Ogdensburg offers state advice on old psych center buildings

Ogdensburg offers state advice on old psych center buildings
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 4:49 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - As plans move forward to demolish ten buildings on the former psychiatric center property in Ogdensburg, city officials have penned a letter to the state offering advice on what the next steps should be, recommending other buildings get torn down as well, but also asking the state to save others on the campus.

The letter reads, “The state should preserve buildings and invest in them to prevent further deterioration so the architectural, historical and cultural accomplishments of the campus can be saved for future generations.”

“We did not provide an exhaustive list, but we suggested that some of those buildings include the administrative building, the former morgue, the chapel and the director’s residence are just some that come to mind as visibly appearing to be in sound condition,” said Ogdensburg Interim-City Manager Andrea Smith.

County Legislator Jim Reagen agrees it’s worth saving history.

“I think that the buildings that the city of Ogdensburg is talking about have architectural and historic significance and we should look at finding a way to redevelop them and save them from the wrecking ball,” said Reagen (R. - District 1).

Ogdensburg City Council agrees that the Letchworth complex needs to be demolished and notes to DASNY that if they do plan for another demolition in the future, they should consider buildings number 86, 58 and 38 which are along State Route 37.

Smith says one building has collapsed and if the state is open to it, after clearing the land, the city would like to acquire it.

“It’s on Route 37, so commercial and industrial viability and being located on the fringe of the campus, we think that it doesn’t have...it is less likely to have any type of a detrimental impact to the actual services being provided still on the campus,” said Smith.

At last word, the project to tear down 10 buildings of the Letchworth complex is expected to begin in December.