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Historian to revisit American Museum of Electricity

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Historian to revisit American Museum of Electricity

John C. Fisher and Milan Fiske check out a model layout.
John C. Fisher and Milan Fiske check out a model layout.

Remember what happened to the American Museum of Electricity in Niskayuna?

All I know is that it never happened, but Chris Leonard knows all the details why, and he's going to talk about it Friday, Jan. 26, from 6-9 p.m. at the Troy Innovation Garage at 24 Fourth Street in Troy.

The program is called "Left on the Drawing Board: A Night of Alternate History," and is being organized by Cornerstone Consulting/Troy by Gas-Light. It's an evening of "what ifs?" and along with Leonard's presentation about the ill-fated proposal for an American Museum of Electricity, there will be six other short discussions on projects that never really got off the ground.

Scott Townsend of 3t Architects will talk about "I-787 and Albany Waterfront Design."

John Mesick of Mesick/Cohen/Wilson/Baker Architects will address "H.H. Richardson's Albany Cathedral."

Reuben Hull, District Regional Director for McLaren Engineering, will discuss "Unbuilt Highways of the NY Capital District."

Hassan Elminyawi, owner of Urban Aftermath, will offer his take on "Central Avenue: Opportunities and Suggestions for Enhancing Bicycle and Pedestrian Access."

Mark Thaler of Lacy/Thaler/Reilly/Wilson Architecture and Preservation will talk about the "Plan for Albany Riverfront 2002."

City of Troy and Rensselaer County Historian Kathy Sheehan will look back at the "Garnet Baltimore Plan for Troy."

The American Museum of Electricity was the dream of many in the Schenectady and Niskayuna area. The idea of a large museum facility located in Niskayuna on the Mohawk River first came up in 1963 and while it got plenty of good traction, it never materialized and by 1973 the project had been scrapped.

Leonard, historian for the neighborhood association in the GE Realty Plot, will tell us what might have happened and why it didn't.

The event is open to the public, free of charge. Street parking and parking in the Uncle Sam Garage on River Street is free after 5 p.m.

Downtown Schenectady exhibit opens

The Schenectady County Historical Society opens a new exhibit Saturday at 2 p.m. with a talk by 1983 Linton High grad Chris Spencer. The name of the exhibit is "Changing Downtown: The Rise, the Raze and the Revitalization of Schenectady," and Spencer, a city planner now working for the city of Albany, will talk mainly about the successes experienced downtown since 2000.

The event is at society headquarters on Washington Avenue in the Stockade neighborhood. Admission is $5 for non-members and free for members.