Challenge Programs: Challenge Grants

Period of Performance

6/1/2006 - 10/31/2015

Funding Totals (matching)

$575,000.00 (approved)
$575,000.00 (offered)
$547,091.00 (awarded)

Historic Cherry Hill: Initiative to Strengthen Public Access to the Humanities

FAIN: CH-50438-08

Historic Cherry Hill (Albany, NY 12202-1111)
Liselle M. LaFrance (Project Director: November 2006 to present)

Restoration of a 1787 house, endowment for the Curatorial and Research Department, and fund-raising expenses.

Historic Cherry Hill requests a $575,000 Challenge Grant from NEH in support of a $2.3 million capital campaign. HCH's objective in launching the campaign is to strengthen public intellectual access to the humanities and Cherry Hill's rich, unique resources. The campaign has three components: 1) restoration/ repairs to the 1787 home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places; 2) endowment of the Curatorial and Research Department, including salaries of the Curator, part-time Manuscript Specialist, and operation of the Edward Frisbee Center for Collections & Research; and 3) investment in the museum's development/fund raising program, which is essential to stabilizing and expanding operations now and in the years to come. Home to five generations of Van Rensselaers, Cherry Hill today tells a nationally significant story through a personal family lens, using the site's intact collections of 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscripts, 7,500 textiles, 5,000 books and 3,000 photographs.

Media Coverage

Letter: Abundant support helps save Historic Cherry Hill (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Michael R. Beiter
Publication: Times Union
Date: 8/9/2013
Abstract: Letter to the editor from the president of Historic Cherry Hill thanking the public for their donations in response to their article about the possibility of not meeting their NEH matching goal.

Letter: Help Albany sustain its history (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Michael R. Beiter
Publication: Times Union
Date: 7/20/2013
Abstract: Letter to the editor telling the public about the need for funds to continue their project to preserve Historic Cherry Hill and increase access to humanities collections.

Letter: Pictorial history of black Albanians (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Deborah Emmons-Andarawis
Publication: Times Union
Date: 8/5/2015
Abstract: Letter to the editor talking about the recent efforts at Historic Cherry Hill to uncover the history of the black community in Albany, including those who worked as servants for the Van Rensselaer family.

Associated Products

Collections/Research (Web Resource)
Title: Collections/Research
Author: n/a
Abstract: This page on the Historic Cherry Hill website features mini collections covering the different generations who occupied the historic home from 1747-1963. Although it's not a complete and searchable digital archive, they do have about 50 objects digitized so far. I'm not sure how long these selected collections have been public on the website but the final performance report does mention that the website was greatly improved over the course of the grant period.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The home page for collections and research

Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800 (Book)
Title: Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800
Author: Amy Bogansky
Author: Joyce Denney
Author: John Guy
Author: Maria João Ferreira
Author: Elena Phipps
Author: Marika Sardar
Author: Cynthia V. A. Schaffner
Author: Kristen Stewart
Author: Melinda Watt
Editor: Amelia Pack
Abstract: Catalog for an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which includes artifacts from the collection at Historic Cherry Hill.
Year: 2013
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Link to the description of the book on the Met's website
Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Type: Other
ISBN: 9780300196986
Copy sent to NEH?: No