Out of this controversy, a group of people quietly came together to create the Friends of the Old Stone Barracks, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization with a mission to educate, facilitate, and advocate for the preservation of the barracks property.
On August 5th, 2014, we publicly announced that the Friends came to terms with the Montreal Developer to purchase the property, and to kick off a capital campaign to raise the necessary $225,000! Read about the August 5th Announcement Event HERE.
The Friends sees its work as trying to achieve three primary goals:
- The preservation and adaptive reuse of the historic Old Stone Barracks
- The protection of the valuable open space, including the parade grounds, on the barracks property
- The use of the property for public use, education, and inspiration or an acceptable alternative
We believe that an acceptable plan for the future of the property should include the restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of the Old Stone Barracks. This would honor and promote the significance of the building, the site, and its larger historic context and is an opportunity to embrace and promote the region's long and proud military history, which extends from the 18th century all the way through the Cold War.
Although less well recognized and appreciated than the Barracks itself, there are two other buildings on the property, the most important of which is the Powder Magazine. The preservation of these buildings is also important.
Open Space Preservation.
We believe that an acceptable plan for the future of the property should include the preservation, to the maximum extent possible, of the open space around the Old Stone Barracks. The preservation of this open space is critical because both the building and its setting are historically important and losing the open space and setting of the building would destroy the historic integrity of the property. It is also a marvelous opportunity to preserve a large piece of open space in the city of Plattsburgh for its scenic and open space value.
Numerous generations have come to identify the former Air Force Base and our connection to local history through the view of the Barracks from New York State Route 9. The four acres between the planes and the cemetery adjacent to Route 9 is presently on the market and zoned for small business commercial development. The Friends would also like to encourage the protection of this acreage as well.
Public Education and Inspiration.
We believe an acceptable plan for the future of the property should include, if at all possible, the use of the Old Stone Barracks and its site for public education and inspiration. Plattsburgh and Clinton County are on the verge of becoming a major heritage tourism destination. This is reflected in the newly released Destination Master Plan (North Country Chamber of Commerce), by the creation of the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA), through the emerging role of regional heritage tourism initiatives such as the Lakes to Locks Passage and the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, and through the strengthening of a number of arts and culture organizations like the Battle of Plattsburgh Association (BOPA), Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, Clinton County Historical Association, and North Country Cultural Center for the Arts.
This bright future, which has extensive positive economic benefits, hinges on a number of things, including creating a lively and healthy cultural community and offering first class experiences for visitors. The Barracks could and should be a centerpiece of this effort because it is an extraordinarily attractive building, it epitomizes the hugely important military history of the region, and it is central to many other cultural attractions and activities in the area.
1. Restoration and adaptive reuse of the Old Stone Barracks and the preservation of the open space around the Barracks by a private/nonprofit partnership that uses the building and site for a mixture of public education and compatible private purposes.
2. Restoration and adaptive reuse of the Old Stone Barracks and the preservation of the open space around the Barracks by a private developer that uses the building and site for purposes compatible with the other nonprofit and private uses in the vicinity of the Barracks.
3. Restoration and adaptive reuse of the Old Stone Barracks, the preservation of most of the open space around the Barracks, and limited new construction that is compatible with the architecture and setting of the Old Stone Barracks and the other nonprofit and private uses in the vicinity of the Barracks.