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Fight to preserve historical building in Geneva

Local News

A group of Geneva residents are trying to save what they say is an architectural treasure of the Finger Lakes. Parrott Hall, the building set to be demolished, was the first building in the city of Geneva to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

To some, Parrott Hall is a dilapidated public safety hazard, but to others like Bruce Reisch it’s a piece of Western New York’s history, a piece he’s been working for more than a decade to preserve. 

“It’s so beautiful, I’d like to see it put back to good use,” said Reisch. 

It seemed to be going well until the financial crisis in 2008 when efforts to work with community members to save the building– he says, were all but abandoned by the state.
Erin Tobin from the Preservation League of New York says her organization along with the Landmark Society have joined Reisch’s fight, and are just asking the state for more time to come up with a way to save the mid-19th century building. 

“We feel like it’s a statewide issue, that a state agency doesn’t want to give a local coalition time to get funds to do the work to stabilize the building,” said Tobin.

“Let’s buy more time instead of doing something that’s absolutely irreversible,” said Reisch.

State Parks says they requested a structural report as well as proof of funding as well as a letter of support from Cornell, which used to own the building by June 15th. 

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