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Can Neighbors Save Abandoned West Side House?

By Jason Weinstein.
A group of people are working to preserve what they are calling a piece of Binghamton history.

The fate of the house at 47 North Street, also known as the Sturtevant House, is currently in the hands of the Broome County Land Bank. The Land Bank says the status of the building is to be determined. It is open to hearing a plan, including financing, that would save the building.

Members of one group say they have a study from Cornell showing renovating the building could be a viable option, though restoring it as a six-apartment residence could cost $500,000. Other options would be less expensive.

"There are not many of this type of structure architecturally in Binghamton. It structurally seems to be in tact so it does seem like it's well worth the effort to try to preserve it," said Binghamton resident Rosemary Markoff.

"We have hopes that any property can be brought back and put on the tax rolls. Short of any strong proposal and financed plan the likely outcome would be to demolish the building," said Margaret Scarinzi, Executive Director of the Broome County Landbank.

Supporters say grants, loans, or investors could fund the renovation. Some of those supporters are members of the Safe Streets group. However, the head of that group says he's unsure what official role, if any, Safe Streets will play in a plan to save the building.