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Geneva’s Parrott Hall: Storied past, troubled future

It was the place where one of the world’s preeminent agricultural research facilities got its start.

And despite the orange fencing, the “Keep Out” sign and a big “X” indicating condemnation by its owner (the state of New York), the Victorian-era Italianate’s impressive architecture is undeniable even in its deteriorated state.

Although Parrott Hall, which faces North Street on the campus of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, has an impressive past — it is on both the state and national registers of historic places — it may not have a future.

The state Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is ready to raze the building, possibly as early as this summer, saying the cost of restoration is too great.

Cornell, which operates the Ag Station, vacated the building in 1970, and it was turned over to the state five years later for the express purpose of becoming a state historic site.

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