Gothic Cottage to be renovated for improved town office space

Issue of preservation versus functionality a concern

— In addition to the interior room design, there are also numerous structural issues that need to be resolved including a new roof, repaired chimneys, porches, walls and windows. Internal to the building, there is a need for a new heating system, the creation of air conditioning, upgraded electrical capabilities for computer usage, and climate control for records storage.

Town plans

Town officials have been considering a remodeling of the Gothic Cottage since 2006, when a capital reserve fund — also called the “future of the town office fund” — was established.

In 2009, Ted Bartlett and his colleagues at Crawford & Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners, of Syracuse, worked with Syracuse University architecture students to create a needs assessment and conceptual design report for the building. That report, which is available for public viewing at the town office, called for preservation of the Gothic Cottage’s current interior configuration and the construction of a new addition to the back of the building connected by a period-appropriate walkway. The addition would have housed the clerk’s office, records storage and public meeting space. The plan was estimated to cost about $1 million.

“The 2009 plan was wonderful and full of creative ideas, but we thought it was too big for the budget we would have and the space we would need,” Moran said. The town board felt that the increase in online transactions and data storage, as well as the lack of increase in community population did not encourage the creation of more space.

“We decided smaller was better in this situation,” she said.

By the end of 2012, the town board realized that the Gothic Cottage’s issues “could not be neglected much longer without paying for the consequences,” Moran said.

The town board held numerous meetings concerning the Gothic Cottage and discussed whether to keep the town office in the building and renovate or to move the office completely to a different site. The decision was made to remain at the cottage because it is a good location, it is walkable for community members, and it was the most cost-effective approach.

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