Waverly Place, the older, southerly portions of Norwood, Glenwood, Parkwood and Elmwood Streets, and the houses on the north side of Western Avenue from number 1421 west to number 1461 at the corner of Elmwood Street. [maps showing house numbers, or date of building for each house].

4 Norwood Street, built in 1911

McKownville -
        Country Club Highlands historic district marker sign
When the Historic District became listed on the National Register, an application was made to the William G Pomeroy Foundation for a grant to obtain a Historic District roadside marker, under the sponsorship and with the assistance of the Guilderland Historical Society. This application was successful, and the marker is now installed near the eastern corner of Glenwood Street and Western Avenue on the property of 1443 Western Avenue. This house was originally owned by Benjamin F and Caroline Witbeck, who were first part and later full owners of the Country Club Highlands development; Caroline Witbeck lived here from 1914 to 1960.
(click on the image for enlarged view)

 Design sponsorship of Historic District house plaques has been completed, and homeowners wishing to obtain one for their property at a modest discount should contact the Association through the link given on that website page.

More Information about the McKownville - Country Club Highlands Historic District

There was a public meeting held online on 14 September 2021 , for presentation of the proposal and to answer questions on it, to which all property owners in the proposed historic district were invited - the presentation slides shown by the SHPO representatives at this meeting.
We have some information about the builders and architects of the houses in the proposed historic district; a few appear likely to be Sears kit houses.
Our website History section contains detailed information derived from old deeds, census returns and city directory listings on the houses in and adjacent to the  historic district. Compilations from this information for the interval 1910-1961:
-  the successive owners and occupants of each house within the district, with employment descriptions from the federal and state censuses
-  for each street, a table of names of the first owners, building dates, date ranges of occupation, and subsequent long-term owners names and occupation dates
-  a table containing for each house the lot numbers, deed book/page numbers, dates and original purchasers names 

The formal Historic District nomination document [4.5MB pdf] as sent to the National Park Service provides detailed description of all the properties included.

Comparable neighborhoods previously established as Historic Districts on the National Register are found in many places.
For example, the Berkeley Park Subdivision Historic District in Syracuse [another description of Berkeley Park],
and the Inman Park-Moreland Historic District in Atlanta are similar in age and kind of development to the McKownville - Country Club Highlands Historic District. We hope that in the future additional portions of McKownville will be included in an enlarged Historic District.

return to history page