Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00
(Editor’s Note: The letter below was addressed to Mayor Robert J. Rothschild.)
The loss of St. Paul’s would be a devastating blow to our community’s rich history. The fact of the matter is, the majority of the residents of the village did not vote in favor of demolition. Of the three options on the ballot of the 2008 public opinion vote, the results were as follows: option one, demolition = 2,272 votes; option two, saving the exterior = 1,857 votes; and option three, converting the building into condos = 873 votes. When added together, options two and three obtained the majority with 2,730 votes; the village voted to save St. Paul’s.
If for nothing else, we should have the respect to honor the founder of our beautiful village. As the mayor, I would hope that you are familiar with our village’s history. Cornelia Stewart erected the Cathedral of the Incarnation, St. Paul’s School for Boys and St. Mary’s School for Girls in remembrance of her husband, Alexander Turney Stewart. Having no children or heirs, these structures were erected to memorialize one of the most powerful and well respected men of his time. With the loss of St. Mary’s and the impending demolition of St. Paul’s, not only are we destroying beautiful structures, we are destroying a piece of our heritage and Mr. Stewart’s legacy.
As a life-long resident of the community, for me, the grandiose structure that is St. Paul’s is a symbol of our community. It embodies the foundations on which the community was built, but it also represents the apparent failure for our village’s government to take action. For an issue that has plagued the board of trustees since 1993, I cannot even begin to fathom the resources that have been wasted on this debate.
And while a decision on a topic that evokes such opinions and feelings should not be made impetuously, it seems as though the time has come for a decision to be made. By the end of the month, the fate of St. Paul’s will be sealed. I can only hope that future generations of Garden City residents can appreciate such an amazing building. Thank you for your time.