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Landmark Society and Preservation League Fight to Save Huntington Building in Seneca Falls from Demolition
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com -
Contributed By: The Landmark Society of Western New York
Email The Author: cmeives@landmarksociety.org
Website: http://landmarksociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Landmark-Society-and-Preservation-League-Fight-to-Save-Huntington-Building-in-Seneca-Falls-from-Demolition.pdf

Public hearing set for Wednesday, February 12 at 6:00 p.m., at the Seneca Falls Public Library, 47 Cayuga St, Seneca Falls.

(Seneca Falls, NY – February 4, 2018) The Landmark Society of Western New York, the Preservation League of New York State, Preserve Seneca Falls, and key community members are joining together in a fight to save the Huntington Building (former National Yeast Company) from demolition.

Seneca Falls has hired outside counsel to defend its Heritage Preservation Committee in a suitbrought against it by the building’s current owner, former car dealer Peter Koch, who seeks to demolish the Huntington Building on State Street in order to sell the property to a convenience store and gas station developer. Koch’s attorneys argue the HPC has no legal standing to deny his demolition application.

“The Landmark Society and the Preservation League of New York State disagree that demolition is the only option for this building,” said Wayne Goodman, executive director of The LandmarkSociety. “We have reached out to the building owner, to discuss possible options, and he has not responded.”

The Landmark Society listed the building in its 2018 Five to Revive and the group reached out to a Rochester developer to gauge interest in the building. According to Goodman the developer viewed the site and exterior of the building and contacted the building owner to express interest in it. Again, the owner did not respond.

Now vacant, this former industrial building located along Routes 5/20 outside of downtown Seneca Falls, once housed the National Yeast Company and later, The Iroquois Car Company, a luxury car manufacturer. “This prominent brick building would make an excellent candidate foradaptive reuse as housing, artists’ studios, mixed use, and more,” said Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League. “Solidly built and consisting of almost 30,000 square feet of flexible, naturally lit space over three stories, this structure should not be relegated to a landfill. As we highlighted across NYS in our 2014 Industrial Heritage Reuse Project, reuse of the existing building would also help retain the character of this historic corridor in Seneca Falls and contribute to the town’s economy.”

Emil Bove Jr., former member of Town Board, County IDA Board, and former President of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, agrees. “Adaptive reuse of existing buildings iseconomic development,” said Bove. “It creates jobs, protects and increases property values,conserves resources, uses public and private investment, supports business, revitalizes downtowns, stimulates investment, and attracts tourists. It can increase a Town’s real property tax base.” Seneca Falls Town Board member Doug Avery agrees. “I truly wish the building could be saved, and I would like nothing more than to have someone come forward with the resources needed to renovate the building and turn it into something viable,” he said.

Most recently the Heritage Preservation Commission reached out to The Landmark Society for guidance on conducting an independent assessment of the building with a structural engineer or architect. The Heritage Preservation Commission in Seneca Falls has scheduled a Public Hearing about the Huntington Building for Wednesday, February 12, AT 6:00 p.m., at the Seneca Falls Public Library.

The Landmark Society and Preservation League encourage residents interested in saving the building to contact local elected officials and to attend the Public Hearing.


Posted: February 4, 2019
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