Historic Preservation Commission
January 21, 2019
Held at Rochester Town Hall
Members Present: Elaine Laflamme, Franz Dannecker, Wilton Duckworth, Jens
Verhaegh, Lisa Rosakranse (guest), Gregor Schaef (guest), David Bussu (preservation
SVC) David Kavazon (preservation SVC)
Members Absent: Alice Cross, Alice Schoonmaker, Lindsey Rose Arnold, Town Board
Liaison Brian Drabkin
Call to Order at 2:05pm by Elaine L.
Minutes approval from December were skipped in order to proceed with meeting about
the “Gazlay House”
Introduction of Preservation Services (a Property Preservation and Repair
company headquartered in Monsey NY hired by Wells Fargo to repair the Gazlay
David B and his partner David K. introduced them selves as estimators for Preservation
SVC making bids for Altisource who is hire by Wells Fargo to get the building up to code
and sellable condition with repairs or in kind replacements. Altisource takes bids from a
number of contractors such as Preservation SVC before hiring one to bring the house to
sellable condition, once in sellable condition the house will be auctioned thru HUBZU on
Elaine L. fills in the group on the history of the proceedings that have lead to the
foreclosure of the property and ownership by Wells Fargo bank.
Presentation by Preservation SVC on repair of Gazlay House.
David B mentioned that the house would require
• Replacement windows
• Sheet rock repairs
• Grounds cleared
• Pool cover
• Replacement Back porch
• Replacement Front door
• Among other things
Overall David B states that the house is in good to fair condition with out major water
Wilton D. questions the need and effect of replacing the windows and doors. Stating
that it would damage the historic nature of the building and not give future homeowners
to opportunity to restore the building to its original beautiful detail.
David B responds stating that the windows and doors are not working and would need
to be replaced for code and energy efficiency proposes but entertains the idea that
repairs could be made rather than replacements.
The topic of historic register is brought up, noting this building is on the Rochester list of
historic building but not on a national register of historic buildings, the questions of
adding this building to the national register is stated to not be feasible.
Jens V. asks David B. of the level and quality of replacement that would be done. David
B. responds that it would be of the lowest priced replacements such as vinyl rather than
wood. Wilton D. further adds how replacement windows take away from the total area
of fenestration area of the building, and that they don’t necessary improve the heat
retaining performance of the building considering the rest of the building envelope won’t
hold heat well.
Elaine L. asks David B. about contacting a superior to advocate preservation rather than
renovation, leaving the building as original as possible which she states will most like
increase the value of the building because its original details are in tact.
David B. recommends going directly to Wells Fargo since his superiors at Altisource are
focused on the job of bringing the building to sellable condition and are not considering
the historic details of the parts of the house that need to be repaired.
Elaine L. asks David B. about getting access to the building for a visit. David B offers to
ask for permission. Elaine L. offers to draft up waivers.
Lisa R. offers David B. contacts in the Ulster County Preservation Commission and
contacts in the Rochester Historic Society.
David B. says his next steps would be to make a bid for the building repairs and submit
it to the bank, which would be fielding bids from other contractors.
Jens V. advocates David B. to make two quotes, one with the full scope of repairs and
one with minimal repairs leaving as many historic details intact, which could increase
the value of the house as well as save the bank money in repairs.
David B. and David K. leave the meeting after a round of hand shaking.
The remaining groups talks about strategies to save the buildings details.
Lisa R. states she has a Wells Fargo account and offers to try and establish a contact.
Lisa R. and Elaine L. offer to reach out to local Realtors in search of potential buyers.
Wilton D. asks if we can get a hold of all the bidding contractors. Elaine L. is not sure
but believes contact was made with Conservation SVC through the building department
and that future biding contractors may be funneled towards the HPC.
Wilton D. suggests NEFA as a potential buyer.
Lisa R. offers to make contact with a NEFA employee.
Elaine L. offers to research the potential asking price of the house.
Elaine L. motioned to adjourn the meeting at 3:25pm. Wilton D. seconded.