Press-Republican

Local News

March 29, 2014

City to pitch City Hall renovation to TV

Calnon sends letters, video to TV programs hoping to spruce up century-old building

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon is looking to make City Hall a national television star.

Programs that feature remodeling or redesign projects such as “The Property Brothers,” “This Old House” and “The Rehab Addict” will be receiving a letter and short video inviting them to remake the edifice.

“Why not try it? It’s like buying a lottery ticket; you can’t win unless you try,” he said.

“All it will take is some postage and an hour or so of my time, so why not see if we can drum up some interest?” 

‘GRAND STRUCTURE’

Calnon hopes the historical significance of City hall, constructed in the Classical Revival style, will get the attention of television producers.

Designed by noted architect John Russell Pope, it was built in the second decade of the 20th century and opened in 1916.

Pope is known for designing well-known sites such as the Jefferson Memorial and many edifices on the campus of Yale University.

“The history of this building speaks for itself,” the mayor said. “It is from that era of great government building designs and really is quite a grand structure.”

‘IN BAD SHAPE’

The facade of City Hall in downtown Plattsburgh is magnificent, for sure.

Majestic stone columns rise from the imposing marble steps, linking to a triangle-shaped roof that gives visitors the feeling that many important decisions must have been made inside.

But the inside of the nearly 100-year-old building — well, that’s a different story.

“The interior leaves a lot to be desired,” Calnon said.

“Let’s face it, it’s in bad shape.”

BASEMENT

City Hall spreads out over about 22,000 square feet on three levels.

The Assessor’s, Building Inspector’s, Engineering and Environmental offices are on the lower floor, accessed by entrances on the north and south sides.

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