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April 8, 2013

Step Back in Time: April 8, 2013

25 years ago

April 8,Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color 1988

COOPERSTOWN — The restoration of Hyde Hall, a town of Springfield mansion notable for its enormous size and English-style construction, is now in progress as the result of a new agreement between New York state and the Friends of Hyde Hall Inc.

The agreement is the stuff of a 24-year-old dream.

And the restoration, estimated at less than $500,000 in the 1960s, is now estimated at $4 million and up.

Douglas Kent, a trustee of the Friends and a man who talks endlessly about the mansion, readily admits to the ambitious nature of the project. Climbing Mt. Everest might be simpler.

“We figure at least $4 million (for restoration) plus another $2 million as an endowment,” Kent said. “Some people think we are crazy for undertaking this.”

Kent, who described the fortress-like mansion as “the last bastion of the British Empire in upstate New York,” said Hyde Hall faced demolition after the state bought it along with 660 acres in 1963 to create Glimmerglass State Park.

The Friends of Hyde Park formed in 1964 and negotiated with the state for 24 years to reach an agreement on preserving the mansion.

A tour through the mansion, originally the creation of an Englishman, George Clarke, lends credence to Kent’s description of the restoration task that lies ahead.

50 years ago

April 8,Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color 1963

COOPERSTOWN — The old Cornwallville Church, to become part of the outdoor Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, is taking shape again.

The historic Methodist Episcopal structure, acquired in August of 1962 by the New York State Historical Association, here, was dismantled, transported and is being re-erected at the south end of the Village Crossroads section of the Farmers’ Museum, overlooking a small pond.

A simple white structure, built in 1819 in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, it is a typical country church which will convey the role of religion on the New York frontier.

On the basis of the research data, the interior of the church will be restored to its appearance in the decade of 1819-1829.

Almost no exterior changes will be made, since early studies who that the structure was never changed.

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