Posts Tagged With: historic amsterdam league

Meet Bala Peri


Mr. Bala Peri (Balakumar Periyasamy) is an American citizen from Leesburg, Virginia.  He has a wife and two young children with whom he recently shared a cross-country trip making stops at all the National Parks along the way. Bala now works for the IRS in the IT department but plans on retiring and moving his family to New York. Bala’s reason for the move is to oversee his new investment that he hopes will help finance his children’s college education.  Bala’s new investment is the former Park Hill Adult Home at 52 Grove Street in Amsterdam that this blogger previously described in the 2011 article Park Hill Adult Home for Sale and the 2012 article A Copper Caper.

This historic building was once the mansion of an early Amsterdam landowner, it then became a convent for the Sisters of St Joseph who taught at the former St Mary’s School before the transition into an adult home. The original building has two rounded towers nestled on either side of a three-story cross-shaped building. There is a large wrap around porch on the front and eastern side of the building.  All of the original woodwork including complete sets of pocket doors, ornate moulding, staircases and six fireplaces are in excellent condition.  An upstairs room is fitted with stained glass windows bearing religious symbols of the Catholic faith. There were several additions built on the West and back sides of the building including fifty-three patient rooms, an industrial kitchen, day room, dining hall, nurses station and even a beauty salon.

Bala purchased the buildings mortgage from the bank that foreclosed and had traveled back and forth from Leesburg to Amsterdam for the past two weeks to supervise work on his new investment. He began by hiring a team for a much-needed carry out of accumulated junk and a good cleaning.  A security system was installed including video cameras and motion detection alarms. General building maintenance and repair will start very soon.

It has only been two weeks and Bala has already employed five people from this neighborhood to work on his project.  A consulting team has been through the building to advise Bala of the steps he must take to get licensed to run an adult care facility.  Bala will run under the name Trilok Noble Care, Inc.  A member of the consulting team is a retired NYS Department of Health inspector. Bala will be meeting with a representative from NYS Veterans Affairs next week. He would like to open an adult home for Veterans, however the licensing process may take up to 20 months.  In the interim he wants to get his building in working order so he can use it as a bed and breakfast facility.

I commend Bala for his willingness to invest in our city and for his initiative and drive. He previously established a successful adult home in India.  He has three close relatives in the United States who are physicians and will provide needed references.  He has already provided employment for our citizens with the number soon to increase.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Business, historic preservation, History, Park Hill Adult Home | Tags: , , , , ,

Sanford Stud Farm Open House


It wasn’t the kind of day they had hoped for, but the Friends of the Sanford Stud Farm still entertained a good number of people today during their open house just off route 30, next to Walgreens in the Town of Amsterdam. The rain kept some people away and according to volunteer coordinator Scott Friers, only five cars showed up from the scheduled New Wave Cruiser’s Car Club because of the weather. By the time I arrived at 2:00pm, there were only two cars left; but the show must go on and inside the barn there were an array of vendors and prizes to be raffled off.  Montgomery County Board of Elections had a booth encouraging voter registration.  I even signed on to be an election inspector.  Representatives from Historic Amsterdam League were there raising money for the organizations historic marker program. Bob Cudmore was there selling his books with the profits going to charities. There was food and a kettle corn vendor.  There was a bouncy house for the kids and horses in the barns once again. It was a nice diversion even for a rainy day, all for a worthy cause.

Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, historic preservation, History, Pets, Sanford Stud Farm | Tags: , , , , , ,

The City Historian is Angry!


Amsterdam’s City Historian Robert von Hasseln is angry with the ill-prepared editorial A plan for the city’s future, published in the July 2, 2011, edition of the Recorder that has incorrect information and misconceptions about Historic Preservation.  He expressed his anger in a tersely worded letter sent to Recorder Editor Charlie Kraebel and the entire Historic Amsterdam League. I have since removed the letter from my blog at Mr. von Hasseln’s request and he is free to comment or repost if he so desires.

As a member of both the Zoning Update Committee and the Historic Amsterdam League, I agree with the City Historian.

The following statement from the Recorder editorial is just incorrect:

One interesting issue addressed in the update is the historic resources overlay zone that includes a section of Guy Park Avenue, Guy Park Avenue Extension and the Bridge Street area. It’s largely the same area that exists now in the historic resources overlay district, though the current ordinance lays out no guidelines or method of enforcement.

The historic overlay zone did not change in the proposed zoning ordinance. There are historic guidelines in our current ordinance with enforcement common to all sections of zoning code. They have never been followed by either code enforcement or the Planning Commission. Our current guidelines can be found in the following link.

§ 250-34. Development within the Historic Resources Overlay (HR-O) District.

The next statement taken from the editorial is just a flippant remark with no real insight or effort to find any factual information about the reasoning behind a local Historic Preservation Commission.

Also, the new draft establishes a Historic Review Board that would have to approve windows, doors, siding, demolition, new buildings, additions and more. During a series of ward meetings to discuss the progress of the zoning ordinance update, residents of the Guy Park Avenue area were concerned that the regulations might be too costly. That concerns us as well. Plus, the last thing Amsterdam needs is another board when there are several already in place, particularly planning and zoning boards, set up to deal with issues like this.

Our current regulation is not working, necessitating change. The Historic Preservation Commission is a necessary part 0f establishing Amsterdam as a Certified Local Government which also enables the City to receive Federal Historic Grants and tax credits. The membership of the Commission is regulated by New York State and must be composed of at least one from each the following categories; an architect experienced with historic buildings, a historian, a resident of a historic district, a member of a local historic preservation group. The NYS guidelines can be found in the following links.

Certified Local Government Program in New York State

Certified Local Government Program Explained

Legal Aspects of Municipal Historic Preservation

The membership of the Historic Amsterdam League have agreed to voluntarily conduct a visual survey of Amsterdam’s buildings under guidance of the City Historian, to decide if the current Historic Overlay District needs to be expanded or reduced in some areas. There are many homes in our city that contain significant historic architectural features that are outside of the current district. Adding new historic zones would make them eligible for preservation grants. This effort has no effect on the current zoning proposal. Any changes would have to be added after the passing of the proposed ordinance.

The City Historian came up with a solution that is both sound and reasonable to help keep Amsterdam’s architectural history. The members of the Zoning Update Committee agreed and the community should also.


Categories: Amsterdam, History, Law, Media, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

The Legendary Bob Cudmore


The Historic Amsterdam League was honored to hear Bob Cudmore recant stories of the Rug City at their general meeting April 20, 2011.

A native Amsterdamian, Bob along with Steve Dunn produced a labor intensive WMHT documentary about Amsterdam’s rich history that led to a weekly column in the Schenectady Daly Gazette. Bob authored “You Can’t Go Wrong – Stories From Nero and other Tales” a lighthearted parody of Amsterdam. Cudmore is also a radio talk show host on WVTL 1570 AM 104.7 FM.

The Council Chamber was packed as Bob recalled stories of Amsterdam’s history.  He quizzed the audience, asking them to identify photos pertaining to the history of the City rewarding correct responses with copies of his book “You Can’t Go Wrong”.

Here is a brief excerpt from Bob’s presentation as he recalls another legendary figure from Amsterdam’s Polish heritage, Michael J.Wytrwal.

Categories: Amsterdam, History, Media | Tags: , , , , , ,

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