Stanford Mansion move approved

Residents take a last stand against project they say will further damage historic home

Controversy rages on over the old Ingersoll Home as the Niskayuna Planning Board, against some residents' pleas, approved the revised site plan to move the Stanford Mansion.

At the board meeting on Monday, July 12, residents and local activists voiced their concerns about the progress of the Stanford Crossing Shopping Center project. Many residents echoed past complaints that the Ingersoll Home had become an eyesore to the town of Niskayuna and entrance to Schenectady.

The developer wants to move this historic mansion off its foundation to another location in the same development, and this will cause more damage to a building that's already been damaged by having a 19th-century addition removed from it and windows and doorways smashed and other damage in the inside, said John Wolcott, an Albany resident, who spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting.

Wolcott said the building is standing on a pedestal on consolidated sand and gravel with no trees or shrubbery nearby. The vacant lot, as many residents and members of the board agreed, is currently a blemish on the Niskayuna landscape.

"I have copies of the plans for Stanford Crossing " the one that was approved " and I hadn't seen a cross section in elevations," continued Wolcott. "I presume that the Highbridge original plans involved cutting down some areas on the natural landscape with removing some soil and filling in other areas. That must have been what was approved and not what we see now."

Residents also showed some distrust in believing Highbridge Development truly had a restaurant in negotiations to move into the Stanford Mansion.

According to the company, the restaurateur said there wasn't ample space for preparing food.

"I hope you have the common sense to require that they show proof of pending lease holders if you're gonna do something that will add to the damage of a historical building," said Wolcott.

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