R. Peter Clark stands outside the Paradox Community Center. The Paradox Community Center Association has been cited by the Adirondack Architectural Heritage, a Keeseville-based historic preservation organization.
The Paradox Community Center is a prime example of historic preservation.
As a result, the Paradox Community Center Association has been cited by the Adirondack Architectural Heritage, a Keeseville-based historic preservation organization.
“It’s a great honor for a wonderful, old building,” said R. Peter Clark of the Paradox Community Center Association.
The award was presented during the 17th annual AARCH Preservation Awards luncheon in Lake George.
The Paradox Community Center, located on Letsonville Road in the town of Schroon hamlet of Paradox, was constructed in 1825 as the Paradox school. About 50 students a year attended the school until the Schroon Lake Central School District was organized in 1937, Clarke explained.
That year the building was deeded to the non-for-profit Paradox Community Center Association. It was used for community activities such as weekly square dances, family reunions, boat safety classes, gymnastics classes and as an art studio through the 1980s, Clarke said.
“In 1946 I met my wife here,” Clarke said. “I was 13 or 14 at a square dance. It was a summer romance.”
The building still had the original black board from its days as a school. But it also had problems.
In 2004 the Paradox Community Center Association began a campaign to save and restore the building. The group received more than $20,000 in donations and grants and today the center has been restored.
It now has a new kitchen and a meeting room, which still houses the original black board. The foundation has been replaced, sagging walls have been straightened, the roof repaired, new electrical service installed and more. Most recently a modern rest room and air conditioning were installed.
The restored building offers a space for community functions, including meetings, dances, family gatherings and children’s programs.
There are about 50 members of the Paradox Community Center Association. Interested people can contact Clarke at the Paradox Community Center, Box 87, Paradox 12858.
Clarke noted there are 19 year-round residents of Paradox, but that number swells to about 500 in the summer.
Joining the Paradox Community Center Association in donating to the building’s rebirth were Aubuchon Hardware, Stewart’s Shops, Wal-Mart, the Paradox Store, Grand Union, International Paper Co., Glens Falls National Bank,the Glen Recy Beach Association, the Arts Council of Northern Adirondacks, the New York State Council on the Arts, Home Depot and the Charles H. Douglas Charitable Trust.
State Sen. Betty Little also secured a New York State Initiative Grant for the project.
Grants were received from the Schroon Bicentennial Committee and the Essex County Historical Association.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage is the non-profit historic preservation organization for the Adirondack Park. AARCH was formed in 1990 with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the Adirondacks unique and diverse architectural heritage.
AARCH has worked to preserve the Adirondack’s “Great Camps” and other rustic buildings as well as a wide variety of homes and farmsteads, churches, commercial buildings, town halls, libraries, bridges, railroad buildings, lighthouses and other structures.