Plattsburgh group purchases old Air Force Base building - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Plattsburgh group purchases old Air Force Base building

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A group wants to preserve a valuable piece of Plattsburgh history. So, it's purchasing an old, empty building on the Air Force Base.

It was built as quarters for troops in 1838 and was used by the military until 1995.

Martin Mannix loves history.

"This is the oldest building on the base," said Mannix.

Mannix is part of the Plattsburgh group Friends of the Old Stone Barracks, a community group trying to preserve the nearly 200-year-old Old Stone Barracks on the Plattsburgh Air Force Base.

"Getting this building back into the hands of the community," said Mannix.

Friends of the Old Stone Barracks are buying the property from a Canadian business man who purchased it in 2010. The developer wanted to knock the building down and build condos, but Mannix says the Old Stone Barracks are an important part of the region's history.

"Make greater use of our military history as a means of drawing tourism to the North Country and we think that preserving this building is an important step along that pathway," said Mannix.

The Preservation League of New York State named the Old Stone Barracks as one of its Seven to Save, a list of seven buildings across New York groups like Friends of the Old Stone Barracks are trying to preserve.

"They get priority in grant consideration for any grants the preservation league can offer and then we also work with them to support their fundraising activities," said Erin Tobin, Preservation League of New York State.

Mannix says Friends of the Old Stone Barracks put a down payment of $10,000 on the building. The total price tag is about $225,000. The group plans to fundraise for the rest and has already raked in $17,000 and will be looking at a number of different ideas for the building's future.

"We don't know what the next life for this building will be," said Mannix.

Mannix says he will work to make sure the next owner of the barracks will focus on its rich history. The contract with the current property owner calls for the rest of the money to be raised by the end of the year.


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