SCHENECTADY — The historic Stockade Inn on North Church Street in the even more historic Stockade neighborhood is out of business, and appears to have permanently closed.
While there has been no official announcement from the the owner, the interior bar furnishings and some antique furniture from the inn are being sold on the internet, in a development that concerns local historic preservationists.
Coldwell Banker is currently listing the property at 1 N. Church St. as for sale for $1,050,000.
“It would be tragic indeed to lose the Inn, which has been an institution in the Stockade for many years,” said Gloria Kishton, chair of the Schenectady Heritage Foundation, a non-profit historic preservation organization.
The inn, noted for its elegant dining room, changed hands in March 2019, and has suffered reverses since then. There was a damaging kitchen fire this past January and the restaurant never re-opened, and of course the entire hospitality industry has been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is owned by Robert Gregor of Lake George, who also owns motels there, and is also an attorney. When he bought it, Gregor said he wanted to keep the historic inn and restaurant the same, but in January he listed it for sale.
Gregor did not respond to requests for comment this week, but on his publicly available Facebook page he makes clear that the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic have had a devastating impact on his Lake George businesses.
Michael Osborne of Schenectady is currently listing some of the interior furnishings for sale through Facebook, including antique tables, mirrors, and restaurant equipment. On Friday, his phone went directly to voicemail, and a message could not be left.
Kishton said the historic preservation community is disturbed at the turn of events, though groups like the Heritage Foundation have no authority over what takes place on the inside of a building, as they do when changes are proposed to a building exterior.
“Any time somebody starts selling things of wholesale you get concerned,” Kishton said. “We’re just really very concerned about we don’t know what his plans are. There’s no legal protection for the interior. We’re really counting on people’s good will and respect for history.”
The stately stone building was built in 1814 for the Mohawk National Bank, and in 1903 it became the Mohawk Club, an exclusive men’s club that added entertainment and billiards rooms. Most recently, it had 18 inn rooms, with a 30-seat lounge and 125-person event space.