On the Northwestern corner of 3rd Street and Congress Street, adjacent to downtown’s worst bus stop lies one of downtown’s worst buildings, the iconic CrapShack pictured above. It was home to such important, vibrant businesses as KFC, a Chinese Restaurant and god knows what else, but now sits primarily as a monument to self-inflicted urban decay.
100 years ago, this site was home to a vaudevillian theater and several storefronts. At some point the whole damned shebang burned to the ground (Rensselaer County Historical Society actual has a picture of the place on fire in their archives). Some years later, the then-residents of Troy acquiesced to allow the current building to be constructed. As near as I can tell, it must have been because they were lazy, desperate, or because they hated themselves and their city.
I’m not going to claim to be an expert in urban planning or architecture, but I hope we can all agree that a design that might as well have been airlifted from a Latham Farms outparcel (see, e.g., Red Robin or McDonald’s) is not appropriate at one the busiest intersections in the heart of downtown.
Even if we can’t agree on the aesthetics of the thing, the place has been empty for years, and clearly hasn’t been much of an asset to downtown. Soon it may be gone for good.
It’s getting demolished. I think 9 times out of 10 if my choices are “building” or “empty lot”, I’d choose “building.” However, for several reasons, I believe the demolition of the CrapShack should be applauded.
(1) The CrapShack is literally a run down shack made of crap. I can’t stress that enough.
(2) Half of the parcel is already an “empty lot” of parking. Can’t make it any emptier.
(3) I doubt anyone would destroy the CrapShack unless they had something to replace it with.
Looks to be a good chance to make our downtown a bit less crappy. Anyone who cares to should show up at the meeting 6pm on the 21st, I’m assuming it will be held at City Hall. I should have gotten a couple photos of the sign so the entire thing could be read….apologies.