Members of one of the city’s oldest veterans group are fighting to keep their historic headquarters. But faced with mounting debts, the Old Guard of the City of New York is considering selling its five-story Upper West Side headquarters.
The organization was founded by the union of competing militias. Col. William Tompkins created a unit in 1826, dubbed the New York Light Guard. Later, Capt. William McArdle created the New York City Guard. Both groups competed in drills and fought in the Civil War.
“It’s a piece of old New York,” past commandant Arthur Gallagher told the New York Post.
But today, the once venerated group is struggling to make desperately needed repairs. The West 91st Street building needs an elevator to accommodate aging members, as well as new wiring, climate-control systems and broken plaster and floors repaired, according to the Post. The building is also full of historic items — old photos, letters from Eleanor Roosevelt, military medals and muskets — that risk being damaged.
“If Donald Trump decided he wanted to be a friend to the Old Guard and give $4 million so we could renovate our building, that would be great,” said member Robert Sikorski. “We’d love to be able to keep the building, but we need to have the money to keep it.” [NYP] –Christopher Cameron