Lansingburgh Town Hall.
The general topic of conversation yesterday in the streets and business places of Lansingburgh was the proposed Town Hall, plans and specifications of which were on exhibition at the postoffice. The communication printed below was published in the Gazette by Albert E. Powers, one of the ablest as well as most public spirited men in the village. The plans referred to were procured from Cummings & Birt of this city, at the expense of Mr. Powers. We also understand that the Messrs. Powers will donate the two lots on the corner of Market and Congress streets [115th Street and 3rd Avenue], on which to erect the proposed hall, if the people will go to work and build it. The following is the communication:
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE OF LANSINGBURGH:—The idea of building a town or village hall for the use of the citizens in holding public meetings, in hearing lectures, and for public amusements, is one that has been of greater or less interest for many years. In 1865 it had become of such importance that the committee to revise the charter, made provision in that instrument for the appropriation of the commonable fund to that purpose, and also for raising money on bonds, payable in five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten years, to provide for any further sum necessary for such purpose. These provisions became part of the charter passed in that year, and remain still unaltered, except that the control and management of the business is transferred from the Sewer Commissioners to the Trustees by the laws of 1879 pp. 1699 and 1700.
Since that time the subject has gained in public interest, and early last fall the writer, at the insistance of a near friend, decided to invite some of his personal friends to discuss the subject and ascertain what the prevailing judgment would be regarding the uses to which the building should be devoted, and what arrangement of rooms could be made for the various purposes desired. On one point all were clear, that a large, handsome audience room would be indispensable, also if possible a smaller room for meetings for minor purposes. Various other suggestions were made, some looking to putting a part or the whole of the fire apparatus into the building; others that provisions should be made for the police, Police Justices, Jury Room and lock-up; others to provide offices for the Town and Village authorities and for the School Library. When attempts were made to sketch plans it was soon found that the use of any part of the building for the fire apparatus would exclude some other important things, besides being objectionable in the principal uses of the building.
The final conclusion was that the first floor should contain a small hall, a room for the library, one for Town officers, one for the Village officers, with a vault for the safe keeping of their records, a Police station with lock-up and rooms for lodging casual persons or for the use of the officers off duty, and a Police court room and Jury room. The whole of the second floor with a gallery, should be devoted to the purposes of an audience chamber, with the necessary ante-rooms; the upper part (being in the Mansard roof,) may be used for a dormitory for the police, and for reading rooms, societies, &c. For safety and convenience it was thought well to arrange for the building of a double set of staircases, one on each side of the principal building. The rough drafts were placed in the hands of Messrs. Cummings & Birt to put into proper form, were examined again, and finally placed in their hands to make the necessary ground plans and elevations. With some suggestions from the writer as to the manner of decorating the exterior, the architects have used their own taste and skill in the style and finish of the building. The intention is to use Croton Pressed brick for the principal surfaces of the walls; the bright red to be of Philadelphia brick; the yellow of Milwaukee brick; the chocolate, of dark brock, such as are used about Boston, with some black brick for boundary lines; the keystones of the arches, the window-sills and chimney caps and bases, of drab Ohio freestone; the water table, basement window caps, and stops, either of granite or cut blue stone. The small hall will seat 168 persons. The floor of the audience chamber will seat 782 persons, and the gallery 320 persons, making 1162 seats. The plans and elevations are placed on exhibition in the Postoffice for inspection and criticism, and the writer will be very happy to receive any written criticisms or suggestions on the subject. At a future time the writer will have something more to say as to his own criticisms on the elevations and in regard to the estimates.
Very respectfully, A. E. POWERS.
Troy Daily Whig. January 26, 1872: 3 col 3.