Get Knocked Down—or They’ll Get Saved Again
Historic Action Network is opposed to the proposed demolition
of the Freihofer’s bakery building in Lansingburgh [Newsfront,
Nov. 21]. Eric Daillie, cofounder of the Network, is quoted
in Metroland as saying, “It’s very important to save
these structures to keep a certain flair to visitors.” Just
what types of visitors do Mr. Daillie and his tree-hugging
friends hope to attract with this dilapidated old building?
Pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers? The article goes on to
fret over the old water commissioner’s house, which is also
under the threat of demolition. Who cares? These buildings
can hardly be described as landmarks. I say tear the old buildings
To the Editor:
to statements made by Eckerd spokeswoman Tani Alderman to
Metroland reporter David Riley, the company never offered
to move the buildings. It only offered to donate the Riverside
Club, leaving to us the cost of moving it and finding a location.
As for the Freihofer’s bakery building, no offers were made
to either donate it or move it, let alone reuse it.
While moving the Riverside Club is not the preferred option,
we are not categorically opposed to it, if it were to facilitate
the reuse of the old bakery and if an appropriate location
could be found. However, neither the demolition nor the displacement
of the Freihofer’s bakery is an acceptable outcome. The building
was built to fit the site and is set in history. Furthermore,
considering its size, the different sections and floor levels,
it would not be possible to move it, except brick by brick.
So far, Eckerd has refused to reuse any portion of the building,
which is currently built up to the sidewalk, rounding the
corner at Second Avenue and 126th Street. Instead, it has
proposed a cookie-cutter big box, set back in a black sea
of asphalt, in typical strip-mall fashion.
We know Eckerd is not insensitive to historic preservation.
In Corning, N.Y., it restored a three-story brick building
built in 1885. In Newberry, S.C., it recently pledged nearly
$260,000 toward the cost of moving the Matthews House, a historic
landmark built in 1893. We also know that such cases are rare.
In 2000, Eckerd refused to consider the reuse of the former
School 10 in Albany, as requested by the Planning Board, and
withdrew its application. Now the same situation has developed
in Troy, where the Planning Commission is requiring Eckerd
to submit a draft environmental impact statement that must,
aside from assessing all environmental impacts, consider the
adaptive reuse of the buildings, including a cost analysis
and a structural report.
Is Eckerd prepared to fulfill these requirements and work
with preservationists and city planners to develop an acceptable
outcome? If not, we ask that it withdraw its application.
Freihofer’s must find a socially responsible buyer or donate
the buildings. Located on the proposed Greenway bike trail,
the site would make a perfect tourist information center/restaurant,
uniquely positioned at the hub of a network of biking and
hiking trails and waterways connecting the Hudson River with
the Mohawk River/Erie Canal and Champlain Canal, a destination
of choice for tourism and recreational and cultural activities.
Historic landmarks form the foundation on which to develop
our region’s tourism. They are a living history of our community.
It’s crazy to destroy them.
Historic Action Network
Matter of Perspective
reading the edition of Metroland that gave specific
attention to the current political climate [“Charge of the
Right Brigade,” Nov. 14], I feel I must make a confession:
I did not vote a complete Democratic/Liberal ticket. Please
don’t despise me. It’s just that I feel misled and alienated
from my leadership.
Things that they have promised would come to pass should the
Evil Right come to power have not befallen us. My kids eat
balanced meals at school, my parents get their prescriptions
filled and only buy cat food for Godfrey (they spoil him,
too). My brother-in-law used his semi-automatic deer rifle
in the proper way, and he shares the venison. My job is secure,
the bills are paid. No, all is not well in the world, and
there have been, are, and always will be people who need our
help regardless of who holds office. The politician is an
animal not to be trusted regardless of party affiliation,
and I would not characterize my current leanings as at all
permanent. There is a lot I don’t like in the Republican Party,
but to be fair, there is a lot I don’t like in the Democratic
Party right now. For now, the Republicans at least appear
to be doing what they claimed they would. I have to support
that. I realize you don’t. Good. Keep them honest. It’s why
you are here.
To the Editor:
people in Albany realize your “news” weekly is a profoundly
left-leaning rag, which supports itself through grotesque
advertisements and the fact that it is, currently, the only
easily accessible source of local events and music information.
Hopefully, those who were oblivious should have had their
eyes opened to your bias by the Nov. 14 edition.
Not only was the cover inappropriate—a gleeful elephant carrying
a presumably dead donkey while chasing a black, a woman, an
Arab, and a generic white man (who looked a lot like a stereotypical
college professor)—the essay section contained only comments
on how we are all going to take it up the rear because of
the Republicans. I propose if you were really a newsweekly
and understood there are two sides to a story, you would have
had presented more than one perspective. However, you are
not a legitimate source of news and I doubt having a counterpoint
presented would serve your agenda.
seems to be “out to change the world.” Sometimes that
is a worthy goal (both Gandhi and Hitler were out to the change
the world; no one doubts Gandhi’s objective was righteous
and true and no one sane doubts Hitler’s intentions were pure
evil) but it is not the job of a journalist or a journalistic
venture. Perhaps you could change your name to Metroland:
The Capital Region’s Free Liberal Weekly. Then people
could easily see where you were coming from. At the least
you should drop the word news from your description.
I would like to close with one final thought. Has it occurred
to the writers and staff of Metroland that the Republicans
won because people legitimately voted for them—not because
of some hocus pocus or Wag the Dog deception? I, for
one, am offended by the insinuation that those who voted for
a Republican were either fooled or mindless zombies. I can
make up my own mind and I suspect everyone else who got off
their asses and went to the polls can as well.
Stephen Leon replies:
The articles that appeared in the Nov. 14 post-election package
were clearly labeled “essays”; though they included some reporting,
we did not attempt to present them as neutral “news” stories.
As for Myron Getman’s reminder that there are two sides to
a story, I would suggest that usually, there are more than
two. However, our mission is not necessarily to give equal
time to all sides of any given issue, but to give voice to
people and ideas that are underrepresented in the corporate-controlled
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