The 10 most 'dynamic opportunities' in Utica


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Historic buildings can be found around Utica, with some of the buildings dating back to the 1800s. A few of the historical structures could be considered eye sores for the city, while others embody elegance, history and exquisite architecture.

Bob Heins, an architect and member of the Landmark Society of Greater Utica, believes each of these buildings tells a story, contributing to the definition and wealth of the city. Heins also hopes to revitalize 10 buildings he calls "works of art" and "dynamic opportunities."

The '10 Most Dynamic Preservation Opportunities' he lists are:

1.) No. 1 Rutger Place Building, otherwise known as The Munn House. Designed by Architect A.J. Davis in 1845.
2.) No. 3 Rutger Place Building, otherwise known as Miller (Roscoe Conkling) House. Designed by Philip Hooker in 1830.
3.) The New Century Club Building at 53 Genesee St. Designed by Utica Architect Fredrick Gouge. Former home to the 1893 women's civic, educational recreational facility.
4.) Knights of Columbus building located at 307 Genesee St.
5.) Mechanics Hall Building on the northwest corner of Liberty and Hotel streets. According to Heins, the center of most of Utica's cultural, scientific and educational events during the 19th century.
6.) "Ivy Cottage" building located at 1643 Genesee St.
7.) Cathedral Church of Theotokos of Great Grace located at corner of South Street and Howard Avenue.
6.) "Old Main," The Utica state hospital main building. This building was the former Utica Lunatic Asylum.
7.) 1513 Genesee St. at the southwest corner of Jewett and Genesee.
8.) Doyle Hardware Building located on 330 Main St.
9.) Bagg's Square Memorial Park Building, built in 1933 by the Proctor family after the century-old Bagg's Hotel was demolished.
10.) The Uptown Theater located at 2014 Genesee St.

Heins believes each of these buildings has much to offer a person and the city. Unlike various buildings that are passed the point of restoration, these 10 are gems, ripe for the picking.

"A building is just a bunch of pieces put together," Heins said. "If  those pieces are ignored long enough and water gets in and deterioration causes the structure to be unstable,  you lose the structure." He continues on by saying the 10 buildings listed above, although vacant, have not hit this point. He does point out that a few of them need major work done in order to be used.

"We have to encourage the growth of businesses because the way these buildings will survive and go forward is to have someone in there who owns it and goes forward with it," Heins said.

Heins hopes an entrepreneur, artist, or business owner decides to invest in one of these historic buildings.

"Take a sculptor in New York City, down in Soho. He is paying 15 grand a month to have studio space, living somewhere, somehow getting things done," Heins said, "While the oportunity is pheonominal up here."

The Landmark Society of Greater Utica plans to take control of No. 3 Rutger Place Building. They will host their meetings there and plan to turn the building into a museum and a place the public can meet.

Heins said the buildings of a city are the fabric of society. In order to keep the fabric strong, Heins believes Utican's need to invest in these buildings.

"The heart of the city is in our old buildings but even more so the soul of our city is in the buildings."

Heins said the city will work with a possible investor on tax credits and incentives to restore a building.

What's On