Thursday, February 2, 2012

Revitalizing a landmark

28 Railroad Avenue
Established in 1786 the village of Cooperstown, New York is rich in beauty and tradition. Far removed from centers of architectural innovation, Cooperstown is actually home to many significant residential, commercial and religious structures. One example stands at 28 Railroad Avenue.

Constructed in 1903 this building served residents of the area for decades as a feed mill, food and produce store.  Its function during the 1940's and 50's remains a mystery, but in the 1960's an Agway retail store moved into the facility.  For over 40 years Agway served the local community until the store chose to leave Railroad Avenue in 2008.  The building laid vacant for nearly a year after Agway's departure until Mike Manno purchased the property. 

Red Oak Wainscot and trim
A preservationist at heart and resident of Cooperstown for decades, Mr. Manno feared the historic structure would be demolished.  His goal was to restore the building and transform it into useable space. 

G&S Construction and owner Steve Smith began renovations at the property in the winter of 2009. Throughout the project special care was taken to maintain the historical accuracy of the building while also making improvements that would preserve its longevity.

The original layout consisted of two buildings which have since been connected to create a tremendous open floor plan. The main building, which once served as the feed mill, now features new trusses and a barrel vaulted ceiling. Wainscot has been added to the ceiling and walls, and many of the building's historical elements have been preserved including an auger that once transported grain within the facility.
Extensive exterior renovations have also been completed. The siding has been replaced with custom novelty siding and new windows have been installed.

Mr. Manno has completed renovations and is now actively searching for an interested party to utilize the newly renovated space.

The revitalization of this historic property is truly inspiring; the next occupant is sure to have quite a story to tell.

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