Landmark Society gauges interest of 'Old Main' museum

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Thousands from all over the Northeast and as far as Canada came to Utica on Monday night to see the "Old Main."

Time has stood still in the former Utica Psychiatric Center, which was built in the mid-1800s and closed in 1978,

Monday night's tour took visitors through several areas and featured old restraint chairs, other furniture and staff and patient photos dating from the late 1800s.

Part of the reason for the tour was to gauge interest in turning Old Main into a museum. The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica will get the ball rolling, but it's in the hands of the state office of mental health.

"That's just to kind of gauge the interest with what the public is feeling as far as possibly making a museum out of this," said Paul Hage, president of the society.

Suggested $5 donations for the tour of Old Main brought thousands of dollars for the society to rehab No. 1 and No. 3 Rutger Park. They're working with a preservation architect to do that.

Old Main and No. 3 Rutger Park,  which was Roscoe Conkling's home, are the only national landmarks in Oneida county.

To sign a petition on seeing Old Main become a museum, click here.

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