SARATOGA SPRINGS — Folks had a chance to tip a few and help preserve Saratoga’s heritage on Saturday as the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation held its “Pints for Preservation” Pub Crawl.
The seventh annual event kicked off at Druthers Brewing Company on Broadway before moving onto Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar, Bailey’s Saratoga, Spa City Tap & Barrel, Saratoga City Tavern and Sinclair Saratoga.
Foundation Executive Director Samantha Bosshart said the event supports the organization’s advocacy efforts and programs that provide education and technical assistance to homeowners.
“It’s a way for us to reach a different, perhaps younger, audience,” she said of “Pints for Preservation.”
The foundation has been in existence for the past 40 years and has completed projects such as a partnership with Saratoga Springs to restore the more than 100-year-old Spirit of Life sculpture in Congress Park.
“Our mission is to preserve the architectural heritage of Saratoga’s downtown and neighborhoods,” Bosshart said. “We also work to ensure that as Saratoga Race Course moves forward with capital improvements they keep the historical character.”
Bosshart said “Pints for Preservation” typically raises close to $3,500 for the foundation.
“It’s a fun way to raise visibility for our organization,” she said. “It’s something people look forward to.”
John Link of Troy, who attended the event for the second year in a row, said Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is a vital organization to support.
“They do great work around town and it’s good to see the group preserving historical architecture,” he said. “Buildings were built differently back then and it’s great to see them preserved.”
Link added, “I love the old character of Saratoga and I’d like it to stay that way.”
Saratoga resident Chris Carsky, past president of Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, said preservation is vital to the fabric of a community.
“It’s important to preserve historical architecture, especially in the downtown area, because that’s what distinguishes Saratoga from other communities,” she said. “So many people in the community are motivated to be engaged and keep it vital and preserved.”
Carsky said she’s concerned about the scale of buildings in the community in the future.
“I don’t oppose progress or new buildings, but we have to be vigilant how we go about it,” she said. “We have to think about what we like about living here and what brings people here as opposed to other areas.”
Foundation member Seth Dunn said while the organization is small, it has a large impact.
“The historical architecture reflects the Victorian history of Saratoga and downtown is remarkably well preserved,” he said. “There’s a lot of history here, which is what draws a lot of people.”
Like Carsky, Dunn said he’s concerned that growth in Saratoga could affect the city’s historical buildings.
“With growth comes pressures like more parking lots and other things that could jeopardize the historical character,” he said. “I don’t want growth in the city to undermine that.”
Dunn added that “thoughtful preservation” like the recent renovation at the Adelphi Hotel on Broadway is key.
“While it’s important to modernize and offer people what they come to expect, it’s also important that the building still evokes history,” he said. “We have rich history and it’s important to maintain it.”