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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Changes at Draper School in Rotterdam, New York

Last summer Eric told
me that something
was going on at the
old Draper School
near his Mom's house.

Excavation near the
building made Eric
think that an old
oil tank may have
been removed.
Draper High School, built in the early 1900s graduated its last class in 1986 and a series of businesses had operated out of the building since.  A charter school closed in 2008, leaving the school abandoned.

I don't know what will happen, but there's a lot of work that needs to be done....

I didn't realize that articles started appearing in 2015 on re-purposing the building into apartments. Within the last week articles appeared in the Times Union and Daily Gazette about area schools being rehabbed and Draper School is one of several schools listed.

I took this picture on
April 23rd.

Many of the windows have
been replaced & I can see
metal wall supports.

The former classrooms will be reconfigured for apartments. 

Draper Lofts is receiving
financing from State 
Employees Federal
Credit Union.

When completed, Draper Lofts will have over 100 apartments available for tenants.

This work site probably doesn't
have working plumbing, yet.

Windows need replacing
near the old gym.

These windows were bricked
up during a previous

There's so much work to
be done here.

I'm not surprised to read that this is a $15 million dollar project.

This post is probably the
base of a light pole.

The old curbing is rubble.

Some of it is being used
to stabilize the fencing.

Each side of the building
is different.

This one bears the marks of an awning, long gone, and more bricked up windows.

I will return, from time to
time to watch the exterior
work progress.
I look forward to going to the Open House to see the new apartments.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wednesday's Wings Special @ Bricklayers Pub & Pizzeria in Rotterdam, New York

Eric & I arrive at
Pizzeria for their
Wednesday Wing

Chicken Wings are 50 cents each from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and there are different flavors to try.  

Bricklayers has a nice
assortment of beers
at their full bar.

Joe, the owner, tells me that the bricks are from a church in his grandmother's neighborhood. He salvaged the when the building was demolished.

Joe is living his dream....  He enjoys owning a neighborhood pub/pizzeria and making new friends. Eric and I wish Joe all the best with his new venture.

We arrived just after
3:00 pm & it's quiet

Kamri, the bartender,
recommends we try
Sam Adams Cold

She gave a great recommendation.  This white wheat beer is well balanced and satisfying.  It will be easy to find because Sam Adams Beers are available locally.

Eric & I are splitting
Medium, Mild, Hot,
Honey BBQ, Garlic
Parm & Golden
 BBQ flavored wings.

Joe took this pic...

Eric's third hand 
my left hand.

The wings are excellent!  Bricklayers kitchen staff includes a Schenectady County Community College School of Culinary Arts graduate and a SCCC School of Culinary Arts student.  They are showing off their skills and building Bricklayers Pub and Pizzeria's reputation as a great place to eat.

Eric's top two wing flavors are  Golden BBQ, followed by Medium.  My favorite wing flavors are Mild and Honey BBQ.  

The bar got busier as Eric and I enjoyed our Wings and Beer.  Couples sit at tables and make their early dinner choices. 

We thank Kamri for her beer recommendation and ask Joe to thank the Chef before waving goodbye.  

Bricklayers Pub and Pizzeria is a short walk from Jerry's house.  I expect Eric and I will be stopping by often while we are home.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Nicholaus Building Is Now A Pile of Rubble: Schenectady, New York

Those were the days...  The Nicholaus Building stood at the corner of State Street and Erie Boulevard for well over a century.  It was built in the 1800s when the Erie Canal flowed through downtown Schenectady.

Things went terribly wrong last spring.  An adjacent building was removed and cracks opened up ed in the walls and floors of the Nicholaus.  The tenants were hastily evacuated (evicted).  Lanes were closed on State Street and Erie Boulevard.  Supports were installed along the west wall to stabilize the Nicholaus Building, and everyone waited.....

I took this picture

On April 7, 2017, just over a year after being endangered by its neighbors demolition, an inspection showed that the Nicholaus Building was ready to collapse.  The initial demolition took place over night.

This is what I found on
Friday, April 14, 2017.

The view from State

A worker sprays down the debris with water.  I don't know if it's in case of fire, or to keep the Asbestos from drying and going airborne.  This old, outdated insulation material is a cancer causing agent and no one wants this substance in his or her lungs.

There's a lot of bricks
waiting to be removed.

I poked my camera lens
through the chain link
fence to get this
close up shot.

This picture was taken from across Erie Boulevard.

Some of the debris is
covered by tarps.

Erie Boulevard, facing
toward State Street.

The Letters to the Editor Section of The Daily Gazette has numerous postmortems on the demise of the Nicholaus Building.

The many, many lawsuits that have been filed against the City of Schenectady and contractors will work their way through the courts.  Eventually, something will built on this corner and new memories will be made here.

In the meantime, the owners of the former Nicholaus Building filed a second lawsuit against the city.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Homeward Bound: North to Rotterdam, New York

Eric and I drive along a well known route north to Rotterdam New York.  We start our seven and a half hour drive at 7:30 am.  Today's route was planned with rest stops where Eric and I will swap our driving shifts.

We start out on Maryland
State Route 4 North.

toward Baltimore.
 Trees are leafing out....

Eric moves into a left lane
to follow Interstate 97
North toward Baltimore.
The major highway route north has many route changes that we know well.

Eric moves into the dedicated exit
the Beltway around Baltimore.

The 15 mile per hour exit
ramp has an impressive

Bridges cross the highway &
crisscross each other.

Eric continues our drive onto
Interstate 83 North.

Timonium sounds like an element on the Periodic Table of Elements, but it's not.

A Furmano's Truck...

This is my favorite
canned tomato

Trees are flowering...

Forsythia Bushes are in bloom.

A steep grade sign

I start thinking about the common geology that this section of Maryland and Pennsylvania share.  Do they have mining here?  One quick search on the internet and my hunch is confirmed.  Mining is a major industry  in Maryland.

 Northeastern Maryland is also farm country.

Pennsylvania Welcomes You 

It looks like the crane is
holding up the Coors
Light sign.

A trailer load of sheds
heads south.

We drive past rail yards
in Harrisburg.

Everyone's out driving on
this beautiful day.

I take pictures of York Barbell
when we drive this route.

The mountains of Pennsylvania
stretch out before us.

We follow our route onto
Interstate 81 North.

This "Franken-Tree" will be
hidden once the roadside
trees leaf out.

I take pictures whenever I see one. 

That is not an Alligator.

It looks like the entire
tread from a tractor
trailer tire.

Everyone moves to the
left lane to give room
to the ambulance &
fire truck.

A mangled tractor trailer
rests on a guide rail.

I hope the driver isn't

That's Wilkes Barre in
the distance.

We have plenty of time to
get in the correct lane for
ramp toward Binghamton.

We stop at Flying J Travel
 to fuel up.

I wash our windshields
while Eric pumps
diesel fuel.

Dead bugs be gone!

I missed the Welcome
to New York sign, but
got the tourism sign.

There is currently a dispute between the federal government and New York State over the legality of the newly placed tourism signs.

Eric & I will turn East
on Interstate 88.

There's lots of drawing on
this very bumpy section
of road.

I expect road repairs to start sometime this year.

Just 122 miles to Albany...

before us.

Our first snow sighting since
last November at the rest stop
where Eric & I swapped
driving shifts.

We approach the Schoharie

Exit 25 is our exit.

Eric will top off the
fuel tank at the Pilot

I unhitch our Jeep from the back of our motorhome and drive to Eric's Mom's house.

Rotterdam is proud of
its Dutch history.

I'm arrive at Jerry's house few minutes before Eric.


I am ready to guide Eric into
Jerry's driveway.

We are home!