Author Archive

You Can Help

May 22nd, 2009 No comments

Want to know how you can help in the fight to save Proctor’s? Well, there are a bunch of ways.

First, you can sign the petition to save proctors.

Second, you can show your support by stopping by the table we’ll have set up at the Troy Farmer’s Market in riverside park on Saturdays starting tomorrow. If you like, you can volunteer to join a committee and get on our email list.

Third, get the word out! Tell your friends and co-workers about the effort to save Proctor’s. Send them to our website and ask them to sign the petition. You can download and print a flier to put up at your favorite cafe or workplace here(0.8MB). If you need help convincing your audience, we’ve got a great Proctor’s talking points presentation you can also download (6MB).

Fourth, sign up to help! You can contact us directly at

Categories: News Tags:

Strategic Plan Printing

May 20th, 2009 No comments

Our goal with the Troy Proctor’s Committee is not just to halt the demolition of the Proctor’s building, but also to restore and operate it in some way that preserves it’s historic architecture and value. To this end, the committee has prepared a Strategic Plan for Proctor’s.

This consists of a 250 page document that contains demonstrations of the building’s soundness, several alternate plans for the space that can be implemented without demolition, and case studies of dozens of other theaters all over the US which have been restored from similar or even worse states of decay. There are estimates and analyses from qualified professionals demonstrating the real costs and concerns of a renovation, and showing that it will likely cost as much to demolish the building as to render it renovation-ready. It also contains economic projections that demonstrate that the facility can not only support itself, but even generate funds to support its own restoration, while bringing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in retail and restaurant sales to downtown Troy.

The first printing run of these proposals has just been completed, and meetings with public officials are being set up to deliver them as we speak. The entire committee is excited over this new phase in our advocacy for Proctor’s, and we hope you’ll all join us in our push to raise public awareness of this process.

Unfortunately, owing to the sheer size of the document files, we are unable to make then available for download from the website, but we hope soon to find a way to make the printing process affordable enough that we can provide hard copies to interested parties.

Categories: News Tags:

Empire State Development Corporation Meeting

May 13th, 2009 No comments

On May 11th, 2009, members of the Troy Proctor’s Committee met with the Empire State Development Corporation, to discuss the demolition of Proctor’s Theater. The ESDC is the body that awards RestoreNY grants. RestoreNY, you may remember, is the money being sought by the City of Troy and Columbia Development to fund the demolition.

The meeting went well. Committee members clarified the stakes of the situation, emphasized the structural soundness of the theater building, answered questions, and presented the first draft of our Strategic Plan for Proctor’s. This is only the first step in a long list of meetings with public officials, but it was an encouraging one!

Categories: News Tags:

Public Hearing Transcript

May 9th, 2009 No comments

As we previously reported, the public hearing on the plan to demolish Proctor’s Theater in favor of new office space was a resounding success for the effort to Save Proctor’s. As the city has not released a transcript of that hearing, one of our committee members, Amy Halloran, undertook the enormous effort of transcribing that hearing from her own recording, so it could be published.

You can find it at: Proctor’s Theater Demolition Hearing Transcript

Categories: News Tags:

Meeting With Developer

May 6th, 2009 No comments

On April 28th, 2009, members of the Troy Proctor’s Committee met with representatives of Columbia Development at their offices in Albany. The meeting was friendly and productive, and gave both sides an opportunity to speak candidly about their positions.

The following letter, sent on May 4th to Joseph Nicolla of Columbia Development and copied to numerous local and state officials, summarizes the results of that meeting:

Joseph R. Nicolla
Columbia Development Companies
302 Washington Avenue Ext.
Albany, NY 12203
May 4, 2009

Re: Troy’s Proctor’s Theater

Dear Mr. Nicolla,

I wanted to again thank you for taking so much of your time to meet
with our group and discuss the plans and future of Troy’s historic Proctor’s
Theater. Most importantly, I wanted to thank you for your offer to work
with our group and consider alternative plans which would call for the
adaptive reuse of the theater structure, and your willingness to modify or
alter your tentative plans which call for its demolition and replacement
with an office building.

Specifically, you indicated that you would review any alternative
plans for such adaptive reuse, and would even include it with your
application for Restore NY grant funding. However, insofar as this offer
came less than a week prior to the application’s submission date, I hope and
trust you will understand that, while we have several tentative plans for
such reuse and even a preliminary report for adaptive reuse, we very much
wanted to provide you with a more complete and detailed proposal than we
were able to muster in such a short period of time. Knowing what goes into
such plans and projects, I have no doubt you will agree that six days is a
wholly inadequate time frame to present plans worthy of such a significant

We very much encourage Columbia Development to continue to work on
development projects in Troy. Specifically, I wish to reaffirm our group’s
eagerness to collaborate with you and Columbia Development in the sensitive
work of redeveloping the Proctor’s / Chasan Buildings. However, and in
order to avoid any potential confusion, this will further clarify and
confirm that our support for any such redevelopment is contingent upon a
final plan which not only preserves and reuses Proctor’s façade, lobby and
office / retail space, but that specifically maintains the theater structure
as an integral part of the whole redevelopment project, whether as a theater
or an alternative, adaptive reuse.

Thank you again for your time and consideration, and we look forward
to future meetings between our group and Columbia Development with an eye
towards moving this important and historic project forward.
Very truly yours,

Jim de Sève
Representative, Troy Proctor’s

cc. Tom Keaney, project manager; Claude Rounds,Vice President for Administration
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; New York State Office of Historic Preservation;
Empire State Development Corporation; Harry J. Tutunjian, Mayor Troy, NY; Mike
Russo, District Rep for Senator Gillibrand; Ronald J. Canestrari, NY State Assembly
Majority Leader; Troy City Council

Categories: News Tags:

Public Hearing Report

April 26th, 2009 No comments

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at Troy City Hall, over 120 people attended the public hearing on the plan to demolish Proctor’s Theater. Presentations were made by Jim de Seve of the Save Proctor’s Committee and Joe Nicolla of Columbia Development. Dozens of local residents also addressed the panel with their own perspectives and opinions.

Mr. Nicolla emphasized the effort being made to preserve the building’s historic facade, while creating jobs with the office building that will replace it. Mr. de Seve used photographs to demonstrate the building’s surprisingly good internal condition and structural soundness, and emphasized the historic importance of the site, and its potential to serve as a major cultural attraction in downtown Troy.

The public response was overwhelmingly in favor of preserving the entire theater, not just its facade. Of the many local residents who addressed the hearing, only one person spoke in favor of the current demolition plan, with the remainder supporting plans that did not result in the loss of the historic theater space.

The Save Proctor’s Committee is optimistic that this level of public response, along with the nearly 2700 signatures on the petition to save Proctor’s Theater, will serve as strong ammunition in the fight to preserve this historic treasure.

Categories: News Tags: