No Injuries Or Off-Site Damage,
Sharon Springs Mayor Reports
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
SHARON SPRING – The abandoned 92-year-old Empire Hotel here, a remnant of the village’s glory days as a tourist mecca, collapsed at about 2:30 p.m. today, Mayor Doug Plummer said a few minutes ago.
The four-story stucco structure, vacant for 40 years, was pounded by overnight rains and just “imploded,” said the mayor. “Thankfully, the rain did a beautiful job: It ‘imploded’ inwardly,” he said.
The building, at 102 Willow St., is on the hill that rises behind the Roseboro Hotel, which is at the corner of Main and Washington streets. County real property records estimate its fair market value, while standing, at $36,000.
National Grid crews were at the scene this afternoon, removing trees that had been pushed against power lines when the building collapsed. Tomorrow, the village’s zoning enforcement officer will arrange for the site to be fenced off, Plummer said.
Plummer said he was in the building – built as resort for Hasidic Jews and a school – perhaps 20 years ago and “it was still a viable structure,” although it has declined since.
Schoharie County tried to sell it at a tax auction in May and a bid was entered. But when the prospective buyer examined the property and saw the shape it was in, he backed out.
So the property remains in the hands of the absentee owner, Spyridon Livathinos of Staten Island, who also has owned property in Richmondville.
As mayor, Plummer said he’s never encountered the collapse of a building before, and will need to sort out what needs to be done and who’s responsible for the site.