I have been incensed ever since a lopsided vote in the Common Council allowed the Kingsley-True House to be slated for demolition, despite the overwhelming public and professional support for preservation. How could this have happened?
This was all explained to us in March in this Post-Standard article. Remember? Six of the Common Councilors voted for historic designation while only three, Michael Heagerty, Patrick Hogan and Ryan McMahon, voted against it. But in our broken system, the resolution required 7 “yes” votes to pass. I have to ask, what was our dear Mike Heagerty thinking? He, of all people, as owner of Eastwood’s beloved Palace Theater, should understand the importance of historic buildings to their communities.
It is vitally important that the perception of an either-or situation be turned around. It is patently false that this city must choose between caring for sick kids and protecting its history. Albany didn’t have to make that choice. Philadelphia didn’t have to make that choice. What is it about Syracuse that leaves us vulnerable to three people who somehow ended up with this much power?
“…(T)he votes of city officials on the Landmark Preservation Board (9-0); the Syracuse Planning Commission (5-0); and the Syracuse Common Council (6-3), the votes of city officials were overwhelmingly in favor of historic designation (20-3).” (Post-Standard article)
This is what has been proposed for an expansion of the Kingsley-True house for Syracuse’s Ronald McDonald House – a place that looks like a home, not a hospital:
This is what Philadelphia got in their expansion:
And here is what Albany is doing with a previous expansion in which two mansions were connected:
Mike Stanton of PACNY asked Albany architect John Meyers “…if the Albany RMH board had ever considered demolishing the two houses and building a new facility. He said that possibility had never been raised.” Jeff Yule of the Ronald McDonald House of Albany wrote me to say, “We connected the 2 homes in 1990…. Our current project, which you have a photo of is not an expansion it is a renovation of our facility. John Meyers helped with this project as well. We will not do anything to the Ronald House without his loving input and historical perspective. He is an incredible person and one of our founding members as well as a remarkable resource for the people of Albany. ”
It’s up to you.
TELL the Planning Commission Members to follow through on the Mayor’s commitment to preserving our historic assets. Syracuse was recently named a Preserve America Community. Our first act as such must not be the demolition of this building.
SEND an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in which you state clearly that you are against the demolition of this historic building and in favor of the expansion that makes kids and their families feel at home.
YOU MAY ALSO DROP OFF COMMENTS HERE:
City Planning Commission
201 E. Washington St, Rm 211
Syracuse, NY 13202
PLEASE ATTEND the Planning Commission meeting this Monday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall. Be vocal. Tell them that you support the expansion, not the demolition, of the Kingsley-True house.
The City of Syracuse thanks you!
Since posting this blog, I have received a few suggestions and corrections. I will add them as they come in. So far, the spelling of the Kingsley-True house has been updated, and I have just received further clarification on exactly what has been done at the Albany RMH (above).
This is the proposed new building that would replace a demolished Kingsley-True house: