OSWEGO — Mayor Billy Barlow announced the start of a $2.6 million project to restore Oswego City Hall in downtown Oswego. The construction project begins as local contractor, PAC Construction, and several sub-contractors, begin to prepare and survey the work site. The $2.6 million project, partially funded by a $500,000 New York State Environmental Protection Fund grant secured by the city of Oswego in 2018, will place a new roof on City Hall, consists of a significant amount of masonry work to repair damage and disruption of the stone along the Oneida Street side of the structure and will re-stabilize the clock bell tower.
Oswego City Hall was built in 1870 after being designed by a well known architect, Horatio Nelson White, and has been used as the heart of city government since 1871, housing many city departments including the Mayor’s office, the city clerk, city chamberlain, code enforcement, engineering, and many other offices. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and last saw construction when a small expansion and elevator column was added in 1980. A study conducted by the city of Oswego in 2013 exposed a number of deficiencies in the structure requiring relatively quick attention.
“Oswego City Hall is a gorgeous, historic building that we can not allow to fall in disrepair. Municipalities all over the nation spend millions of dollars to replicate this sort of architecture and we are fortunate to have a historic City Hall building that adds character and value to our core downtown area,” said Mayor Billy Barlow. “Before taking office in 2016, the outgoing administration explained that a top priority should be to repair City Hall before its too late, so I’m proud to secure this funded and get this project moving so we can improve the structure, stabilize the vulnerable areas and have this beautiful asset around for generations to come,” Barlow said.
Robert Corradino, President of the Oswego Common Council, said “the upcoming renovations to historic City Hall are important because for over 150 years it has been the iconic symbol of our community and it is our responsibility to maintain and preserve this building for future generations to use and enjoy. These much needed repairs will make city hall a safer place for the employees to work and for residents to visit. I would like to thank Mayor Barlow for taking the lead in getting this project started.”
Paul Castaldo Jr., owner of PAC Associates of Oswego, INC, said “for all that have had the opportunity to experience life or a visit to Oswego, its rich history creates great sentiment and the Mayor’s current revitalization programs create great pride. All of us at PAC Associates of Oswego are excited and grateful that Mayor Barlow’s administration has given us the opportunity to help preserve our city’s architectural history.”
In 2016, Mayor Barlow and the Oswego Common Council developed a five-year capital improvement plan that included a $2.5 million set-aside for City Hall repairs through a bond to pay for the balance of the project. Construction is planned to last until November 2020. Barlow said he does not believe at this time there will be any reason to close the building during construction.