KEESEVILLE — The “Enhancing Main Street: Making Upper Floors Work Again” workshop will discuss improving housing in the Village of Keeseville.
The free public session is at the AuSable Valley Grange in Keeseville from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10.
The issue is upper-floor apartment vacancy, Adirondack Architectural Heritage Program Director Susan Arena said.
“Many downtowns throughout New York are characterized by two-to-five-story buildings constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries,” she said in a news release.
“These commercial rows have endured changing uses and economies and, with timely care, they can last for centuries. Many boast special details, from cast-iron storefronts to brick cornices, and some buildings are designated as landmarks.”
The solution may be to educate residents and property owners and utilize strategic grants for renovating upper-floor housing, she said.
“While street-level business may catch our attention first, the upper floors are also integral to the buildings. However, vacant upper stories present opportunities and challenges for reuse.”
To dispense information on how downtowns can become more vibrant, the Preservation League of New York State developed a program consisting of a workshop and grant award made available to communities facing the issue of upper-floor vacancy, Arena said.
The workshop will feature experts in community revitalization who will talk about design, building codes and financial strategies employed in communities for bringing upper floors back to productive use.
In addition to the workshop, the Preservation League has grants for demonstration projects related to the issue.
“I’ve attended this workshop twice and have found it very informative and useful,” Arena said. “Many North Country communities are struggling, as we all know, but there are tools and resources available that help make the battle a little easier. This workshop expands on those and teaches participants how to utilize them.”
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