People crowded the municipal building in Sackets Harbor Wednesday night to say why they think Lawler Realty -- the owner of the mess hall and theater at Madison Barracks -- should not tear those buildings down.
"I don't know how you can do this," Deborah Davis said. "If you know it down, it's done."
"I think it's a slap in the face for all those military service members who served there," Susan Walling said.
"My husband actually knows somebody who lived at the barracks for awhile," she said.
The buildings date back to the early 1800s, but they have been vacant for more than 60 years. Owner Mike Lawler says they would cost too much to restore.
"What you're talking about is millions of dollars to do anything with it," he said, "and I'll give you professional, written opinions."
Buildings like these have been restored in the past. The Old Stone Row building was once deteriorating, but developers took it over and restored it.
Planning board chair Gary Gibson says the decision of what to do with the buildings will not be easy.
"No matter which way it goes, there's going to be some unhappy people," Gibson said.
No decision was reached. Planning board members say they want to look at other options. Another public hearing is expected at its July meeting.
Sunday, April 19, 2015, Watertown, NY
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