Old Address: 50 Church Street

From: Phil Gallos, "Throw-away Buildings. A Saranac Lake Notebook," from the Newsletter of the Center for Adirondack Studies, North Country Community College, c. 1980.

Since 1970, I have seen only one sane demolition in Saranac Lake. That was the removal of 50 Church Street. In 1975, its owner sold it (but not the land on which it stood) for a pittance to a young man who wanted to build a house. That young man and his friends spent the better part of a summer taking 50 Church Street apart, piece by piece. He got for his pittance more than he needed to build his house, and the original owner got his land cleared at a rock-bottom price.

There had been some question in my mind about the correctness of the original owner's decision to demolish 50 Church Street but no question whatsoever about the rightness of how it was done. Even if the building itself was lost, the materials with which it had been built were rescued and reused. This was rational and economically sound action.

See the pages for Potter Block and Hotel Alpine for more of this essay.

Other historic properties