Gloversville historic board to hear plan for vacant church in June

The owners of the Bleecker Square church stripped over the winter of its stained glass windows and s

The owners of the Bleecker Square church stripped over the winter of its stained glass windows and steeple clocks are proposing to fill the openings with single-pane glass, city officials said Tuesday.

City Attorney Anthony Casale met Tuesday with a lawyer representing the Church of God of Prophecy, a Tennessee-based denomination with an office in Albany.

Casale said the church, which bought the 1868 building about a decade ago from the United Methodists, will present its proposal to the city’s Historic District Review Board on June 2.

Casale said he insisted Tuesday that, as a contingency, a City Court trial date on the case be scheduled for June 7.

If the Review Board rejects the proposal, Casale said the trial on the five citations for violating the zoning code in the historic district will proceed.

Should the board approve the proposal, Casale said, the church will be given time to complete the installation of the new glass.

Though the single-pane glass cannot be compared to the huge stained glass windows that were removed over the span of one weekend in February, Casale said the historic board may consent if the work is to be done professionally. The contractors plugged all the openings with particle board after removing the windows.

The church attorney has not returned repeated phone calls seeking comment on the matter.

The tickets, issued in February by City Building Inspector D. Robert Robbins, subject the church owners to fines of up to $50 each per day.

The district zoning code requires all changes to the exteriors of historic buildings be approved by the Review Board.

The salvage contractor, antiques dealer Robert Meringolo, has defended the salvage operation.

In e-mails to Mayor Dayton King he spoke of the danger of leaving the windows in place to be damaged by vandals and characterized the removal as an effort to preserve art.

Meringolo also made it clear the windows will not be returned. “We will do everything possible to resolve the issue short of returning the windows,” he said in an e-mail to King.

Categories: Schenectady County

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