Future of Ladies’ Home site may be known in a month

The former Ladies’ Home of Oswego building on East Utica Street.

OSWEGO - Plans may be unveiled in about a month on the future of the former Ladies’ Home of Oswego building.

Developer Anthony Pauldine bought the building at auction back in June for $145,000 and is waiting to close on the purchase. He said he is in talks with a local organization about putting office space in the building at 43 E. Utica St. He said he should know in about four weeks if that plan will become reality.

The Ladies’ Home, which was dedicated in 1875, has been a residence for women since that time.

In 1872, a group of 24 Oswego women joined together to address concerns about the well-being of the community’s less fortunate women who were in need of help but had no support. According to the home’s website, “in an era when there were no governmental agencies providing help like Social Services, Medicare and Medicaid, these 24 women were determined to give to these ladies what they could no longer provide for themselves.”

The website states the founders raised money and got some property donated for the home. Rochester architect A.J. Warner, who at the time was in Oswego working on an addition at the Richardson-Bates House (the now home of the county Historical Society), designed the house and Greene Brothers built the structure.

The building was dedicated Feb. 14, 1875, just three years after the idea for the home began. The founders raised money to care for the ladies in residence.

The home closed earlier this year. The Ladies’ Home board of directors put out a statement Feb. 7 stating the home would close by the end of February.

“After much careful consideration, it is with a great deal of sadness that the Administrative Board of Directors for The Ladies’ Home of Oswego has decided to close the facility,” the Feb. 7 statement read. “This decision is predicated on a number of economic factors including ongoing financial difficulties attributed to significantly increased costs and a dwindling number of residents interested in living in a congregate facility and the inability to privately pay the increased costs.”

The home had seven residents as of Feb. 7.

Pauldine, who has always been interested in preserving older and historical structures, said he wanted to buy the Ladies’ Home and do something with it before it became too distressed.

He said the building consists of more than 9,000 square feet of space, 24 bedrooms, parlors and a huge basement.

Pauldine also redeveloped the old Cahill Fish Market on West First Street into Cahill Landing, complete with seven upscale apartments and a commercial area that will house a physical therapy office. That building, built in 1828, was in danger of becoming unusable.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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