Preservation Foundation Issues Alert On Proposed Renovations To City Hall

[JK: I received this alert from the Preservation Foundation.  The Design Review Commission will be reviewing the proposed renovations at a meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday,May 15).  The brief alert reviews both features that the Foundation applauds and items it has issues with.  The actual release can be seen HERE.




Proposed Interior Renovations to be Reviewed TOMORROW

The Foundation is pleased that the Department of Public Works is presenting the proposed renovation plans of City Hall, a Local Landmark, to the Design Review Commission for review at the DRC meeting on Wednesday, May 15. The meeting will begin at 7PM at the Recreation Center, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue

The Foundation understands the number of improvements that need to be made to the infrastructure of the building – electrical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, as well as communication and security systems – and the need to increase office and operational efficiencies and meet the state mandate to provide a second hearing room for the Saratoga Springs City Court. The Foundation has no objections to the proposed floor plans that have been presented, which can be viewed here.  The Foundation appreciates the dialogue that has taken place with the Department of Public Works as renovation plans have developed and the changes that have been made based on the feedback the Foundation has provided. 

The Foundation is very pleased with the plans to not only to preserve, but also to uncover many of the historic features of the building such as the tin ceilings, light fixtures, stained glass, art deco balustrade, doors, radiators, and, most importantly, the stairs as you enter City Hall as they are a significant character-defining feature of the building.  The Foundation thanks Commissioner of Accounts John Franck for his willingness to sacrifice space for his department’s offices in order to accommodate the proposed second elevator and preserve the stairs.  The Foundation is also pleased that the diamond-patterned floor in the hall will be restored to its historic appearance, which emphasizes the path of circulation – visually connecting the entry of the building to the end of the hall, leading one to the City Council Chamber and where the historic court room was located. 

However, the Foundation does not support the proposed change to the vestibule that alters the entry into the interior of City Hall and does not find the proposed treatment of the Music Hall appropriate.

At this time, the Foundation recommends that this project receive a phased review from the Design Review Commission in order to not delay the progress of this important project moving forward.  Phase I would allow for the Design Review Commission to approve the proposed floor plans, which the Foundation supports.  Phase II would allow time for additional information to be provided regarding interior design details – including materials, finishes, and colors – which are difficult to review in the proposed renderings, available here.  

The Foundation’s full comments on the proposed renovation can be read here.  

Thank you to our members and friends for your support!


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