Oswego City Hall restoration can begin thanks to state grant

Dec 21, 2017

One of the projects that received funding from New York state's economic development grants this week is a renovation of Oswego's city hall. City leaders say the work is long overdue because the building from 1870 is falling apart.

Mayor Billy Barlow said since he assumed office in 2016, it's become a trend for each retiring city employee to ask him to fix the building on their way out. 

"It's important to downtown Oswego and the city's history and we need to preserve it," Barlow said. 

The south wall of Oswego City Hall has several cracks in it that present a safety hazard for employees, including Mayor Billy Barlow who sits behind those windows during common council meetings.
Credit Payne Horning / WRVO News

During a recent tour of city hall, Barlow pointed to a giant crack that runs between two windows on the second floor. On the other side of that south wall is where the mayor sits each week in the city's common council chambers, despite warnings from the building and maintenance department.

"They're actually worried from that wall is so unstable they actually thought that that wall could cave in or the roof could fall down," Barlow said. 

Oswego is getting $500,000 to make the repairs in the latest round of New York's economic development council awards. Barlow says they need three times that amount to fully restore the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. But he says this will at least help the city get a start on the work including repairing a constantly leaking roof that has caved in at certain places on the third floor.