Niagara Gazette


January 8, 2013

Preservation meeting scheduled on carriage house

Niagara Gazette — Members of a local preservation group and task force are hoping to renew community support for a plan to preserve a Civil War-era building at DeVeaux Woods State Park.

Members of the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation Society and a task force created last year by Mayor Paul Dyster's administration have called a meeting for 1 p.m. today to discuss efforts to preserve the Carriage House, a building that has been standing inside the park since 1863. The session will be held in Room 17 at Niagara Falls City Hall, 745 Main St.

Local preservationists rallied last year to delay plans by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to tear down the building which state officials previously said had deteriorated to the point where it posed a "serious health and safety risk."

In April, amid pressure from advocates for the building, regional state parks Director Mark Thomas announced that his office would postpone demolition for at least several months to allow preservationists and community leaders to develop a "viable" plan to reuse and rehabilitate the structure. 

In the meantime, Mary Ann Rolland, president of the Falls Historic Preservation Society, said the building's roof is showing new signs of deterioration, including several holes she says could have been avoided through proper care by the state. 

"Over a year ago, preservationists in Niagara Falls and Niagara County requested a tarp be placed on the barn's roof to protect it from the weather until funds could be raised to replace the deteriorated roofing," Rolland said Tuesday. "Nothing was done. Instead, state parks maintenance personnel have taken a bucket truck, scraped snow and shingles off the roof and knocked holes in the south side of the barn decking to increase the likely deterioration of the interior of the structure." 

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