Casatelli couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw on a local
newscast that Target officials had expressed remorse over
the destruction of a historic building in East Greenbush.
nervy SOBs, they pretended ignorance and expressed regret
at the ‘removal’ of the house,” said Casatelli, of the local
citizens group Community Action Network. “Some people know
the price of everything and the value of nothing, but a 13-year-old
child could tell these aren’t the right things to do.”
room for the construction of a new 125,000-square-foot Target
retail store off Third Avenue in East Greenbush, developer
John Nigro demolished the historic Defreest-Church House on
Nov. 7 before a small crowd of furious protestors who for
months had tried to save the structure. Early on Nov. 15,
Nigro workers felled six healthy trees dating back at least
140 years to make room for the retail store’s parking lot.
Nigro nor Target officials returned phone calls late Wednesday
an alternative plan to save the home and trees on site and
presented it to Nigro and Target officials, who deemed it
unsuitable. The alternative plan called for the Target store
to be shifted 22 feet, saving the historic building while
only compromising 25 parking spaces from the retail store’s
initial proposal. Casatelli said Nigro told her the proposal
was too costly, but according to her own appraisals, the cost
of demolition was $10,000 more expensive.
basically, they stonewalled us,” said Casatelli. “They said
that putting the big box back would encroach on the wetlands.
But they never got it straight and never cleared things up.”
brick structure played a role in the anti-rent wars of the
mid-1800s. During that period, farmers in Rensselaer County
revolted against their landowners, eventually bringing an
end to the feudal system of land control dating back to the
Patroons of the 1600s.
Breglia, an arborist and professor at the College of Agriculture
and Technology at Cobleskill, was to inspect the trees later
in the day on Nov. 15, but upon his arrival found a pile of
boycott Target forever,” said Casatelli. “Target symbolizes
all that is wrong with sprawl. They suck millions of dollars
out of the community, but don’t show any respect for the desires
of the its citizens.”