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The Livery, Sunday

Today, just as we were finishing up brunch at Nektar, a car pulled up and out stepped a somewhat dusty Commissioner of Economic Development and Permit and Inspection Services Rich Tobe, wearing a blue hardhat. An hour and a half late to join his party, Rich spared me a few moments for questions.
He’d just come from Jersey Street, and said Judge Gorski had passed an injunction on the demolition of the livery stable pending a hearing in appellate court in Rochester tomorrow. Rich said they had done some work on the building, removing a good portion of the roof and more of the eastern wall. He said they caused the weaker parts of the upper walls to fall inward to avoid damage to the immediate homes on either side. Then I had to let him run.
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Next I headed over to Jersey Street. A new (since Friday) chainlink fence had gone up around the structure owned by Robert and Nina Freudenheim through Leopold LLC. Paul Morgan–an avid advocate of preservation, to say the least–was sitting vigil with a clipboard full of signatures from citizens opposed to the demolition. “Fan them out like cards, Paul,” Doug called to him. Doug, who lives across from the livery preferred that we not use his last name, but he is in part responsible for the Save the Livery web page that cropped up late last week, chronicling the events surrounding building’s fate.
“There are about a dozen of us working hard to stop this, and Kitty Herrick is doing a great job,” Morgan said. “You know what I’d like? I’d like to know who paid for the demolition of Wadsworth,” he said, referring to the recently demolished Falcon Building at 7 Wadsworth, not a quarter of a mile from the livery, that was also owned by Robert and Nina Freudenheim. “Do you know what the name of the exhibit at her gallery is right now?” Morgan asked. “Picture Nothing,” he answered, waiting for the irony to sink in.
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Morgan explained that some of the bowing on the west side of the livery had occured during the heavy rains we had Friday night. He corroburated what Rich Tobe had said about the failed trusses allowing the very heavy struts to let go, which ultimately caused the structural damage that occured earlier last week. “If they had just secured the roof,” Morgan said, “the wood wouldn’t have weathered and rotted to this point.”
City building inspector Donald Grzebieluchia showed up next with his wife in tow. They walked around the chain link and looked at the building. Grzebieluchia is taking a scheduled week’s vacation this week, leaving his partner, Larry Schiavone, to stay on top of the developments in the livery case. I asked Grzebieluchia how the building was allowed to get to this point of disrepair, and he answered that he and Schiavone are called in after the fact on emergency cases like this. “That’s not us,” he said. We get called in after as demolition and emergency response inspectors. Our job is to evaluate and rectify a situation to see that no life is in danger, like when a vehicle hits a building, and this.”
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East side of the livery today.
Schiavone showed up on cue, out for a drive with his wife. His opinion of the livery is that it’s probably not salvageable. “One cupola is completely gone. The front section is in really bad shape,” Schiavone said. “It’s still not safe even though they stopped us. We cut the roof, but it’s still pretty scary.” When I asked if the back portion of the building could be saved, he answered no, adding, “It’s in bad shape.”
“There’s still a 10-foot section of slate roof up there that must weigh about 900 pounds,” Grzebieluchia said. “I think if you go on Google Earth and go to 430 Jersey, you can still see shards of the roofing paper that was put up a long time ago to try to protect the building.” Then Grzebieluchia turned to his partner and said,” If you’re going to have to go to Rochester tomorrow, somebody ought to call you and let you know soon.”
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East side of livery on Friday.

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