HRAC promotes the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our Town’s diverse historic and cultural resources, and advises the Town Board and Planning Board on local historic matters and policy.

Advisory Council Members
Jeff Canning
Joe Cerreto
Marc Cheshire
Laura Lee Keating
Wendy Talio

Linda D. Puglisi, Ex-officio member
Michelle Robbins, AICP, staff liaison


The idea to create the Historic Resources Advisory Council (HRAC) orignated with the Town’s 2016 Sustainable Comprehensive Plan Envision Cortlandt. Policy 196 of Envision Cortlandt recommended establishing an Historic Advisory Council to promote historic and cultural preservation and to oversee the Town’s historic and cultural resource inventories (see Policy 196 below). 

HRAC Objectives:

  • Advise the Town Board and prepare written recommendations on the nomination or removal of buildings, structures, sites, areas, or objects as historic/cultural resources
  • Provide citizens with assistance in preservation questions and concerns and serve as a resource to the community in matters pertaining to historic resources
  • Maintain and regularly update public inventories of historic and cultural significant resources (historic sites, buildings, structures, landscapes, objects, or districts) including locally significant resources not listed on national or state registries and make inventory readily available on the Town's website and through Historic Cortlandt GIS.
  • Maintain records of adaptively reused historic buildings
  • Establish process for the identification and nomination of historic and cultural resources
  • Develop design guidelines for historic areas and or districts to be approved and adopted by the Town Board
  • Develop recommendations for the establishment of a system of markers/signage for selected historic and/or architecturally significant buildings, structures, sites, objects, trails, and/or districts
  • Encourage and promote education about the Town's historic and cultural resources
  • Provide advice and guidance to property owners on issues of historic preservation relating to their properties
  • Reach out to schools and student organizations to increase youth awareness and participation in the Town's historic and cultural preservation
  • Coordinate and work in cooperation with the Planning Board, Town staff and other state, county and local historic preservation agencies toward the goal of promoting and preserving Cortlandt's rich cultural heritage
  • Work with local historians and historic organizations to:
    • Update the History of the Town for the years 1988-2018
    • Conduct interviews and obtain oral histories from older long-time residents and families, as well as residents familiar with the Town's history
    • Develop educational forums, historic driving tours, photograph exhibits, and brochures about the Town's history and significant historical events
    • Develop a tour of historically significant buildings, areas, and places in Cortlandt
    • Develop museum exhibits for the Toll House that celebrates the cultural history of Cortlandt with the Tollhouse Director
    • Inventory Historical cemeteries in the Town
    • Develop a Town Historical website/Facebook page and update throughout the year(s)