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Letter to the editor: Architecture captures our collective history

Editor:

On the evening of Sept. 13, at The Bond, 1786, Warrensburgh Beautification Inc. and the Warrensburgh Historical Society, with the Chamber of Commerce and the town’s Economic Development Committee, sponsored a presentation, “Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation” by Steven Engelhart, founding director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage. The program was excellent and captured on video. Many historic property owners and representatives from the town boards and nonprofit organizations were in attendance.

I gave a tribute to Florence Carrington and dedicated the newly created Historic Preservation Award in her honor. She was a successful businesswoman and dedicated volunteer who spent three years listing the Merrill Magee House in 1985 as the first individual property on the National Register of Historic Places in Warrensburg.

Town Historian Sandi Parisi gave a brief history of Doug and Louise Goettsche's 20-year commitment to the Cornerstone Victorian B&B, and they were presented with the first annual Historic Preservation Award for efforts not only to preserve and maintain an architectural gem but to operate an award-winning business.

The threat of the recent Dollar General application loomed, and Steven warned that the irreplaceable loss of our historic architectural treasures, which tell the stories of how our communities evolved, create a sense of place and reflect our unique character, is a slow and insidious process that will forever change our landscape.

Perhaps not only the economic benefits, but the pride in retaining the identity of our communities for future generations, will inspire those who purchase and restore with the help of the current tax incentive and grant programs. To restore is more economical and environmentally responsible than to replace — a compelling reason for investors who seek out destinations that have more to offer than chain stores and haphazard development.

Teresa Whalen, Warrensburg

 (Whalen is the chairwoman of Warrensburgh Beautification)

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