The owners of the Odd Fellows Building in Astoria have won a $150,000 historic preservation grant to weatherproof and paint the exterior.
The building was one of 13 winners in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s competitive Partners in Preservation: Main Streets grant program receiving a combined $1.8 million. Supporters cast more than 1 million votes for the various projects. Astoria's entrant ended up third with more than 90,000 votes.
“It speaks to how small towns, and Astoria in particular, how when they come together, they really make things happen,” said Jessamyn West, executive director of the nonprofit Astoria Arts and Movement Center on the second floor of the building, who also serves on the City Council.
West, Andrea Mazzarella and her mother, Nancy Mazzarella-Tisch, purchased the building last year. It houses the dance and fitness studio, along with a black box theater, artists' studios, a local gift store, apothecary and coffee shop.
The grant is part of a four-phase improvement plan for the building over the next five years, West said. The first project was soundproofing between the building’s two stories. The grant will help replace the Italianate windows around the second floor, weatherproof the stucco facade and paint the building. The third phase will address interior work and a new roof. The fourth will address the basement, sidewalk and handicap accessibility.
The grant can be used to demonstrate momentum and as matching funds for larger pots of money, West said. The hope is to have the weatherization, window repair and painting done in the next year, she said.