A bridge replacement project in the Finger Lakes region of New York required a cultural resource survey of the Halseyville historic district. The existing bridge spans Taughannock Creek (Fig. 1). This bridge had replaced a covered bridge built in the 19th century (Fig. 2).
Figure 1: Bridge over Taughannock Creek
Figure 2: Covered bridge over Taughannock Creek (1905 photo)
Historical research indicated that the area had first been settled in the early 19th century by Nicoll Halsey, a prominent statesman and member of Congress (Fig. 3). Nicoll Halsey was one of the early advocates of what became the Greek Revival tradition, believing that the democratic foundations of the new republic should be based on the ideals of the Golden Age of Greece, and that artistic and architectural styles based on Greek models would enhance that ideology. The home that he built characterized this concept (Figs. 4 & 5), as did other buildings of his self-styled community (Fig. 6).
Figure 3: Grave marker of Nicoll Halsey in Greek style toga and laurel crown
Figure 4. Halsey house c. 1860
Figure 5. Halsey house c. 1990