Four years ago on a cool dusk evening I walked into the east entrance of the the Westside Recreation Park, and felt something was wrong, something was missing. The cast lion statue that protects the entrance had been taken. The only remnant was the metal sign that briefly spoke of its history and how it ended up in the park. I was sure it had been stolen, and few weeks later I noticed the twin statue was missing from the East Side Recreation Park. An even bigger heist I assumed.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I read an article in the Saratogian as to their whereabouts. The City itself had performed the heist, and was in the process of repairing them and would place them back in their original home, the new staircase at City Hall.
In the spring of 2008, the work began on the new construction. I never did see drawing plans of the new design nor did I see the original steps from old photos. So I waited the five months of construction until I could make out what was being built. By October it was all becoming clear how the final design would look.
After the unveiling, I read the total cost of the stairway. Wow, a grand total of $205,000.00. The custom granite cost sixty thousand dollars, and was probably worth it.
Below all that granite is a radiant heat system, and a lot of concrete covering it up. The concrete and the radiant heat were in the neighborhood of fifty grand each. I think for City Hall it was worth it, and should last a long time. The radiant heat should stop the winter freeze from cracking the steps.
The railings cost a wopping forty five thousand. They are brass, and made when the cost was sky high for anything made of metal.
It has been a long time since I saw metal work that nice. Most construction jobs don’t put out that kind of money for such detail.
The aluminum doors have been replaced with new powder coated doorways in the color brown. The old metal metal looking doors will surely be missed by those who love that 1960’s urban feel.
Below is a view of the whole thing
Lets take a close up look at the lions. The city DPW did a really nice job restoring them, and I congratulate them for doing so. Here are a few different views of each.
And just so the people who enjoy taking home large fiberglass horses as souvenirs – don’t get any ideas…
I wanted this project to be my first blog story, but it took me a long time to take the photos. I believe this could be the finest municipal project completed in Saratoga Springs in the last ten years. It has no other purpose than to make City Hall look good, and it accomplishes that. It is not utilitarian like a parking garage, and it doesn’t effect everyone like the intersection in front of Limoncello’s. It is just a way to get into City Hall, and they did it well.