Friday, 12 March 2010 00:00
On the morning of Feb. 11, two representatives of the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) braved through blizzard conditions for a pre-arranged visit to St. Paul’s. At the urging of The Garden City Historical Society, aided by several trustees, the tour had been scheduled a week earlier. Their visit was supposed to give them a firsthand look inside the building.
They intended to use the viewing to provide advisory input that might help to support preservation. Trustee John Watras arranged for the tour, with the support of Trustee Don Brudie and Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh, who also met the SHPO reps and Historical Society members when they arrived at St. Paul’s.
Village administrators cited insurance and liability concerns for not following through with the St. Paul’s tour, even though the SHPO representatives wrote to the village saying that they were willing to sign a waiver and wear protective gear. After years of neglect and mismanagement, village officials now claim the historic main building is no longer safe for visiting. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth saving. Now more than ever, The Garden City Historical Society and The Committee to Save St. Paul’s call upon the village to work with preservationists to save our village treasure.
Preservation groups throughout the region have promised to work together with us toward a sound, fiscally responsible alternative plan to demolition. Spending millions to crush the main building into rubble is not the answer.
The Executive Committee of the Committee to Save St. Paul’s