Monday, March 29, 2010

A Tale of Two Buildings

Recently there have been two articles about well-known properties in Skaneateles. They exist just a short walk from each other, and each can be seen from the other's windows, I believe. But their news is so very different.

The Old Stone Mill was revealed to be in foreclosure on Friday in the Post-Standard. The developer/owner was unable to meet his creditors' demands of 2.8 million dollars. The gorgeous renovation he had started, having purchsed the building for just over half a million, was stopped and the Old Stone Mill's future is left in the hands of a bank. The auction won't be before June, the paper reported. My guess is the place will sit again, just as it did for years before. Hopefully this time the developer/bank won't let the pigeons in to roost.

Down Genesee and around the corner to West Lake Street, then up the bit of hill is the second property featured, this time in Sunday's paper. Adam Weitsman's gorgeous "remodel" of Ginley's home took center stage. The house is an amazing project of stone, copper, glass, and old world artisanship. We met the landscapers last summer in the office when they came looking for housing for a couple years. They described the gardens, but the paper embellishes on them. Once done it will be the showcase of the lake.

Price tag - maybe 20 million - but who's counting?

The home has stirred up controversy. People in town love it or hate it, it seems. Most of the opinions cite the Ginley house history - how could anyone virtually tear down that lovely home? Speaking of tearing down, the Weitsmans also bought and removed the house next door, adding to their waterfront and space for the gardens. It will truly be an incredible home when it's done in two years - or so!

Skaneateles is changing, and like it or not, the long-standing properties will change. From my perspective, I like the fact that instead of building on postage stamp-sized lawns, the village is keeping the homes and buildings graceful on large lots. Next to go will be the building housing Imagine. But instead of falling down, it will be reborn.

I would love to see someone with vision purchase the Old Stone Mill. Someone who has the money to keep it going, to make it once again the focal point of the village. Please - step forward!