WADDINGTON -- The state is paying $100,000 for improvements at the Clark House in downtown Waddington.
Clark House Preservation Inc., which oversees the building, has invested over $300,000 in private donations and donated services to begin restoring the historic inn on Main Street. Improvements over the past decade have included new windows, foundation repairs, the addition of a steel support structure to stabilize the basement and second floor, and other improvements to prevent the building from collapsing, according to Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, who announced the funding.
Built in 1893, the Clark House was the village’s major downtown hotel until it became vacant and was in danger of being demolished due to it being a safety hazard. In 1997, the building was acquired by a group of concerned citizens who formed the non-profit, community-based group Clark House Preservation Inc., which is working to restore the historic building, Ritchie’s news release said.
“Saving Waddington’s most important historic landmark is vital to our long-term effort to revitalize downtown and bring new businesses, jobs and possibilities to our riverfront community,” Russell Strait, president of Clark House Preservation Inc., said in a prepared statement. “Thank you Senator Ritchie for sharing our vision and helping us to make it a reality.”
"Clark House is a tremendous part of the revival of Waddington's downtown and we can't thank Senator Ritchie enough for securing this funding, which will help us continue to develop this historic landmark," Waddington Mayor Janet Otto-Cassada said in the release.
“Twenty years ago, a small group of citizens decided to take on the challenge of saving their downtown by trying to preserve an important piece of their history—a 100-year-old hotel that had once served as a stagecoach stop, a place for weary travelers and the focal point of Waddington,” Ritchie said in a prepared statement.
She represents the 48th Senate District. It covers most of northern and western St. Lawrence County, including Ogdensburg, Canton and Gouverneur. It stretches down into Lewis and Oneida counties.