One man’s thoughts

— Photo from Ed Cowley

Artist Ed Cowley stands next to his painting of the Mynderse House, which stood on the edge of Altamont’s village green before it was torn down to make way for a new bank building. The artist’s son, who wrote this letter, had studied the house as a university student.

To the Editor:

Many, many years ago a young boy was killed crossing Main Street on his way to watch his older brother play in a Little League game.

Many years ago, the mayor and village board failed to purchase the Altamont Train Station for $5,000 from the D & H Railroad. My father and a stalwart minority of Altamont citizens chose otherwise.

A few years later, a young student’s State University of New York at Albany’s independent-study project was terminated after the Mynderse House and the adjacent bank were demolished. As a result, the remaining buildings surrounding the park were never nominated as a National Historic District. A unique, totally intact, period business district was lost forever.

Today, the present mayor, village board, and “the others” have failed to protect a quiet, charming residential neighborhood from destruction so the Stewart’s corporation can sell more “Ding Dongs and Little Debbie snack cakes.”

These are one man’s thoughts and perspective on death, preservation, and destruction in a small town.

So sad.

Ed Cowley



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