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Historic structure's roof collapses

Feb 11, 2011 8:50 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="The Brick Tavern at the corner of routes 66 and 9H in Claverack, as seen in the 19th century."][/caption]A combination of neglect and the recent accumulation of ice and snow weight forced the roof of the two-centuries-old building that gives the Claverack hamlet of Brick Tavern its name to cave in last weekend. The Register-Star has a story up on the double-chimney, two-story structure that was an important 19th-century stopping place at the intersection of Routes 66 and 9H but had fallen into disuse in recent decades. They note that the chimneys have fallen as well this season. The building is owned by Stuart Kinne, owner of Columbia Tractor, which is located on the same site. Estimates put the structure's date of building at 1800, when it replaced an earlier inn. Although David Lee and John Mason's story adds that there are questions about the history, with some placing its origins to a later decade. “Oh, that hurts,” Ruth Piwonka, Kinderhook town and village historian and co-author of “A Visible Heritage: Columbia County in Art and Architecture," is quote as saying, pointing out rumors that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison may have stayed in the tavern. Kinne has declined to comment to the press about the building, which local historians are now saying may be destined for complete demolition.