AARCH discusses relocation, progress during annual meeting

KEESEVILLE Adirondack Architectural Heritage held its annual meeting June 27, drawing a crowd of more than 40 people to the Keeseville Grange Hall. Those who spoke at the meeting expressed excitement and anticipation over the plan to move the AARCH office from its present location at the Keeseville Civic Center to a larger space in the old AuSable Horse Nail Company office building in downtown Keeseville. The preservationist organization is awaiting approval of a grant that would allow them to purchase the building, located between the Grange and the AuSable River. Moving into the building would require restoration and renovation, a project AARCH is more than willing to undertake, according to program director Susan Arena. Its invaluable, Arena said as she expressed her passion for preserving historic buildings. Every bit of this tells the story of how we got to where we are, and once its gone, its gone. Arena was recently added to the staff as the previous program director, Ellen Ryan, was named community outreach director. Executive director Steve Engelhart was glad to see the number of staff expanding, saying the new position should allow AARCH to be more active in the area. We still dont feel like were out there enough, Engelhart said. An increased availability of funds has facilitated expansion of the organization. A financial report was presented by treasurer Rick Weerts showing revenues were up due to increased membership. AARCH now claims a membership of more than 1,000 people. During the meeting, numerous people also lamented the demolished Wawbeek great camp in Saranac Lake, a historic resort that AARCH had worked hard to preserve. Engelhart and AARCH president David Hislop encouraged members to be proponents for historical easements on historical buildings to prevent similar losses in the future.

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