Monday, June 25, 2007

Discover Historic Waterford, New York!

One of my favorite places in New York State's Capital District is the village of Waterford. Situated at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers and Erie and Champlain Canals, this historic village is still relatively unknown, even to Capital District natives. As far as I'm concerned, and perhaps selfishly so, that's just as well -- it is a charming, pedestrian-oriented village, with a great visitor center, historical museum, waterfront promenade, boat launch, docks, and waterfront parks, as well as pleasant, walkable residential neighborhoods and a small commercial district.

Both the Town and Village of Waterford have spent the last fifteen years working hard to complete improvements and their hard work is finally beginning to pay off. Recent improvements have included completion of the waterfront visitors center and parking area; the waterfront promenade, boat launch, and docks; pocket parks along the waterfront; beautification of the Hudson River parks on the north and south sides of Broad Street; new commercial development including McGrievey's Pub, residential and facade improvements; and streetscape improvements.

Upcoming downtown and waterfront events include:
  • June 30th-July 2nd - Steamboat Meet (including great fireworks)
  • July & August, Sunday afternoons, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Concerts in the Park
  • July 21st - Classic Car Show
  • August 7th - National Night Out
  • August 10th - Concert Under the Stars
  • August 10th-12th - Canal Splash
  • September 7th-9th - Tug Boat Roundup
  • September 22nd-23rd - Great Village Sellout (garage sales)
  • October 13th - Heritage Day
  • October 2oth - Pumpkinfest
Waterford is a great place to spend the day. You can visit the sites mentioned above; walk along the Hudson and Mohawk River waterfronts (as well as along the Erie and Champlain Canals); visit the Waterford Historical Museum & Cultural Center; picnic; shop at the village's antique stores; grab a meal at McGrievey's, Broad Street Cafe, Joe & Don's, Kielty's or Mr. Subb; walk or bicycle along the Champlain Canal; and walk, bicycle or drive along the Erie Canal's flight of five locks (to name a few things). Bike trails and bridges connect Waterford to Troy (Lansingburgh), Cohoes, including Peebles Island State Park.

For more information, call 518-233-9123 or visit the Town of Waterford's web site (

Waterford, NY: Canal and River Town’s History Explored

Canals and rivers have shaped Waterfordians’ experience throughout the community’s history. The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is sponsoring a walking tour of the Village of Waterford that will explore the history and architecture that was influenced in so many ways by the rivers and canals that surround the community. The tour will be lead by long-time Waterford resident and heritage area specialist, Lucy Breyer.

The Museum is sponsoring the walk in conjunction with the Waterford Steamboat Meet on June 30th. The walk is free of charge and participants are asked to meet at the south end of Third Street in the Village of Waterford (along the waterfront) at 9a.m. The tour will start shortly after 9am and will take about one hour.

The Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center is located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead on Museum Lane in the Town of Waterford. The Museum offers various programs and exhibits year round. For more information about the Museum and its programs please contact the Museum at 238-0809 or check our website

Job: PLNYS - Regional Director of Technical and Grant Programs


The Preservation League is seeking an experienced preservation professional who will serve as the League's primary field services staff person for Eastern New York, New York City and Long Island. This is a senior position at the League that requires a trained preservation professional with extensive knowledge of historic preservation theory and practice. The Regional Director will work directly with local communities, organizations, individuals and elected officials on all aspects of historic preservation and community development. The Director will also manage established League grant and assistance programs in their territory. This position reports to the Preservation League's President and works in tandem with the Regional Director of Technical and Grant Programs for Western and Central New York. This is a full-time position located in Albany, New York and requires regular travel within the territory.

  • A degree in historic preservation or a closely related field; graduate degree preferred.
  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in the historic preservation field.

  • Provide technical preservation assistance to individuals, organizations and municipalities seeking creative solutions to preservation challenges.
  • Advise and assist local and regional preservation organizations and citizen groups on strategies to increase their effectiveness.
  • Identify statewide and regional preservation challenges and develop tools, programs, and workshops, to address them.
  • Administer key League programs including the Preserve New York Grant Program, the Seven to Save Endangered Properties Program and the Preservation Colleagues Program that provides training to preservation groups.

