[JK:The Saratoga Perservation Society has raised objections to the planned reconstruction of the Skidmore entrance on North Broadway. Here is their release]
The Foundation appreciates the important role that Skidmore College has in our community as an educational institution and the economic benefits it provides as well as it appreciates the college’s desire to be more visible on North Broadway. The Foundation has reviewed the proposed changes to the North Broadway entrance of Skidmore College that will be discussed at tomorrow’s Design Review Commission meeting, June 5th at 7PM at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue. The Foundation has significant concerns about the proposed entrance, which can be viewed here. These concerns have been discussed with Skidmore representatives and we look forward to continuing our open discussion about this proposal with Skidmore College and the local community.
Historically, North Broadway was a wide, tree-lined street with large residences that led through what is today known as the North Woods to Maple Avenue. The introduction of six signs, two of which are monolithic stone walls with large signage; the widening of the road; changing the pavement material and color; introducing red pavers to the sidewalk; and landscaping would introduce incompatible features that are uncharacteristic of the streetscape and significantly compromise the integrity and the spatial relationship of the historic district. It creates a visual barrier and gives the false impression that the road beyond it is owned by Skidmore College and is private property, not a public street that leads to the North Woods. The proposed entrance also creates the false impression that the properties to the east and west were once part of one large private estate rather than multiple properties.
The Foundation recommends that if Skidmore College wants to significantly enhance its entrance that it should do so on its private property not on North Broadway or in the public right-of-way. If there are concerns about way-finding for the campus, including the Admissions Office and other offices on the east side of North Broadway, the Foundation feels that there are less obtrusive ways to address wayfinding than what is currently proposed. The Foundation’s full comments on the proposed entrance can be read here.
If you have any concerns or comments please join us at tomorrow’s DRC meeting.
Thank you to our members and friends for your support!