Questions abound over protection plan for historic Civil War property

November 17, 2009 11:29AM

A non-profit group’s plans for an historic Hudson Valley Civil War estate are inspiring debate over preservation laws. The 434-acre property in question, known as Montgomery Place, was sold to Historic Hudson Valley for “a bargain” price, the New York Times reported, in the mid-1980s, when the owners couldn’t afford to care for it any longer. The former owners said that they sold off the property to that particular organization because they believed it would be protected from developers. Now, with state officials saying that the estate is violating its financing package agreement by not remaining open at least 12 days a year, the fate of the historic spot is up in the air. Waddell Stillman, the head of Historic Hudson Valley, who joined the group in 1992 after the purchase of the property, said that his group is in over its head. “We didn’t have the money to buy it, we didn’t have the money to maintain it, and we way underestimated how much it would take to restore it,” Stillman said.