Amsterdam’s historic City Hall will get the attention of an expert eye under a $30,000 study approved last week by the Common Council.
The stately Sanford Mansion on Church Street, owned by Stephen Sanford who built one of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world, was donated to the city by his son John Sanford in 1932 for use as a City Hall.
But with a leaking roof, poor heating system and other problems, the city in 2010 started considering other options for government offices.
The city was celebrating its 125th Anniversary of its chartering at that time and the Historic Amsterdam League — a nonprofit citizen’s group dedicated to preserving the city’s heritage and led by City Historian Robert von Hasseln — was formed.
The group’s first resolution was to oppose the relocation of City Hall, and HAL promised to raise money and help bring the 1869 home back to its earlier glory.
That effort was deemed successful last week, when the Common Council agreed to pay Landmark Consulting LLC. of Albany $31,000 to perform a study and produce a historic structure report detailing what’s needed to put the building back into shape.
Despite the city’s difficult fiscal situation, Amsterdam First Ward Alderman Joseph Isabel said the Historic Amsterdam League showed that donors and granting agencies will help shoulder the financial burden.
“They are doing what they said. I don’t mind the city putting some funding into it. If they can come up with a substantial amount of money with grants and donations, then I’m all for trying to preserve the facility,” Isabel said.
The Historic Amsterdam League provided $3,000 toward the study’s cost and another $7,500 is being provided by Preserve NY.
The city will spend $10,000 from contingency toward the effort plus another $10,000 representing money saved on utility costs following some upgrades like windows and a new boiler.
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Categories: Schenectady County