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Restoration Congratulations

With the stark and mam- moth Empire State Plaza as its centerpiece, and its seemingly ceaseless construction projects erecting parking garages over archeological sites, Albany may not seem a haven for preservationists. However, almost by definition, it is in exactly such an environment that you can find those fighting the good fight the hardest. Accordingly, at its 2002 annual meeting, the Preservation League of New York State found not one but three Capital Region preservationists—one individual and two organizations—worthy of Excellence in Preservation awards.

Former dean of architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, George Dudley was selected for the Individual Award for Lifetime Achievement in Preservation for his “countless projects,” including the recording—by sketch—of many of the architectural treasures of the Northeast; the recently refurbished Albany Institute of History and Art was chosen for the Project Award for its successful combination of “a creative preservation and restoration project with sensitively designed new construction”; and the American Hotel in Sharon Springs also was selected to receive a Project Award for its “extensive four-year renovation which honors [the hotel’s] original character,” and restores it to its “original splendor.”

The honorees—along with 15 other winners—will be presented their awards at a ceremony at the Union League Club in New York City on May 14.

Joe Putrock

Galleries Gala

It’s a rare day in Albany when you can find work by local artists Nicholas Warner, Jed Cleary, Wendy Williams, Mark McCarty, Greg Haymes, Wren Panzella, Martin Benjamin and Bill Botzow all in one room. But Friday night was a special occasion, so work by all of those artists and more graced the walls of the Albany Public Library for the Albany Center Galleries’ 25th anniversary benefit gala, Art Infusion. The event featured prizes, a silent auction of artwork contributed by dozens of area artists and music by the Adrian Cohen Quartet.

Joe Putrock

A Day at the Parkfest

This year, there were no riots, out-of-control fights, police-student conflicts or major injuries reported. No, this year’s Parkfest, sponsored by the University at Albany’s Student Association and held on Sunday (May 5) at the Altamont Fairgrounds, was a sunny, upbeat and remarkably peaceful event. Which means that the once-troubled affair, which was marred by injuries and fights when it was held in Albany’s Lincoln Park five years ago, may have finally ditched its checkered past. This year, the main stage acts at Parkfest, which in the past has boasted such big-name acts as the Ramones and Digable Planets, were Ghostface Killah, Dropkick Murphys and Das Efx (pictured). A second stage hosted such regional acts as Count the Stars, F-Timmi, the Wait, Jupiter Sunrise and Lifted. There was even an “electronic stage” this year, which featured DJs and electronica performers überzone, Scott Henry, Flight Crew and DB.

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