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20200809 Simpson demolition Correspondance (3) Amy Godine 306 Nelson Avenue Saratoga Springs,New York 12866 amygodine(a)gmail.com c: 518/788-8854 rr� Dec. 8,2020 D h5 U It DEC 09 2020 11 To the Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission: By I'm writing with regard to the petition to destroy the two buildings at 65 and 69 Phila Street. I hope you'll vote no,and do what you can to bring them back to life. These buildings,while owning no special architectural distinction,nonetheless claim a special place in Saratoga's rich social history. For fifty summers they housed generations of poor Jews from metropolitan New York who flocked to Saratoga for the baths,the healing spring water,the track,and the promise of a rest. Older Saratogians still recall the emphatic sounds of Yiddish from oldtimers in the porch rockers of these hostelries on Phila Street,Lafayette and Caroline, and the sight of families making their way up the hill to Circular for Shabbat services at the synagogue. Both historically and aesthetically, 65 and 69 Phila were strong threads in the fabric of this ethnic enclave,and after all the bigger Jewish hotels and hostelries had closed,they housed the remnant of this summer world in their small rooms.After World War Two, these roominghouses provided a summer getaway for intensely devout Chasidic Jews from Brooklyn,many,of them survivors of Hitler's death camps who brought an Old World devotion to spa-going and water therapy to their Saratoga seasons. They built mikvahs(ritual bath houses)behind these homes; they held services for the men inside. It's a rich chapter in the Saratoga story,and unfortunately, not much survives to represent it. But the narrow-fronted,modest buildings of the Gut,and these two in particular,call to mind the welcoming old neighborhood as no new building ever could. Renovated and restored,they might bear signage that explains this,and in the context of the old homes on this street,many of which had been roominghouses,too,they would invoke a vanished world. I know about these buildings because of my own research as an independent historian on northern New York's social and ethnic history.I curated the exhibition at the Saratoga History Museum,"We Were All Like a Family,"and with Marie Morrison,organized the drive to install the historical marker for"The Gut,"the once identifiably Jewish neighborhood that dipped down Phila, Lafayette,and Caroline and rose toward Broadway. I wrote the"Strolling Tour of the Gut" brochure for the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center;I've delivered many lectures on this history at the SSPL,Temple Sinai,and the Casino;and the chapter on Saratoga's Jewish history for the anthology, The History of Saratoga Springs,is mine. If you think I can help with more background information on these homes or this neighborhood,please let me know. Thanks for your consideration,and your public service. 40/4$ K Ms.Tamie Ehinger Design Review Commission City Hall 474 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 IpTMTO Re: 65 and 69 Phila Street DEC 0 9 2020 Ms. Ehinger: gy It is with a heavy heart and much frustration that we submit this letter opposing the demolition of the buildings at 65&69 Phila Street. This letter is being submitted as private, tax-paying citizens with extensive experience renovating old homes, not on the behalf of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation for which Adam current serves as president. As young professionals, it was our goal to own a historic house in downtown Saratoga Springs. In 2016, we purchased a 1900 Victorian on Nelson Avenue that we now call home. We have poured many hours and a great deal of money into this home to restore it in a manner that honors the architectural history of the house and community despite being one block outside of the local historic district. Prior to purchasing this home,we looked at a home located at 32 Park Place which is also owned by the same owners of 65 and 69 Phila Street. After submitting multiple offers we concluded the owners were unwilling to negotiate a reasonable price. It appears the homes at 65 & 69 Phila Street have fallen victim to the same strategy. In an area where home values are rising faster than most places in the state, it is hard to conceive there was no reasonable offer to purchase these properties. Both of these homes are great examples of Italianate architecture and hold significant connection to the community.The home at 69 Phila Street is specifically important to us because of its connection to Reverend Hawley. When Kira decided to move back to NY from Boston, MA, her first apartment was at 64-66 Ludlow, the former Hawley House.An establishment that cared for orphaned children until 1965. We spend our days walking around the city and admire the architecture, history and personal connections we have with the buildings and landmarks.The owners have willingly allowed these homes to fall into their condition claiming they are in disrepair and must be demolished. This is a self-created hardship in which the owners have shown no effort in preserving the structures.These homes play a role in the architectural history and the landscape of our city. Demolishing them would be a certain loss and we strongly urge you to consider the same. Respectfully, Kira and Adam Favro Dear Ms. Ehinger and members of the Design Review Commission, We are expressing our strong objections to the proposed demolition of 65 and 69 Phila Street. Both houses are significant and worthy of preservation. Approximately, seven years ago I, Mark Haworth,walked through both properties with a representative from Bonacio Construction. Despite the challenges of the buildings, I was committed to seeing them preserved. I made an offer that was based on the buildings being made habitable, understanding that I would sell the buildings at cost, not a profit, and that there would be a potential risk of not recovering the entire investment depending on the housing market at the time of completion. My offer was rejected. The owners have allowed these buildings to deteriorate and have not been willing to sell to those who are willing to preserve them. They should not be allowed to demolish them to make a profit on new construction. Sincerely, Mark Haworth and Sonny Bonacio I)re,ervati01) I