Historic 1908 schoolhouse sold in Callicoon
CALLICOON, NY — The 1908 school on Upper Main Street, one of Callicoon’s oldest and most iconic buildings, was sold on April 26.
According to Craig Hobbs, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties in Roscoe, “The new owners are a group of performing artists who will use the building’s vast spaces for training, rehearsals and performance, including offerings to the local public.” Hobbs, who represents the buyers added, “They’ll bring some new life to Main Street and are carefully arranging their own launch and reveal soon.”
Joe Freda of Freda Realty, the local brokerage representing the owner in the sale of the schoolhouse, said, “We welcome the new owners of the Callicoon School. They’re part of the fresh energy flowing into Callicoon right now, and we’re happy for their contribution. The founder of our company, Matthew J. Freda, attended the Callicoon School, and he would be pleased to see it moving into a new life.”
The old school at 48 Upper Main Street served generations of area residents and is known by many more as an anchor of both historic and architectural significance. In addition to its having educated scores of local citizens, the building served as a dress factory and a piano repair shop along its long road to historic preservation.
The building has endured through periods of vacancy, neglect and the threat of developers interested in leveling the lot for more modern construction. But it is probably from its most recent owners, Claudia and Scott Clark, that the building received its most significant care and restoration.
As the building’s long-term owners and occupants, the couple, artists and builders themselves, made many functional and aesthetic improvements over the years.
As a well-known and respected contractor, Scott has a reputation for being thorough and complete on any of his construction projects, a quality that he put to good use in bolstering and reinforcing the old 1908 schoolhouse from the basement up, right up through to the metal roof.
“This is an exciting period of renewal for the central areas of Callicoon on the Delaware, in the areas of Upper and Lower Main Street,” Hobbs said. “We’ve seen a lot of real estate on the streets of the town being snatched up recently. I can think of about seven residential buildings that were on the market this time last year, but there don’t appear to be any on the market here at the moment.”
There has been a school on the site of the current 1908 school building since 1850, only a couple of years after the opening of the Erie Railroad that essentially gave birth to the current town. That is why, west of what is now the site of the Callicoon Theater, Upper Main Street is known as School Street. Although the 1908 structure is not the same as the original one, according to the 2016 application to the National Park Service for National Register of Historic Places designation for downtown Callicoon, the earlier building was “possibly incorporated in the current, larger school built in 1908.” The building continued to be used as a school until 1951.