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Preserve and Destroy

April 3, 2013

by Blaise Bryant

Window sash replacement and demolishing what’s left of a boarded up building were discussed at Wednesday night’s Historic Resources Commission meeting held at City Hall.

At 355 Madison Ave. which is part of Robinson Square, the case centers around the approval of replacing the window sash to preserve the historical value of the building. The cost alarmed property owner Patricia Deguire-Lapishka

Madison Avenue/Derick Noetzel

“It will cost Robinson Square an additional $5,326,” said George Griffin of Bennett Contracting.

This is what the commission would like to see, said Rich Nicholson, senior planner and staff person on the commission. Originally, they wanted to replace the entire window; however replacing the sash gets rid of extra framing that would reduce the size of the window, and it does not match the neighboring buildings, Nicholson said. The reason for the $5,300 sash is because the sash would be made at a mill workshop that deals with custom window designs. The shop is located in Syracuse, said Griffin.

“I don’t have the additional $5,000,”  said Lapishka.

The commission deals with a person lacking the financial funds by giving a person, in this case, Lapishka, the opportunity to file for a hardship, said Vice Chairman John Wagner. “We have to go with what’s in our ordinance; we’re not in business for us,” Wagner said. We have to go by our ordinance because it was an oath we swore to, plus it’s law, said Wagner. “We can’t just approve things because we want to,” he said.

Jefferson Street/Derick Noetzel

Some cases become tricky issues with the commission because the neighboring buildings have similar windows, which is why they are leaning toward the replacement of the window sash, said Assistant Commissioner John Myers. “Replacing the entire window takes away from the historical value, and is something we can’t approve because of our ordinance,” Myers said. The commission will make a final decision at their April 17 meeting.

At 230 Jefferson Street, it’s a completely different story. Property owner Suzanne Carrk is trying to get approval to demolish what’s left of the boarded-up building.

“I just own the build in front, the two buildings behind it, and three across the way,” said Carrk.

The plan is to pave over where the foundation was, and put a fence on the Jefferson side, Carrk.

During the 1600s, a group of Indians captured and killed a Dutch man, giving the property some historical significance, Wagner said.

No decisions on approving or denying requests were made because they didn’t have a quorum.-30-


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