Ourti.iittithn December 9,2020 Ms.Tamie Ehinger Design Review Commission City 1Ia11 l'R L S E RV AT l O N 474 Broadway D LSC Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 4. * RE: 65 and 69 Phila Street DEC 9 2020 Dear Ms.Ehinger, 1, By The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has reviewed the applications to demo "' the two structures at 65&69 Phila Street and construct new structures. The Foundation strongly opposes the proposed demolition. Board of Directors The Italianate style wood frame house at 65 Phila Street was constructed in 1851 by Adam N.Favro architect and builder Alexander A. Patterson and Robert Hunter, a mason,built the brick President Italianate style house at 69 Phila.Street that same year. Both houses are contributing buildings to the East Side Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic James Gold Vice President Places. Linda Harvey-Opiteck While both of the houses are in a deteriorated condition, theystill retain architectural Secretary significance for being representative examples of the Italianate style in the area known as Dmitriy Ycr molayev "The Gut,"a Jewish enclave located in downtown. Equally important are their historical Treasurer associations with our community's history of springs.the Jewish community and Jaime Butler philanthropy. Caroline Cardone Giovanna D'Orazio Steven Dodds The person who built.65 Phila Street became the proprietor of the Patterson Mineral Sandra Fox Springs Company in 1889 after building a spring pavilion at 22,24,and 26 Phila Street. John Hall`- The house remained in the Patterson familyfor 90years. Followingthe Patterson's Liz Israel Samantha Kercull ownership,the house became a hoarding house. From 1970 until when the current Douglas Kerr owners purchased the house in 2002,it was owned by the Congregation Dais Moishe in Richard King Brooklyn. It was the summer residence of the Chasidid Kaliver Rabbi of Williamsburg, Stephen Kyne. William McCarthy Moshe Taub,who was sixth in line of Rabbies(beginning in 1781). Dorothy Rogers-Bullis Cindy Spence Jason Thomas The building located at 69 Phila Street is significant because of its associations with Matthew Veuch Reverend Hawley,a Methodist minister who purchased the house in 1854. In 1891, Hawley established and served as president of the Hawley Home for Children,a home for James Kettlewen orphaned children. For the Home's first 16 years orphaned children were cared for in emeritus different locations throughout the city. In November 1904,the Hawley Home moved to its own building at 64-66 Ludlow Street eventually housing 34 children from Saratoga Executive Director and Warren counties.The home continued to operate for 61 years until August 1965, Samantha Bosshatt when increasingly complex state regulations forced its closure. The Hawley Foundation Membership& still exists today and continues to serve the underprivileged children of Saratoga County Programs Director through its financial support. Reverend Hawley and those who followed his legacy have Nicole Babie assisted thousands of children of our community. For the reasons stated above the demolition applications for these properties should he reviewed under Section 7.4.11. B.Demolition, Architectural or.Historical Significance. The proposed demolition would have a significant adverse impact on historic structures, ..: , ,. s , „;the integrity of the East Side District,a locally and nationally designated historic district, " "'' ' and the predominant character of the existing built landscape. This is a Significant Adverse Environmental Impact and should be considered a Type I action under the New York State Environmental Quality Review. An environmental impact statement is required. Furthermore,the application is incomplete. It fails to address all of the requirements of the Demolition for Architectural or Historical Significance. I. The applicant shall document"good faith"efforts in seeking an alternative that will result in the preservation of the structure including consultation with the Commission and the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation.The relocation of structures may be permitted as an alternative to demolition; 2. The applicant shall document efforts to find a purchaser interested in acquiring and preserving the structure; 3. The applicant shall demonstrate that the structure cannot be adapted for any other permitted use,whether by the current owner or by a purchaser,which would result in a reasonable return; and 4. The applicant shall submit evidence that the property is not capable of earning a reasonable return regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible. "Dollars and cents proof'shall be required to demonstrate such hardship. 5. Application for demolition of a structure with historic or architectural significance shall include acceptable post-demolition plans for the site. Such plans shall include an acceptable timetable and guarantees which may include performance bonds/letters of credit for demolition and completion of the project. The Commission may condition the issuance of a demolition approval on the applicant's receipt of all other necessary approvals and permits for the post demolition plan. The Foundation has listed these two historic properties on its Ten to Save list since its inception in 1998. The properties were listed at that time because they were vacant and in a deteriorated condition. The current owners purchased 69 Phila Street in 1995 and 65 Phila Street in 2002. Since that time the buildings have continued to deteriorate to the point that portions of the structures and architectural details have been removed and are a blight on the neighborhood. The Foundation has periodically contacted the owners to offer assistance with the preservation of the buildings. During my I2-year tenure as Executive Director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation I have only had one meeting with Helen and Case Simpson where the 65 and 69 Phita Street were discussed. At the meeting that took place on September 25,2017 the Phila Street properties were not the only ones discussed. They also discussed 68 and 74 Caroline Street and 32 Park Place. I expressed to them that the Foundation had great interest in seeing the three houses listed on the Ten to Save list that they owned—32 Park Place and 65 and 69 Phila Street— preserved. I