  • Ability to work constructively as part of a team.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Confident public speaking skills.
  • A solid understanding of historic preservation principles and practices.
  • Strong computer skills.


The Preservation League of New York State is the
private, not-for-profit, statewide advocate dedicated to the
protection of New York's diverse and rich heritage of historic
buildings, districts, and landscapes. Founded in 1974, the League
gives voice to New York's historic resources. We partner with public
and private organizations, agencies, and individuals in communities
throughout the Empire State who are working to ensure the future of
their historic resources. The League advances effective public
policies, provides expert legal and technical assistance, targets
grants to local communities, builds the capacity of local preservation
groups, and focuses public attention on threatened properties.


Send cover letter, resume, and the names of three
references by Monday, July 9th to:
Regional Director Search
Preservation League of NYS
44 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
Tel: 518-462-5658 ext 13,

Friday, June 08, 2007

Calling Trader Joe's...

Trader Joe's in Troy? Not Yet
Developer courts grocery for growing downtown area, but upscale chain is not interested so far

From The Times Union

By Chris Churchill

TROY -- A Trader Joe's in downtown Troy? Developer Jeffrey Pfeil would like to see it, and so would some other people.

Pfeil has been unable to convince the upscale grocery chain that the Capital Region is a suitable market. But he is still trying to lure a small grocer to the Troy building he is redeveloping at Third and State streets.

That five-story structure, formerly home to Stanley's Department Store, will have apartments on the top floors and 7,500 square feet of retail space at ground level. Dubbed The Conservatory, the first residents will begin moving in this month. Retail space could be ready for occupancy within three months.

And a grocery could answer a frequent complaint among central Troy residents frustrated by a lack of easy food options.

It also could provide competition for a food co-op planned for Congress Street not far from Pfeil's building.

Pfeil, though, said he believes his building's grocery could complement a co-op. And at least one Troy resident involved in the co-op effort would welcome a commercial grocery -- especially if it is Trader Joe's.

"Everyone in Troy would love to have a Trader Joe's," said Kevin Blodgett. "So many people from here have called them."

California-based Trader Joe's is expanding rapidly on the East Coast. It has locations in metropolitan New York and Boston, as well as in Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

A Trader Joe's spokesperson declined to comment.

The business data site says the grocer is best known for its private-label health foods, organic produce and nutritional supplements. A typical store is 10,000 square feet.

"We talk to them regularly," Pfeil said. "But they haven't seen this market as one they're targeting yet."

The company apparently has few qualms about locating in New York's Manhattan or Westchester County, where incomes and population density can help ensure the profits. But Pfeil said he thinks the reluctance to come to upstate is due partly to New York's liquor laws, which would prevent the company from selling wine, including the popular Charles Shaw brand. Best known as "Two-Buck Chuck," the inexpensive wine is sold exclusively in Trader Joe's stores.

Pfeil's Troy location lacks parking, which might also give grocery owners pause. But he points out that urban grocery stores thrive in other parts of the country.

Pfeil, a principal in J.W. Pfeil & Co. Inc. in Saratoga Springs, is a real estate developer and leasing agent. He brought national retailers such as Eddie Bauer and Banana Republic to downtown Saratoga Springs, despite their initial reluctance.
Pfeil thinks they'll eventually come to downtown Troy, too, and doesn't exclude the possibility they'll occupy one of the spaces in his building.

"They'll do it someday," he said. "It's just a matter of when."

Loft Development in Another Troy Industrial Building

From Troy Record
By Danielle Sanzone; photograph by Mike McMahon.

TROY - The former Mooradians' furniture store on River Street, a 117-year-old Italianate-style building, will soon be home to 48 loft-style residential units ranging in price from $200,000 to $550,000, officials announced at a formal gathering Thursday evening.

The upscale abodes, which will be called "the mooradian lofts," should be completed by the end of next year, said Pietro Costa, one of the partners with the New Amsterdam Development Corp., which is transforming the historic building into modern lofts.

