Board: Penn Yan cupola needs to be moved soon

Apr 04, 2024 at 02:11 pm by Observer-Review

penn yan cupola
PENN YAN--Early last year, renderings were unveiled showing how the former Empire State Winery cupola could be incorporated into a reimagined park setting along the Keuka Outlet in Penn Yan. The structure was saved in 2014 when development began on the lakefront Hampton Inn location and the cupola was moved to the village fireman’s field to await restoration.
In a letter dated March 19, and signed by Penn Yan Mayor Dan Condella and Trustees Kevin McLoud, Daniel Henries, Jr., Daniel Irwin, Richard Stewart, Teresa Hoban and Norman Koek, stated, “It is the decision of the board of trustees that the cupola be removed from village property as soon as is possible.”
The letter continued, “At its time of its placement in its present site at the fireman’s field it was the expectation that such location was for a short-term period of time. It has now been several years. In its present location the cupola continues to deteriorate. It is also an ‘attractive nuisance’ for vandalism and intrusion by young people. That aspect alone makes the Cupola a potential source of lawsuits against the village.”
“Accordingly, the board of trustees directs that a removal plan be submitted to the village clerk as soon as possible but not more than thirty (30) days from the date hereof. That plan must include a date by which the Cupola will be removed from village property.”
In 2022, the mayor wrote a letter indicating the support of the village for the restoration plan and location at the angler’s boat park.
“When the Penn Yan village trustees gave us a location and letter of support, we were thrilled and began fundraising immediately,” said Mary Worth, cupola restoration board member, in an email to The Observer. “We have made great progress and results. And now this. How do you do this after making a public commitment to the placement of a restoration?”
Board member Marsha Devine added, “We are currently looking at other options that will comply with the purpose of our organization and the requirements of our charitable tax status.”
In 2023, a $50,000 grant of tourism funds was approved by the legislature to assist with the cupola project. The total estimate to fix the structure was $150,000.
With concerns for the physical structure itself, Board Member Chad Peek said, “Given the current condition of the cupola, I would hate to see us have to move it twice. It may take some time to locate a new home and with this new village directive, we may not be able to meet their deadline unless we move it to private property first. We are working to have this be a smooth transition.”
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