shared that numerous potential buyers interested inpreserving the properties had contacted the Foundation and that at that time the properties were eligible for both federal and state rehabilitation tax credits,which could offset as much as 40%of the rehabilitation costs. I offered to provide them with assistance with seeking those credits. While Helen followed. up with me regarding questions about the other properties they owned,the owners never sought any assistance with applying for the rehabilitation tax credits or further discussed the potential for preserving the buildings at 65&69 Phila Street. The Foundation does not feel that one meeting demonstrates a"good faith"effort to preserve the buildings. Shortly following that meeting on October 3,2017,the Foundation received the structural assessment report that it underwrote for one serious potential buyer of both properties. The assessment determined that the buildings could be preserved. That buyer was unsuccessful in negotiating a price to purchase the properties. Since 2017 other potential buyers have continued to contact the Foundation about purchasing the buildings for the purpose of rehabilitating the structures. I have provided copies of not only the structural assessment paid for by the Foundation,but also a copy of the July 7, 2017 structural assessment provided to the City of Saratoga Springs by The Chazen Companies as well as offered to assist with seeking the rehabilitation tax credits. In this year alone,there have been four serious potential buyers. To the Foundation's knowledge,none of the interested parties were successful in negotiating a price to purchase either or both of the buildings, indicating that the owners have ignored market pricing to seek maximum financial gain. Most importantly,even if the owners were able to submit evidence that the property is "not capable of earning a reasonable return regardless of whether that return represents the most profitable return possible"it is irrelevant because it is a self-created hardship. Therefore,demolition should not be approved. For that simple reason,the Design Review Commission should not entertain the proposals for new construction. Furthermore,the plywood covering the walls and windows,porch railings and columns, and the chain-link fence around the property are not in accordance with the City's Historic Review Ordinance. While initially thought to be temporary, those temporary measures have been in place for several years. They do not meet the standards and design guidelines of the Historic Review Ordinance. The owners should be required to comply with the Historic Review Ordinance: No owner or person with an interest in real property designated as a City Landmark or included within a Historic District shall permit the property to fall into a serious state of disrepair so as to result in the deterioration of any exterior architectural feature which would,in the judgement of the Commission,produce a detrimental effect upon the character of the Historic District as a whole or the life and character of the property itself. Examples include: 1. Deterioration of exterior walls or other vertical supports 2. Deterioration of roofs or other horizontal members 3. Deterioration of exterior chimneys 4. Deterioration or crumbling of exterior stucco or mortar 5. Ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls,roofs or foundations including broken windows or doors 6. Deterioration of any feature so as to create a hazardous condition that would lead to the claim that demolition is necessary for public safety. Both properties show signs of several examples listed above. The owners have demonstrated a willful intent to neglect the buildings. They have cost the City of Saratoga Springs thousands of dollars in resources by requiring Code Enforcement Department and the City Attorney to continue to attempt to enforce the NYS Property Maintenance Code and the requirements of the Vacant Building Registry and seek court action in order to do so which is the only reason that these applications are before the Design Review Commission today. The demolition applications should not be approved. The owners should be required to repair and preserve both buildings in compliance with the Historic Review Ordinance. Their intentional neglect is slowly dismantling the architecture and history of our community and it must not be rewarded! Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration. Sincerely, ?etit-7,7,0--41X,64 Adam N.Favro Samantha Bosshart President Executive Director Cc: Helen&Case Simpson, Owners Matt Chauvin, Owner Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis,City Attorney Tony Izzo,Assistant City Attorney Robin Dalton,Commissioner of Public Safety Eileen Finneran, Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Bradley Birge,Administrator of the Office of Planning and Economic Development 12/9/2020 Zimbra Zimbra jennifer.merriman@saratoga-springs.org 65 & 69 Phila Street Proposed Demolition From :Cindy Spence <edgeofyonderfarm@gmail.com> Wed, Dec 0 : 1:33 AM Subject : 65 & 69 Phila Street Proposed Demolition To :jennifer merriman <jennifer.merriman@saratoga- springs.org> CAUTION: This email originated outside of the City network. Please contact IT Support if you need assistance determining if it' s a threat before opening attachments or clicking any links. I am writing to express my concern about the demolition of the above mentioned buildings. The owners have intentionally let these buildings fall into disrepair. The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has tried to work with the owner by helping then with tax credits, (which they let run out in April 2020), paying for structural inspections for at least one of the potential buyers (who by the way were REAL buyers who had plans to rehabilitate) . I feel if we allow this owner to demolish these buildings, that we send a strong signal to other homeowners in this historic city that it's OK to be neglectful which in turn impacts neighbors, property values, city taxes not collected, etc. It has been economically proven that historic districts bring money into a town. I hope you will not allow this demolition. Thank you - Cindy Spence 89 Nelson Avenue Saratoga Spring, NY 12866 518-944-4364 Sent from my iPad https://m.saratoga-springs.org/h/printmessage?id=1144728tz=America/New_York 1/1