Greenfield Ave. home comes down
Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Crews began ripping into a Greenfield Avenue home today after months of protest from area preservationists and a bid by city officials to keep it in tact.
The home, which dates to the 1850s, was purchased by the Riggi family in 2009 for $1.2 million. When crews began preparing to take it down last year, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation called for city officials to halt its demolition.
A moratorium keeping it from the wrecking ball expired at the end of April, and the crews came back today. As of around 4 p.m., a large portion of the home’s back side had been taken down, but the main brick structure remained largely in tact.
Neighbors who passed by slowed down in their cars to take in the activity and express one-word sentiments: terrible, awful and horrible were among the words I heard.
John Derby, a 77-year-old Catherine Street resident who has lived in the city his entire life, stood on the sidewalk and watched the large machines claw their way into the structure. Derby said he saw the U.S. Hotel and the Grand Union Hotel come down so, in that context, he didn’t see the home’s destruction as a great loss.
“After all, it’s progress, and I’ve seen more beautiful properties than this come down over the years,” he said. “My only thought is that there’s so much that could be salvaged that’s just going to get thrown away.”
It’s unclear what precisely what the Riggi’s have planned for the property, which sits just west of their stately North Broadway home.
– Drew Kerr
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