Former director asks Gaines for one-year moratorium on new projects in Historic District
GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum is stepping up its efforts to send a message to Gaines town officials and the developer for a new Dollar General that a new store shouldn’t be built in the historic district on Ridge Road, which includes several cobblestone buildings from the 1830s to 1850s.
The museum has already collected 300 petitions with people opposing construction of a new Dollar General across Route 104 from a cobblestone schoolhouse that was built in 1849. That schoolhouse is part of the museum’s campus that has been declared a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1993.
“Please help keep our Historic District intact! Say no to Dollar General in their request to build a store across the street from the National Historic Landmark Cobblestone Schoolhouse.” That is what a new on-line petition states from the Cobblestone Museum. (Click here to see the petition.)
Museum Director Doug Farley and Bill Lattin, the retired director, attended Monday’s Town Board meeting to state their opposition to the Dollar General in the historic district. Lattin, a former Gaines town supervisor, asked the board to consider a one-year moratorium on new construction in the historic district.
The state agency that works with communities to help preserve historic sites across New York last week sent a letter to the Town of Gaines asking that an alternative site for the store be found.
“It is our opinion that the construction of a generic retail building at this location will significantly alter the District 5 Schoolhouse’s visual environment and setting,” Sloane Bullough, Historic Sites Restoration Coordinator for the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, wrote on Aug. 9 to Michael Grabowski, chairman of the Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals which is reviewing the project.
“The introduction of a modern generic commercial store with its associated 45 space parking and service areas will greatly impact the historic character of the National Landmark school as well as the two other nearby Landmarked cobblestone buildings.”