Skaneateles Residents and observers of downtown Skaneateles may have noticed during the past few weeks that the 140-year-old Lakeview House, currently being reconstructed at 4 Genesee St., is nearing completion.
The Lakeview House has been part of historic Skaneateles since the late 1800s, though it has not always been known by that name. Originally constructed in 1872, the building was a grand hotel and has since seen some changes and many various uses as a tavern, retail space and apartments.
The current renovation and reconstruction project, which began in 2010 and is a combined effort of the developer Lakeview House LLC, builder MCK Building Associates Inc. and architect Robert Eggleston, is expected to be completed this April.
There has been some controversy over the reconstruction of the building because of its historic significance, but owner Ted Kinder claims it needed to be demolished.
“It was built originally pretty poorly,” Kinder said. The First National Bank had literally been holding the Lakeview House up, he explained. “It was structurally in horrible condition.”
Kinder and co-owner Bob Medina were able to convince the historic board that something needed to be done.
The ground along the lake is very soft which makes laying the foundation for a building very important. “A lot of the buildings built along there are older and in better shape … anything new built in there is either on tiles or has a really deep foundation on it — the first 10-15 feet of material is just muck,” Kinder said.
Kinder and Medina laid a new foundation in April, 2011. They dug 65 feet down to create an extremely stable foundation.
With the help of architect Eggleston, they were able to recreate the front of the building almost identically to what it was before.
“The facade that we built was not the exact one as the one we tore down,” Kinder said. They abandoned some of the changes that the facade had undergone since its first construction. Eggleston designed it to closely resemble photographs of the facade from 1920.