Elm St. house can be made usable again
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 1:53 pm


To the Editor:

My heart sank after I read that Wes Craven doesn’t care about the old building opposite the Big M in Potsdam. Then I thought, why should we care if he does? He’s just a famous guy who passed through this town 30 years ago. I knew him, not well, we worked on a little movie that never got finished. He never seemed to talk about Potsdam in a way that indicated any civic interest.

We have to stop letting these great buildings fall apart. To the people who want to save the building I say there is a way to. To the people who want to tear it down I say we don’t need to spend a ton of money to save it.

The way was shown to me in New York City last year. The architects estimated the job cost at $400 to $600K. We did it for $45,000.

The solution lies in volunteers. Not pros by their own admission, but many willing hands can do the impossible. I’ve seen it happen.

First we need to get our priorities straight. The goal is not to restore the building but to save it, make it usable. I’m sure somebody can figure out a use for it when it’s done. All we need to pay for is a job foreman’s time, insurance, and bookkeeping.

Think about all the beautiful buildings in this town that need to be saved, we can do it with our own hands.

Don’t do it from a sense of the value of the past. Who knows what the true history of the house was? This is a story of the future. One that starts with that time back in 2011 when a bunch of volunteers from all walks of life came together and out of the goodness in their hearts, their time and tools, fixed up a beautiful old building.

Mike Owen, Colton