Friends of Schoolcraft disbands

To the Editor:

The John L. Schoolcraft House is a beautiful and distinctive Gothic Revival landmark on Western Avenue in Guilderland. Built in the 1840s, the home was saved from demolition in the 1990s when the town purchased it and began restoration work.

A volunteer group, The Friends of the Schoolcraft Cultural Center, was formed by Alice Begley and several other dedicated community members who hoped to turn the home into a town historic and cultural center.

Over the years, the Friends held numerous fundraising events (memberships, trail runs, bus trips, lawn events, brick sales, talks, etc.) to help with the restoration. The town contributed money and skilled workers and several local businesses and individuals made significant contributions.

A great deal has been accomplished — roof and porch repairs, inside and outside painting, custom wood and plaster moldings created, air-conditioning and security systems installed, a new kitchen added, exterior decorative features repaired and replicated, sidewalk added, et al.

The restoration work is not complete, but the house is up and running. Over the last several years, it has hosted various events and meetings while finishing and maintenance work continues.

This letter is to notify everyone in the community that the Friends group is now being disbanded. Money left over from fundraisers and contributions has been moved to a Schoolhouse Trust, which will be administered by the town of Guilderland for ongoing work on the house.

I want to give heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed and worked to make the house the beautiful and unique landmark that Guilderland can be proud of. A special acknowledgment to Alice Begley, who recently passed away at the age of 95, for her vision, enthusiasm, and unflagging work for the house.

Sally Lovering


Friends of the

Schoolcraft Cultural Center

Editor’s note: See related story. 

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