Flashback: In Our Time: New Housing, Commercial Development. education made local news in November 1981 | Columns


New housing, Southside development and education all made the news in our area in November 1981.

As the Daily Star reported on November 6, “Construction on the Oneonta Housing Authority’s $ 2 million housing complex on Academy Street was completed this week, almost two weeks ahead of schedule.

“The resort, designed for small families, sits on four acres of land at the corner of Fairview and Academy streets. It comprises five buildings with six townhouse style apartments each. There are 24 two bedroom apartments.

It was uncertain when tenants could move in at that time, as application review and rent subsidies had to be determined.

There was no name for the resort at the end, but that quickly changed. Featured readers on November 14 heard: “The Oneonta Housing Authority recently decided to name its… complex on Academy Street in honor of Mayor James F. Lettis.

“Housing Authority Chairman Howard Berkowitz said this honor is due to everything Lettis has done for the housing project.

“The decision was based on the fact that Mayor Lettis was primarily responsible for securing the federal funds we needed to build the project,” Berkowitz said. “

While these new apartments replaced the old high school, further developments were planned in the town of Oneonta.

“Approval for the construction of the Southside Mall could encourage further development of Route 23,” a city planner recently said, “the Star reported on November 14.

“Oneonta’s town planning council on Thursday approved the construction of a 40-store shopping center, pending approval from the state’s departments of transportation, environmental conservation and health.

“It is reasonable to expect the area around the mall to develop,” said Chairman of the Board Donald J. Sheehan. He said applications for building permits on the area near the proposed mall have yet to be filed with the city.

“O. Charles Koenig of Oneonta, real estate agent for the mall developers, said the mall would attract customers, making the area lucrative for commercial development.

“’If you can get traffic through your door, you have a shopping area,” he said. The Southside Mall will include the K mart and JC Penney department stores, Victory Food Store and other stores. The mall opened in 1983 and many developments followed.

Educationally, it was a bit like a late 1970s sitcom moment, reminiscent of “Welcome Back Kotter.”

Featured readers discovered on Nov. 19: “The Oneonta School Board on Wednesday appointed veteran teacher William (Bud) Pirone as High School Principal, a position he has held since August on an interim basis.

“The board of directors voted unanimously to give Pirone a three-year probationary contract with an annual salary of $ 29,500.

“I certainly think that every constituent group in the high school has been extremely helpful,” said Pirone, thanking the congratulations on his work as interim principal and on his new appointment. “

Pirone was from Oneonta, graduating from the OHS class of 1956. After teaching at Oxford and Sidney, Pirone accepted a job at Oneonta High when the new building on East Street opened in the fall of 1964.

Returning to the subject of housing, sort of, The Star of November 20 reported, “Ebenezer Scrooge is being exorcised by the 4 Cs of Cooperstown.

“If you’ve lived here for the past five years and don’t know what the four Cs mean, you’ve taken a nap. This is the Cooperstown community Christmas committee,

“And this is a group that did exactly what they set out to do: make Cooperstown a Christmas village.

“This year, a project that started months ago is coming to an end. And it really has been a labor of love on the part of many people.

“A full-scale Victorian cottage, which will be set up in Pioneer Park each year for Santa to welcome the children, is nearing completion. And that’s a beauty – in the design, the construction, and the community spirit it has engendered in so many people.

“The finishing touches are made to the cottage behind the Butler Press building on Pioneer Street. All you need is a few windows, wood shingles for the roof, and some interior work.

“It will be installed on Tuesday, November 24 in the park. Santa Claus arrives at 7 p.m. on November 27 and will be given the keys to the chalet.

Forty years later, it is still Santa’s seasonal home in Cooperstown.

This weekend: Gifts were given in 1946, although it was not quite the holiday season yet.

The column by Oneonta City historian Mark Simonson is published twice a week. His Saturday column focuses on the area before 1950. His Wednesday columns deal with local history from 1950 and later. If you have any comments or ideas on the column, write to the Daily Star or email them at [email protected] Its website is www.oneontahistorian.com. His columns are available at www.thedailystar.com/opinion/columns/.

Ask Marc …

Have you ever had a question about a significant event or a prominent person in our region and you didn’t know where to find the answer? Well we have an expert who might be able to help you. Historian Mark Simonson has spent many years chronicling major local events, and he’s ready and willing to delve into The Daily Star’s archives for answers, which will appear in this newspaper and online at www. thedailystar.com.

Write to him at “Ask Mark”, The Daily Star, 102 Chestnut St., Oneonta, NY 13820 or email him at [email protected]

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