MAHOPAC, N.Y.— The building on McAlpin Avenue known as the Othmer house is no more.
The 117-year-old structure was demolished last week and a parking lot to accommodate overflow from the neighboring Town Hall, and provide parking for highway department employees, will take its place.
The building sat unoccupied for the past 11 years, according to Supervisor Ken Schmitt, and developed a mold problem, as well as an array of structural issues that became cost-prohibitive to repair.
“Rather than put a significant amount of money to bring it up to today’s standards, we opted to take the building down,” Schmitt said.
The demolition work was performed by the town’s highway department personnel, which Schmitt said saved taxpayers a considerable amount of money.
“If we had to pay a contractor it could have cost in the $35,000 to $40,000 range and we did it for a third of that,” Schmitt said. “I have to thank [highway superintendent] Mike Simone and his staff for taking on the job. It’s virtually all gone right now. They did it pretty quickly.”
The building had a rich history in Mahopac. It was constructed in 1900 and was then known as the Talbot house. It was purchased by Adolf Hufshmid in 1957 and was assessed for $15,947 by the town in 1968.
In 1971, Hufshmid sold the building to the town for $41,500. In 1985, under the auspices of then-Supervisor Richard Othmer (who served as Carmel supervisor from 1984 to 1995), the town entered into a lease agreement with the New York State Association for Children with Disabilities, and the building housed disabled children and young adults for two decades, including a staff that was on duty there 24 hours a day.
The state opted out of its lease in 2005 and the building remained unoccupied for the past 11 years.
“Right now the plan is to create a municipal lot and handle overflow from the town hall for things like court night, Election Day, tax time and during the fireman’s carnival,” Schmitt said. “The highway workers can use it for parking too. We are hoping to accomplish that in-house as well.”