LITTLE FALLS — Built between 1916 and 1918, Little Falls City Hall is 95 years old and is in need of federal and state grant moneys to fund its repair.
“The city spent $7,000 last year to stop the leaks in the roof, but there are other repairs that need to be made,” Mayor Robert Peters said during Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Common Council. “The city cannot continue to keep up with the repairs with tax money alone. Federal or state funding is needed to address what needs to be done.”
Nan Ressue, acting chairwoman of Preserve Our Past, said the not-for-profit organization of citizens interested in preserving architecturally significant buildings within the city of Little Falls would put $1,000 toward the $3,500 cost of hiring architect Randall Crawford, of Syracuse-based Crawford and Stearns, to perform a needs assessment to identify and prioritize restorations and repairs at City Hall. Ressue added the city would be called upon to cover $2,000 of the cost, with Crawford donating the remaining $500.
“City Hall is now 95 years old and is beginning to show the effects of age. Not shoddy construction, but the ravages of time,” she said as she addressed the Common Council.
Ressue listed the roof, original wiring and unreliable heating throughout the two-and-a-half-story, steel-frame building faced in brick and terra cotta as potential areas of need.
“The $2,000 will come from the 2014 budget, with the council’s approval, so the city will not be able to move forward with the project until after the budget is in place in January,” said Peters. “The intent is to get this process moving along as soon as possible.”
Ressue said Glens Falls-based Avalon Associates, the city’s grant writing firm, will use the needs assessment completed by Crawford to apply for federal and state grant funding to preserve and restore the historic Classical Revival style building.
“I laud Preserve Our Past for taking the lead on this, especially with the 100th anniversary of City Hall five years away,” said First Ward Alderman Jeffrey Gressler.
Named to the State and National Register of Historic Places in 2011, Little Falls City Hall has a slate covered mansard roof with decorative copper and dormers and sits on a concrete foundation. Atop the roof is a lantern structure with a tiled dome roof and arched windows paneled with colored glass. The front façade features a monumental, three-bay, projected center entrance pavilion with four fluted pilasters.
“The sooner we know what needs to be done, the sooner the city can begin to apply for funding to make the repairs,” said Peters.