Universal Preservation Hall renos in Saratoga Springs gain momentum

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Renovations of Saratoga Springs’ Universal Preservation Hall are right on target.

Construction began in last month on the historic structure built in 1871. Located at 25 Washington St., the building was a Methodist-Episcopal Church until 1976. But it also served as a meeting hall where more than 1,000 people gathered to hear speeches by the likes of world-famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, says The Saratogian.

The building fell into disrepair in the late 1990s. Teddy Foster, past Universal Preservation Hall board president, said the board simply couldn’t let the building be demolished.

“This is going to be the biggest thing to ever happen in this town,” she said of the $11 million project, adding that $5.2 million in cash has already been raised, leaving fundraising $300,000 short of the $5.5 million goal. The rest of the funds are coming through the sale of historic tax credits and grants.

The 700-seat performance venue is expected to be complete by February 2020.

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