"There is no other housing like this in the capital region," Costa, a native of the Netherlands, said. "We feel there will be a large market for this type of housing with professionals, employees at the local colleges, baby-boomers and empty-nesters. Anyone who wants to experience living in a downtown atmosphere will appreciate the mooradian lofts. We are bringing chic, urban living back to this area."

While the development has received the appropriate permits and zoning approvals from the city, developers are still waiting for the final approval from the state attorney general before they can accept offers to purchase the lofts which range from 1,100 square feet to 1,600 square feet, officials said.

Following Thursday's event, however, the building's owners will begin to accept tentative reservations for people interested in purchasing the units. TL Metzger & Associates has been chosen by the developers as the exclusive broker from this project.

At Thursday's event, locals were able to tour through a couple floors of the building and see a model unit of what the loft residences could look like.

"It is very humbling seeing this vision turned into a reality," said Mayor Harry Tutunjian. "It will be great having this type of loft living available in our city."

The developers are still taking comments and suggestions from prospective buyers, but the current loft designs include units with two bathrooms, a kitchen, a loft storage area, and an open space with movable walls. The flexible walls are meant to appeal to all types of people - those with children can make another room with the walls, while single professionals can store the walls away and live in a true loft residence, said Pietro.

"We are a pioneer in loft-style housing in the city of Troy. There are no riverside residences like this in the Capital District," Costa said, referring to the Powers Park Lofts also located in the city but without a river view.

The eight-story brick building, which will include six stories of housing units, will also house a café and marketplace on the first floor with a terrace overlooking the Hudson River. The retail area will include a farmer's market-type space for local vendors and artists to sell their wares, officials said.

"As a woman who grew up in Troy, it is amazing to see this come to fruition since I know it will help revitalize the surrounding area," said Dorothy Ganz, one of the people touring the building. "It is great to see this old building turned into something new instead of torn down like so many other historic buildings in the city. I would definitely live here - it would be great to not worry about the upkeep of a house and to be able to do my shopping in the same building that I lived."

In addition to Thursday's event to showcase the new housing units, an open house is also scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

Flag Day Parade and Gelato!!

I've been on the road again and apologize for not posting; with school out and summer nearly upon us, I will probably be posting less frequently anyway.

Having said that, I wanted to remind everyone that it is almost time for my favorite event of the year, Troy's annual Flag Day Parade (photograph here from City of Troy's Flag Day Parade web page). Troy's most enduring event, the Troy Flag Day Parade is now in its 40th continuous year and is the largest parade in the nation in honor of the American flag. The 2007 edition of the Troy Flag Day Parade takes place Sunday, June 10th with a line up of exciting attractions. The Parade steps off at 1:00pm Sunday, June 10th with many new attractions added to the line-up. It follows a two mile route along 4th Street beginning in South Troy at 4th & Main Street and ending at 4th & Federal Street. Following the parade, a festa with great food and music will be held at the Italian Community Center.

The parade is maintained only by public donations and corporate sponsorship; hence, community support is critical to keeping this wonderful tradition flourishing. Contributors see their dollars at work every time the parade passes by. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law and may be mailed to the Troy Flag Day Parade Committee, P.O. Box 56 Troy, NY 12181. Make checks payable to Troy Flag Day Fund Drive.

It is always a great, and very well attended event. Those living on Fourth Street should remember to move their cars, as the street cleaners will come through in the early a.m. Then the street venders will start patrolling the street selling their wares and making noise to call attention to themselves, while parade viewers will stake out viewing spots and seating arrangements early in the day.

Also, I just made another visit to L&S Garden Supply on Pawling Avenue this afternoon. L&S is a great place to stop by if your farmers' market produce runs out mid-week--or anytime. In addition to a great supply of bedding plants (flowers and herbs), Steve continues to have good produce (currently including asparagus, raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes among other things) and has recently added GELATO and espresso to his offerings. Having sampled a combo half chocolate half coffee gelato, I can attest that it is delicious and perfect on a day like today. Flavors include chocolate, coffee, caramel, strachiatella, and tiramisu; dairy free flavors are mango, lemon, strawberry and raspberry, if I remember correctly. So please stop by and tell Steve I sent you.