Our buildings are our link to a collective and shared past

To the Editor:
The Cobblestone Schoolhouse in Guilderland Center is a quintessential part of the town of Guilderland’s history [“On the ballot: Selling Cobblestone Schoolhouse to town for $10K,” The Altamont Enterprise, March 20, 2024].

On May 21, 2024, the Guilderland Central School District will decide the fate of the historic building, currently proposed in a sale to the town for $10,000, to preserve it for future generations.

The schoolhouse was built in the town of Guilderland in 1860 at the start of the Civil War, and located on land that was deeded to the school district by Dutch Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer in the earlier part of the 19th Century as a last testament to the Dutch colonial patroonship system, and was in use as a classroom up until 1941.

The Cobblestone Schoolhouse has been a long-standing part of the town’s history, and it is critical that future generations can learn from this historic building, especially one of only several in Albany County that has been carefully maintained since its construction in 1860.

In fact, many of those who can trace their lineage in the town of Guilderland would have had grandparents and great-grandparents attend class here.

Historical preservation is vital to our communities and tells our communities’ stories.

As Winston Churchill once wrote, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us.”

Perhaps in too perfect a contrast to the schoolhouse is Guilderland’s former Helderberg Dutch Reformed Church, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which burned in 1986, yet whose congregation was chartered prior to the American Revolution.

Our buildings are our link to a collective and shared past, which is why preservation is so important.

The Cobblestone Schoolhouse is an integral part of Guilderland’s history, which is why I worked to secure funds to ensure it remains part of our community’s story far into the future. Let’s work together so that this landmark remains part of that history and story.

Patricia Fahy


District 109

Editor’s note: State Assembly District 109 includes the city of Albany, the town of New Scotland,and part of the town of Guilderland.

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