National Historic Registered Building in Trouble
" To Arms... To Arms!!"
By: Garrett L. McCarthy Henderson Historic Society President
"Pick your battles wisely" is a phrase which guides my efforts in seeking to pull out all the stops to ensure a solution can be found for a major building in tiny Watertown, NY.
I had studied art and architecture over in England as an extra senior year in college. The small city of Exeter was a mixture of historic structures throughout the city limits - pocked by "gaps". These gaps either remained empty of were occupied by dreadful experiments of architectural indulgences. Large steel glass block structures stood in such startling and ugly contrast to buildings which retained their historic character and harmony of the master craftsmen and bricklayers who had a flair for extraordinary design and detail work which stand the test of time.
During WW2, the German Luftwaffe was the prime culprit for decimating whole sections of this Devonshire community. Roofs were painted black in order to deter being targeted by the bombing campaign as churches, municipal buildings, and others were sought for destruction. At least these gaps and disappearance of centuries old structures were due to forces beyond the locals' control.
Watertown, New York, once resplendent with vast avenues of amazing homes, municipal structures, hotels, theaters, train depot, armory, and more is littered with "parking lots" throughout. This was not the result of an external; force which devastated these architectural gems. This was the unmistaken result of "urban renewal" - the failure of one city government - after another - after another. "The Beat Goes On " should be the theme song for the current leadership as the community witnesses their former "Mercy Hospital" come tumbling down. All pleas for leaving the historic administrative edifice intact and incorporated into the huge conglomeration of bland architecture planned for the site fell upon deaf ears. Those "behind the door" hand shakes sealed its fate long ago.
The battle to keep the Masonic Temple was undertaken with a miniscule budget but a determined effort to keep the powers that be from making it into yet another parking lot. Trinity PH faces a similar fate if we dare relax.
Company: Fine Art Murals & Trompe L'oeil
City: Wilbraham
State: MA
Phone: (315) 775-6464 (mobi

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