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History moves on

Stanford Mansion relocated for Highbridge's plaza development

At a pace of a giant turtle, the 200-year-old Stanford Mansion moved from its original location as cars whizzed by on busy adjacent roads.

Wolfe House and Building Movers started moving the over 300-ton building at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov 3, and reached the final destination of Highbridge Development's plan around seven hours later. The building was moved almost 350 feet and would be turned to face Balltown Road.

All along we said that we would save the mansion, said John Roth, president of Highbridge Development. "We tried to save it at its original position; it just didn't function properly in the site."

The Niskayuna Town Planning Board approved the modified site plan on June 10, which allowed for the deviation from the original site plan. The Town Attorney had advised board members that no further State Environmental Quality Review was necessary for the change.

While Highbridge and the town were involved with litigation from the preservationist group Friends of Stanford Home development was stalled, but courts continuously decided in favor of the developer and the move was undertaken.

"Under the new plan we are still making it the center focal piece of the plaza," said Roth. "We are renovating and rehabbing the faCade on it and eventually the interior. We intend to make it an integral part of the entire plaza, that is why we renamed it Mansion Square."

Roth said the move was necessary in order for the plaza to flow better and create more open space on the property. The planned use for the mansion is still unclear.

"We are entertaining a number of different offers on the interior space, but we haven't selected a final concept," said Roth.

Even after the move, the mansion will be raised to allow for the new basement to be built underneath.

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