66 Franklin remains in waiting

Fate of one of Spa City’s historically significant buildings rests with owner

The fate of this 66 Franklin St. property in Saratoga Springs rests with the actions of its owner. Photo Submitted.

The fate of this 66 Franklin St. property in Saratoga Springs rests with the actions of its owner. Photo Submitted.

— The New York State Supreme Court on Monday, April 11, issued a permanent injunction preventing the demolition of the historic Winans-Crippen House at 66 Franklin St., Saratoga Springs without either approval of the City’s Design Review Commission or an order of the State Supreme Court.

The building’s owner, Joe Boff, applied for demolition of the structure before the city’s Design Review Commission in December 2008.

The property is listed as a contributing building to the West Side Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also located in the local historic district where its demolition is subject to review and approval by the City’s Design Review Commission. In July 2009, the National Trust for Historic Preservation featured it in its national magazine Preservation as a “threatened” historic building.

“It’s one of the few remaining examples of John D. Steven’s work who was the architect for The United States Hotel and The Grand Union Hotel that were once on Broadway,” said Samantha Bosshart, Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation’s executive director.

“It has some of the earliest houses dating back to the early 1800s but it’s also unique because it shows evolution of architecture over the next century. You see Second Empire, you see Greek Revival, you see the Queen Anne, you have a little bit of everything right there,” added Bosshart about Franklin Square.

According to Bosshart, the foundation is pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision and would like to see somebody restore the building at 66 Franklin St.

“This decision, affirming the role of the Design Review Commission in protecting our City’s historic buildings, is a win for historic preservation in Saratoga Springs and a win for following the process outlined in the city ordinance and by New York State law. …We hope that the owner of 66 Franklin Street will complete the DRC proceeding and let the DRC make its decision. The Foundation would like to see this historic building repaired so it can continue to tell its story of Saratoga Springs’s remarkable architectural history,” she said.

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