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Town board interviews potential architects for Gothic Cottage renovation project

Discussions take place behind closed doors despite supervisor’s objection

The Gothic Cottage, built in 1847, is in need of structural renovations. Whether the town board decides to upgrade and possibly even build an addition to the building to better house the town offices will depend on the plan ultimately proposed by the architectural form selected for the work. The board will discuss the issue at its Aug. 12 meeting.

The Gothic Cottage, built in 1847, is in need of structural renovations. Whether the town board decides to upgrade and possibly even build an addition to the building to better house the town offices will depend on the plan ultimately proposed by the architectural form selected for the work. The board will discuss the issue at its Aug. 12 meeting.

— The board previously has stated its decision on which firm to hire will be based on qualifications and ideas for the project and not on project pricing.

The town received numerous responses from firms in New York City, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse, from which the board narrowed its choices to the top three firms. Those firms — Landmark Consulting, of Albany; Crawford & Stearns Architects, of Syracuse; and Holmes, King, Kallquist & Associates, of Syracuse — met with the town board last week for face-to-face interviews to discuss their visions for the renovation project.

The first two interviews were held Monday, July 29, during which the board interviewed representatives from Landmark Consulting and Crawford & Stearns separately. The third firm of Holmes, King, Kallquist & Associates was interviewed Wednesday, July 31.

All three interviews were held as executive sessions of the town board, which meant the members of the public and press were barred from the discussions.

While the Cazenovia Republican was not present for the interviews, Town Supervisor Ralph Monforte said afterward they were “generic” conversations of each firms’ architectural project experiences and project visions to see if there was any “chemistry” between the firm representatives and the town board.

“It was very informative; all the firms were obviously qualified and I don’t think we can make a mistake with any one,” Monforte said, adding that all also were “very sensitive” to the town’s concerns about the historical integrity of the Gothic Cottage and the need to keep project costs reasonable.

All firms also said they would meet with town residents and stakeholders involved in the property in at least one public meeting to make sure everyone feels comfortable with their architectural plans, Monforte said.

Town Councilor Bill Zupan, who is running — currently unopposed — for Cazenovia Town Supervisor this November, agreed that all three potential architecture firms were “impressive” in their presentations and offered assurances that they intend to seek public input in at least one public meeting to discuss the renovations plans.

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