No time to waste in replacing train station
I have been using Amtrak for the past 42 years and have always been appalled by its inefficiencies, old rolling stock, poor safety record and obsolete infrastructure.
This past fall, my wife and I were returning from Montreal to Schenectady on the "Adirondack." Aside from the fact that the highest speed the train achieved was 60 miles mph (usually 45 mph), I want to relate the circumstances at the present Schenectady train station when we arrived after eight hours of travel.
About eight people got off at the station and wanted to take the elevator down to street level exit. There was a printed sign at the elevator that one had to push the button many times before it would come. After pushing it for about five minutes, it still had not come. The train had not left, as it was waiting on a passenger who could not go up in the elevator. Another five minutes passed when the station master came up the stairs carrying a child in a stroller with the mom carrying her purse and luggage.
The station master told us to keep trying the button, as the elevator would eventually come. It never did and we descended the filthy, metal stairs with the younger passengers helping the older and less-able ones down the steps. Some of the seats in the station were cut open and others were so unclean that you wouldn't sit in them. Nowhere in Europe or most of Asia did we ever experience such unbelievably poor conditions. We are the Third World country -- not them.
The state Department of Transportation, Amtrak and city of Schenectady are responsible for the atrocity called the Amtrak train station. Further procrastination on replacing the present blighted structure by whatever means is an indication of how incompetent, irresponsible and cynical our bureaucrats are.
Draper efforts have been mischaracterized
As the leader of the development team of Sunrise Management & Consulting, Design Logic Architects, and JPM Construction, we have been well received by the community in re-developing the old Draper School.
However, due to some unfortunate mischaractarization by some, people have become confused as to exactly what was proposed. Our proposal is to redevelop the property, using the existing structure, into 113 market-rate apartments.
These will be a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. They have been designed to take advantage of the unique architecture and special place that this building has in the community. These will not be subsidized, low-income, or age-specific in any way.
Additionally, while we are receiving some benefits through Metroplex, there are also no tax credits or special financing that would require any of these restrictions.
We are committed to building and operating an apartment building to be proud of, as we have done at every property we operate, and look forward to restoring this building to its former grandeur.
If you would like to see pictures of what it currently looks like on the inside, please visit our Facebook page at "Old Draper School tribute" and please feel free to upload your old photos and tell us your stories.
The writer is president of the Sunrise Management & Consulting.
Duryee church didn’t get due in events list
Re: Years in the making," a local time line: I was very disappointed to note that the Duryee Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church was not listed in the events for the 1830s.
This church is the first and oldest African American Church in the city of Schenectady and the second oldest African American church in the Capital District.
Duryee (named for its founder -- a Union College student and member of the first reformed church) was established in 1837. We will soon begin our year-long celebration of 180 years in continual service to our community.
I was particularly surprised by this omission, since you had just published a full-page story about our church during Black History month. Though many of the places highlighted were businesses, I did note a few other churches were mentioned, but not Duryee.
Lois B. Mitchell
The writer is a member of the church.