Fishkill Residents Decry Demolition of Historic Jackson House Reviewed by Momizat on . FISHKILL, N.Y. - The Jackson House, an historic building in the Village of Fishkill, was demolished Tuesday morning leaving some residents with a sour taste in FISHKILL, N.Y. - The Jackson House, an historic building in the Village of Fishkill, was demolished Tuesday morning leaving some residents with a sour taste in Rating: 0
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Fishkill Residents Decry Demolition of Historic Jackson House

Fishkill Residents Decry Demolition of Historic Jackson House

FISHKILL, N.Y. – The Jackson House, an historic building in the Village of Fishkill, was demolished Tuesday morning leaving some residents with a sour taste in their mouths.

Fishkill Mayor James Miccio said that it had to be taken down because it was simply unsafe.

“We’ve been working to try to save the house and had a moratorium on demolition,” Miccio said. “As time went on reports said that the building was unsafe and cited our village law that requires unsafe buildings to be taken down. Sometimes you have to make the tough decisions and do what’s right for public safety. It wasn’t a fun decision but we’re ultimately comfortable about it based on the information we had.”

Miccio said that the decision was made on Monday night in executive session with the Village Board and the village’s building inspector. Miccio said they looked at it from all sides and public safety was the No.1 issue that led to it being knocked down.

“Supports in the basement were leaning to one side and the outer walls were boding out,” Miccio said. “The second floor would have collapsed onto the first floor eventually.”

But not all residents agreed with the decision to knock down the house , which wasbuilt in 1741, contending it was not in imminent danger of collapse.

Theresa Kraft, co-chair of Friends of Jackson House, said that the building provided Fishkill with a connection to the American Revolution, adding that it served as a place for generals to meet during the war.

“It doesn’t get more American history than this building, yet they tore it down to make way for a strip mall,” Kraft said. “That building stood tall to the very last second. It was not in danger of falling down. We tried to raise awareness to save a piece of our history. When you came down Main Street it was right in front of you. It was so heartbreaking to see it come down. I saw a school bus go by during the demolition with kids gawking out the window. Even they know what this building meant to the village.”

Kraft said that the group doesn’t just want another plaque that says an historic building once stood here. Additionally, Kraft said that Friends of Jackson House would also like to see an archeological dig take place on site to see if more historic relics are there.

“It’s not the end of saving history for our future,” Kraft said. “There are so many more historic buildings that need to be preserved.”

Miccio said that there are currently no plans for the site but an application is before the village planning board to possibly build condominiums or apartments across the street on a vacant piece of land behind the Fishkill National Bank that is part of the property. Miccio said the village has little control over what’s done with the property.

“We can’t infringe on people’s right to own property,” Miccio said. “We had to be cautious. God forbid somebody went in there and got killed. We did what we could to try and save it but it is too big of a risk for the village to take to keep it. I commend the Friends of Jackson House for what they did and I wish it could’ve worked out better. There is not a happy person on our Village Board right now, including myself.”

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About The Author

Greg Maker

Greg Maker is the Assistant Editor for Dutchess County for the Hudson Valley Reporter. He is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI with a bachelor's degree in journalism. A native of Harrison, NY, he has worked for a variety of publications across North America. During his journalism career, he has covered areas of Nebraska, British Columbia, Canada and Westchester County, NY. Most recently, he has covered the cities of New Rochelle and Mount Vernon in Westchester County. A passionate hockey fan, he has covered a variety of American Hockey League (AHL) players with feature articles for various publications across the United States and Canada. In 2009, he won an award from the New York Press Association (NYPA), for a feature article on a Peekskill man wrongfully convicted of murder. Having moved to Dutchess County recently, he is excited for the opportunity to not only cover but learn a new section of New York State. He can be reached at gmaker@hudsonvalleyreporter.com.

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Comments (10)

  • Lin Stevs

    The preservation group and the actions they were taking , including the 11/24/13 Walkway action was starting to gain public attention and momentum…….any public relations threat to the big money machine (developers and the town puppets) needs to be quickly stopped. You all did a valiant and excellant job…….in a normal…….just and honorable world……were our leaders decisions truly reflect and are determined by what is best for the people they serve and the future of all……this valuable, irreplaceable house would be still standing……..and it would have been restored before Mayor Miccio as of Monday night, perceived such a threat.

    Reply
  • Highlands Historic Preservation

    Another piece of our history is lost. When will municipalities wake up and realize that if they want tourism to bring in money, these types of destinations are needed to make that happen. Instead, historic structures suffer from demolition by neglect. And then they are gone forever.

    Reply
  • Steven W Lindsey

    Will the last person in Fishkill turn out the lights?

    Reply
  • Anne Machado

    This building was stripped and taken down to bare bones months ago by the developers. It was at this point the building became ‘unsafe’ because they made it that way so I’m not surprised that the engineering report came back unsafe. It was never unsafe in all the years it stood prior to the purchase of this property. It was the Village of Fishkill that encouraged the sale of this property by rezoning this parcel to accommodate a 4 story structure, they knew this would happen and I’m sorry the decision wasn’t “fun’ for our mayor. Wait until the new structure is built, wait until you see the set back for these structures. The Village of Fishkill’s comprehensive plan wants storefronts right up to the curb, they think we have a Main Street but all we really have is Rte 52 that simply passes through. The Village of Fishkill hides behind a safety postion on this building, if that’s the case every building in the Village of a certain vintage needs to be inspected. A sad day for the residents here.

    Reply
  • Kathleen McCloskey

    Who made the building unsafe is the question? Is the mayor saying that the village has no zoning laws in place to control what happens? I say Fishkill residents get involved with your local govt. This has so many red flags attached to it!

    Reply
  • lem

    give me a brake!!! Money the soul root of ALL evil!!!

    Reply
  • Ken Gross

    “Miccio said the village has little control over what’s done with the property.”

    What a load of crap. If the property owner submitted plans to build a strip club, he’d be all about having the right to control what’s done…

    It’s bad enough that people in general are too shortsighted when it comes to preserving our historic structures, but for the village government to do so – especially when charged with maintaining the integrity of the historic district – is a travesty. Our village is well on its’ way to becoming just another nondescript stretch of strip malls (half-empty at that) and fast-food joints.

    Shame on those who allowed this to happen…

    Reply
  • chris

    I thought the guy operating the crane was kind of cute. Didn’t seem to bother him that the house was historic. He was sexy and fun to look at while he wrecked the house. I enjoyed that.

    Reply

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