Hudson Valley Demolition Alert
December 14, 2015
The Nepera Chemical plant, which operated in
Harriman from 1942 to 2005, was demolished in 2015, with work
substantially complete by the end of autumn. Nepera produced pyridine,
used in agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as niacin, a food
additive. Additionally, Nepera used more than two dozen hazardous and
toxic chemicals in its manufacturing processes. In the 1980s the Superfund
Amendment Reauthorization Act focused attention on the property and its
off-site waste dumps in relation to environmental contamination. Included
in the demolition of the chemical plant was this handsome stone building
with arched windows, once part of the Harriman estate and pre-dating
Nepera's 1942 acquisition of the site.
Julia L. Butterfield Memorial Hospital (1925,
with additions 1941 and 1963) has been demolished. Demolition began in the
summer and was largely completed by the end of autumn, 2015. The hospital
closed in 1993 and in December 2012 the Cold Spring Historic District
Review Board voted to allow demolition. The site will be redeveloped for
"condominium homes for retiree-age residents; two retail-cum-office
buildings, one with likely government-related tenancy (such as a senior
citizens center) in part, and three single-family homes."
The last remaining section of the main building
at Middletown State Homeopathic Hospital burned on July 12, 2015. The
structure was entirely demolished by the end of July 14. The hospital closed
in 2006, and the main building was privately-owned when it burned.
EFG/DRA Heritage, owner of the Hudson River State
Hospital property, recently announced their plan to redevelop the 156-acre
site. Unfortunately, plans call for demolition of almost all of the nearly
60 existing buildings. Even the administration building, the central
portion of the Kirkbride structure, is not guaranteed to be incorporated
into the new site plan. This would truly be one of the great architectural
losses to the Hudson Valley, especially as the administration building is
in good condition, having been occupied until the hospital vacated this
site in 2001. Stylistically, and in size, the administration building is
comparable to Kingston City Hall, which was restored in 2000 following 28
years of abandonment and was in much worse condition.
The c. 1752 Abram Lent House in Orangeburg
(Rockland County) was
demolished this morning. It is believed that the owner of the property
plans to build a restaurant on the site of this stone house.
The Orange County legislature recently decided
that it would "take no action" to block the demolition and
reconstruction of the Orange County Government Center, despite a new
proposal that would preserve the building and save public funding to be
used for the reconstruction project.
Teatown Lake Reservation has announced a March 1
deadline for interested persons to acquire and "repurpose"
(read; demolish and salvage) the Croft Mansion. Built c. 1914 by antiques
dealer Arthur Vernay, the house includes architectural elements from
historic English homes. It remained a private residence until 2008.
Teatown acquired the Croft in 2008.
The Town of Haverstraw, which owns a portion of
the former Letchworth Village residential treatment facility, announced
plans to demolish Stewart Hall (pictured above) and the Reville (hospital)
Building this spring, with the possibility of further demolition.
Demolition plans date to a 2006 proposal for the property, but those plans
are expected to commence soon due to a $500,000 New York State grant to
the Town of Haverstraw.