For it is not just the house that will be lost, but the Village Edge East, a village icon in place since the early 19th century, a complete change from rural/village edge to 100 percent 21st century commercial/retail at the entrance to the village. But most importantly, it says that as a community, again we are not willing to take a stand and demand visionary development over the mundane.
If there ever was an icon for what the future of development in Cazenovia will be, it is the Enders House site. If we lose it, we not only lose a building and site, but will have opened the flood gates by precedence and may loose any aspect of controlled and compatible development for our community.
The plight of the Enders House and site represents how we envision ourselves, our future and our community.
In 1999 when the big box threatened the village edge east corridor, and again in 2004 when that same property was threatened with large scale commercial development, the public spoke out. It was not just the elite — go back and look at those hearings — it was an incredible cross-section of our community that demanded this not happen. And guess what, it didn’t happen at that time.
Fortunately a local community member has rescued the farmlands of the former Enders property and secured its preservation. However, the two-acre parcel with the house on it was not included in that deal.
It is time to speak up at every level.
Tell the town that the loss of the house would be counter-productive to the future of our community and that resources of high historic importance should have some level of protections within at leas the site plan review process.
Tell the village the same thing, and that they need to strengthen architectural guidelines with definitive guidelines for the entire village, and probably most important, once these are in place enforce them.
Loss of the Enders House will be a loss of part of our community’s soul; but more importantly it speaks to how we view ourselves, our community’s future and our destiny.
Ted Bartlett is a Cazenovia resident and senior associate at Crawford & Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.