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AARCH supports rail use

To the News Enteprise:

Adirondack Architectural Heritage supports the preservation of the contributing historic features, including the railroad tracks themselves, of the New York Central Railroad Adirondack Division corridor, which is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. AARCH also supports the multiple public and nonprofit use concept for the corridor as envisioned and outlined in its management plan.

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) is the private nonprofit, historic preservation organization for the Adirondack Park. AARCH has a membership of more than 1500 people and is dedicated to protecting and preserving the irreplaceable architectural heritage, historic places, and communities of the region. In addition to our far-ranging educational programs, technical assistance work, and partnership projects, AARCH has helped to successfully solve several contentious conflicts over the preservation of historic and cultural resources, including at Camp Santanoni, several fire observation towers, the Bow Bridge, Debar Pond Lodge, and the Old Stone Barracks.

The New York Central Railroad Adirondack Division corridor is an historic resource of great importance. This railroad made it possible for the interior of the western and central Adirondacks to be more widely settled and to prosper economically. Its significance is evident by its listing on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

We concur with the opinion of the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation that the “removal of the railroad tracks from the historic right-of-way would be considered an Adverse Impact ... and would diminish those qualities which made the railroad State and National Register of Historic Places eligible.”

It is our position that the railroad tracks should remain in place, and that the corridor should continue to be used for multiple purposes as was envisioned by the management plan adopted for the corridor in 1996.

Steven Engelhart,

AARCH executive director

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