Preserving the Historic Pump Station
By Carol DeLaMarter
Now that the new N. Ferry St. pump station is operating, the question is raised about what to do with the old 1913 pump station. The Stockade Association and Schenectady Heritage Foundation have worked since 2016 to protect this National Register building.
The city made a commitment to preserve it in order to receive federal funds for construction of the new pump station. In August 2021 a Feasibility Study Report was released articulating building maintenance and reuse options. This study was funded by the Preservation League of NYS through a Technical Assistance Grant awarded to the City. Marilyn Kaplan, study consultant, outlined the scope of work needed for selective cleaning, structural evaluation and repairs, environmental assessment and mitigation, and exterior maintenance. The study is available on historicstockade.org and includes recommendations and photos of the building interior.
Carol DeLaMarter, Suzy Unger and Gloria Kishton, leaders from the Stockade Association and Schenectady Heritage Foundation, recently met with Mayor McCarthy and department heads to discuss next steps in preserving the historic building for possible public use and to review the city’s commitment to protect and maintain the building until reuse decisions are made. The city has awarded $750,000 in ARPA funds to support this process. Much of the meeting focused on immediate needs, especially exterior window and surface maintenance and how to pursue more funding. Following the city meeting a small group inspected the interior of the old pump station.
The space has many challenges to prepare for reuse; funds for more detailed drawings of the current interior is essential. Gloria Kishton and Suzy Unger recently met with the Preservation League of NYS, a potential funding source. In the meantime as the city and their partners pursue possible reuses of the building we will need to find as many partners with funding potential to meet a community need.