Historic Hotels of America® is pleased to announce that Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark Family of Cooperstown, New York have been named the Recipient of the 2023 Historic Hotels of America Steward of History and Historic Preservation Award. Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels in the United States of America. This award recognizes the achievements of Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark Family of Cooperstown, New York. It is presented to the stewards of The Otesaga Hotel, a historic resort established in 1909, and honors their tradition of cultural, historic, and community works in Cooperstown.
The 2023 Historic Hotels of America Steward of History and Historic Preservation Award will be presented to Jane Forbes Clark at the 2023 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Ceremony and Gala. This event will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at The Wigwam, a historic resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona, and attended by owners, general managers, and other senior decision-makers representing many of the finest historic hotels in the United States of America and around the world.
Jane Forbes Clark’s dedication to historic preservation ensures that future generations of travelers can experience The Otesaga Hotel, an iconic American destination and legendary resort hotel. This award recognizes and honors her passion and dedication to the preservation of a legendary historic hotel and ensures that future generations of travelers can experience this special place.
For over 150 years, members of the Clark Family have been stewards of history and historic preservation in Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown was named for famous American author, James Fenimore Cooper. Each generation, since the first Edward Clark arrived in the iconic American town with a zeal for land conservation, has possessed a strong sense of civic responsibility, and their efforts have made Cooperstown the desirable destination it is today. In 1909, the third generation of the Clark family—brothers Edward S. Clark and Stephen C. Clark —used their family's wealth from their stake in the Singer sewing machine company to build a fine resort for Cooperstown. At the time, The Otesaga Hotel was praised for its sumptuous appointments and modern engineering. They directed the design and creation of the Leatherstocking Golf Course, now rated by Golfweek magazine as one of the two finest golf courses in New York State. Later, Edward S. Clark went on to build the Alfred Corning Clark Gymnasium, create the Basset Medical Center, now associated with Columbia University, to serve the region, and in 1931 Stephen C. founded The Clark Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations in New York State. He had the idea to bring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to Cooperstown. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 1939 with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner as its first class of inductees. In Cooperstown today, The Clark Foundation supports the institutions Stephen Clark helped establish in his lifetime, including the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum created on the site of the original family homestead, and, later, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Since 1992, Stephen C. Clark's granddaughter, Jane Forbes Clark, has carried on the Clark Family legacy as President of the Clark Foundation, Chairman of Bassett Medical Center, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and more. She is the fifth generation of her family to work on behalf of the village to ensure that it remains an idyllic and culturally meaningful place for residents and visitors alike.
“I am very honored that the Historic Hotels of America are recognizing my family’s vision and work for The Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, New York, with their extremely prestigious Steward of History and Historic Preservation Award,” said Jane Forbes Clark. “The Clark family’s legacy is one of preservation and conservation, focusing on the need to protect and preserve the rich culture and deep history of the village, while ensuring its relevancy in the years going forward. I am deeply grateful to Historic Hotels of America and its leadership for this esteemed honor.”
“Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are pleased to honor the exceptional contributions in Cooperstown, New York, by Jane Forbes Clark and the Clark Family, and their exemplary record of historic preservation and stewardship at The Otesaga Hotel,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President at Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Since the mid-19th Century, the Clark family has made a personal commitment to preserving the past while enhancing the future for the Cooperstown community. At the same time, they have ensured travelers will be able to create their own long-lasting memories at the resort and at the iconic town’s main attractions, like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. We are honored to recognize Jane Forbes Clark for her decades of stewardship.”
Previous winners of this award include Bruce Haines, Managing Partner at Historic Hotel Bethlehem, founded in 1922 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Robert H. Dedman, Jr., General Partner of Putterboy, Ltd. and owner of Pinehurst Resort, founded in 1895 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Tickets for the 2023 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Ceremony and Gala are available. The 2023 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Ceremony and Gala will take place at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, Arizona, United States of America, on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 7 pm. The Wigwam, originally opened to guests in 1929 by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, is an award-winning Arizona resort that offers an unparalleled experience, a history of hospitality with southwestern charm and casual luxury. To register for the 2023 Historic Hotels Annual Conference, held October 9-13 and ending with the 2023 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence Ceremony and Gala, click here.
About Jane Forbes Clark
Jane Forbes Clark is Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. A member of the Board since 1992 and Chairman since 2000, she provides substantial museum expertise, philanthropic insight, and management skill in this leadership position. Clark is currently Chairman of Bassett Medical Center and a Director of the Bassett Healthcare Network. She also serves as President of The Farmers’ Museum, The Clark Foundation, The Scriven Foundation and The Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home, as well as a Trustee of the Fenimore Art Museum. She was a Trustee, Past President and CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation. Her previous roles have also included Vice Chairman of The Jackie Robinson Empire State Freedom Medal Commission, Trustee of The Little League Foundation, and past Vice Chairman and Trustee of The United States Equestrian Team and past Director of The United States Olympic Committee. She also served eight years as an Executive Board Member of the Fédération Equestre Internationale and Chairman of its Group IV. A recipient of many awards and honors, Jane has been recognized by the Preservation League of New York State with its Pillar of New York award; The Garden Club of American with the Zone Historic Preservation Award; the Fire Department of the City of New York with their Humanitarian of the Year award; Harlem R.B.I.; the Baseball Assistance Team; and is a member of the Boys’ Club of New York All Sports Hall of Fame. The Clark family has been a devoted steward of the Baseball Hall of Fame since Stephen C. Clark founded the Museum in 1936.
About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America® is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing, celebrating, and promoting the finest historic hotels in the United States of America. The National Trust for Historic Preservation was chartered by U.S. Congress in 1949 and is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is leading the movement to save places where our history happened. To be nominated and selected for membership in this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historical significance. Of the more than 300 historic hotels inducted into Historic Hotels of America from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, all historic hotels faithfully preserve their sense of authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity. For more information, please visit HistoricHotels.org.
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