COHOES – Figuring out the cost of replacing a window at home can be unbearable. Now imagine replacing 330 historical windows.
The historic Cohoes Town Hall put city officials in that position when they calculated how to replace or repair the 330 draughty windows that let off heat and let the snow in. One walking past the building was hit.
Mayor Bill Keeler saw the snow firsthand in his conference room on December 17th. The snow was piled up both on the inside window sill and on the outside.
“The building has been neglected for so long. You can see daylight through the sides of the windows, ”said Keeler.
While windows in typical buildings can last 30 years, the windows in the town hall are 126 years old. “Most of them are original. They have exceeded their lifespan, ”said Keeler.
A stroll around the Town Hall, built in 1895, is an opportunity to see its fortress-like grandeur, but also to notice that some windows are missing and boarded up, while many have a weak hold in their frames.
“We must make every effort,” said Keeler of the restoration of the town hall.
If you look out of the windows from the inside, you can see that many are barely set in their frames. The light flows just as easily through the cracks between the walls and the windows as it does through the glass. Inside are temporary repairs and emergency storm windows to keep out wind, rain, and snow.
The town hall’s 330 windows, brickwork and slate roof are due to be repaired as part of the Restore Historic Cohoes program. The Cohoes Public Library and Cohoes Music Hall are part of the three public buildings whose repairs and renovations anchor the restoration of the city’s historic downtown. The city repaired the town hall in 2020 after the masonry fell from the building.
“It’s a beautiful building. This is what makes the cities of Cohoes and Troy so attractive. You have the architecture, ”said Keeler, looking up at the five-story town hall bell tower on the corner of Mohawk and Ontario streets.
The city is donating $ 3 million for its historic repairs. The money would come from the $ 9 million energy savings the city expects in over 20 years from converting streetlights to LEDs as part of the Cleaner Greener Cohoes initiative. Keeler said the city would use the money to use federal and state grants to upgrade the town hall.
The Joint Council took the first step when it voted to hire CT Male on Feb.23 for $ 52,795 to assess the condition of the 330 windows. The contract includes $ 8,640 for window replacement appraisal, $ 38,220 for replacement window modeling, $ 4,435 for lead and asbestos removal, and $ 1,500 for aerial surveillance.