Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, May 05, 2006

On The Fast Track To Destruction In Amsterdam.

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This house is one of three beautiful Victorian houses slated for demolition by Fastrac Corporation so it can expand its convenience store on Market Hill in Amsterdam. The owners of this house spent years restoring it. When Fastrac announced it was planning to expand, the owners fought the expansion. Finally, Fastrac offered them more money for their house than it was worth and allowed them to remove the pillars, stained glass windows, and other architectural delights.

While I was never in this house, I was in one of the other two which is actually nicer than this one and cannot describe the beauty of the fireplaces, balustrades, woodwork, etc. It’s hard to imagine building a house like this today, using the same materials, for under $500,000.

Fastrac still hasn’t received a zoning variance in order to expand. Many neighbors still oppose the expansion so the destruction of these houses may be for nothing.

3 Comments:

  • very sad, I always have mixed feelings when I hear of houses like this coming down in A'dam- they are beautiful pieces of architecture, but many of them are often neglected, crap piles up on their porches, they plastic up the windows, and often they're better off just coming down. This one doesn't fall into that category, but many of the houses in this same vicinity do- man if people would just take of their properties and have a little pride, we'd have a showcase community.

    By Anonymous wmurphy, at 10:17 AM  

  • You are right about people neglecting their property in various parts of Amsterdam, and sometimes houses do have to come down. It's a shame that when Urban Renewal hit Amsterdam in the 60s and 70s, that so many great buildings were torn down while much of the poor housing stock was left standing.

    You might want to stop in Stewarts on Market Street and ask to see the photo of the mansion that used to be on that corner. I have noticed that the two Victorian houses across Bunn Street from Stewarts are not being kept up like they used to be.

    Amsterdam seems to lack a vision and a plan for its future. There is so much apathy there.

    I thought things were going to really happen when Shaun Lynch came to town and started fixing up houses. But know he vows to never spend a nickel on Amsterdam again. I don't know the whole story about his problems and arrest, but he was the first bit of hope to hit Amsterdam in thirty years.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 11:32 AM  

  • I think that you are both right, in terms of the fact that people should take more pride in their properties even if to keep their yards clean and the junk off the porches and out of site. I went through the Bunn Street and Academy Street neighborhoods recently and was appalled by the conditions that I saw. Talk about crap piles! I cannot imagine why people want to live in these conditions and they should not blame absentee landlords, as the tenants they also need to take some responsibility to the property as well.

    And for Mr. Lynch, I applauded his early actions in trying to revitalize some of the derelict housing…but with an attitude such as his and the fact that for some reason he has still not turned over the donated house…we are probably better off without him.

    For the mistake that is referred to as Urban Renewal…well not much we can do about that. I do however think that if the proposal from Councilman Dybas is passed and gets executed and managed properly then maybe Amsterdam will start coming out of the neglect it has suffered these last thirty years.

    By Blogger AmstHistory, at 7:27 PM  

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