Ossining Board Seeks To Protect Historic Landmarks

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The old Mount Pleasant Military Academy Library in Ossining could become a local historic landmark depending on a village board vote this week.
The old Mount Pleasant Military Academy Library in Ossining could become a local historic landmark depending on a village board vote this week. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

OSSINING, N.Y. – A drive to preserve the village’s history long after this year’s bicentennial celebration is being led by former Ossining Mayor Miguel Hernandez.

Hernandez, who sits on the Ossining Historic Preservation Committee, approached the Village of Ossining Board of Trustees to get several landmarks placed on the local historical register to preserve them. The board will consider several of the landmarks during its regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ossining/Town Village Court.

“This is very key because many of these are on the national register, but unfortunately, the national register does not give full protection to these buildings and the local law would be much stronger,” Hernandez told the board at a recent meeting. “They’re very important for this village on many levels, and not the least of which they do bring economic benefits to the village.”

The sites up for resolution Tuesday include the Brandredth Pill Factory at 36 Water St., Calvary Baptist Church at 4 St. Paul’s Place, the Mount Pleasant Military Academy Library at 23 State St., the James Robinson House at 30 State St. and the Smith-Robinson House at 34 State St. Several of the sites are home to businesses and are included on the Village of Ossining’s walking tour

Ossining Mayor William Hanauer agreed on the importance preserving the buildings on the local register. Hanauer said he had much affection for all them, especially the Mount Pleasant Military Academy Library.

“It happens to be my favorite building in the village,” he said at a recent work session. “It is an absolutely gorgeous building.”

If the designations were approved, the buildings would be largely protected from modifications and preserved through the Ossining Historic Preservation Committee. Speaking as a member, Hernandez said the group would work with owners on any future changes.

“The commission is fully able and willing to provide owners of these properties with expert counsel and advice on any proposed alterations that they wish to do to the facades of these buildings,” he told the board. “The owners of historic buildings will still be able to do whatever interior work they wish to do on these buildings consistent with the normal business codes.”

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Does Hernandez want to preserve properties in Ossining same way the riverfront property was taken over by Ossining government in the late 1990s and left to turn into mud and weeds? Or the bank w/clock building on Main Street that Ossining government owns that's remained empty for decades? Or the pill factory near Diamond Dairy that someone wants to turn into condos and Hernandez opposed the development? Seems like everything Hernandez touches becomes waste.