LE ROY – The village’s oldest hotel – and, for decades, its only hotel – has a doubtful future, despite efforts being made to restore it as a downtown landmark.
The Wiss Hotel, named in 1869 for tavern owner John Wiss, stands at the village’s main intersection, Routes 5 and 19. Wiss added a third story and brick veneer to his half-century-old tavern.
Vacant for at least seven years, the building’s roof leaks. Its marquee is missing, as are the bar, copper wiring and plumbing. However, an architect has said that the basic structure is sound and that the interior could be safely gutted for new uses.
Mayor Gregory Rogers wants a solution to the lingering problem, “promising it will not remain the same next year.”
The Le Roy Village Board will meet Jan. 9 to discuss a bid to rehabilitate the building.
Some are skeptical of such a project’s success, given the years of deterioration. Still, supporters of the historic structure have been working with an architect and have offered a token payment of $1 to take over the building, then restore it. They propose a limited liability company that will contribute as much as $400,000 for restoration.
One plan calls for retail/office space on the first floor and apartments on the upper two stories. Restoration could cost $1 million.
A National Register Historic Places designation would allow generous tax breaks for investors. The village estimates demolition would cost $170,000