Village has no immediate plans for former Wiss Hotel location, but options are open
The Wiss Hotel in Le Roy stood on the corner of Route 19 and Main Street for years. It was torn down in 2013, with an empty lot left in its place.
The lot is mainly used once a year for the Le Roy Christmas tree. Some residents expressed concerns about the fate of the property at a town meeting on Aug. 16. Some residents think the lot is working out well as a park of sorts and other residents want it to be paved for more parking.
Le Roy Mayor Greg Rogers said publicly for the first time that the village has received a purchase offer.
"It was in an effort to have total government transparency," Rogers said. "The board wanted people to know that this option is on the table."
The offer, made by Tom Spadaro, came out of the blue, Rogers said.
"We were not marketing the property in any way," Rogers said.
Rogers said they have received other interesting suggestions about how the property could be used and he said he will share them at a later date. Rogers said the other offers were not purchase offers.
"It is highly unlikely that the board would be making a decision before the end of the year," Rogers said.
According to Michael Eula, Ph.D., the Genesee County historian, the Wiss Hotel began as the Globe and Eagle Tavern.
“Sources indicate that it was a two-story building, that initially served as a store,” Eula said.
In a summary of the Wiss Hotel’s history compiled by Eula, in 1802 the hotel was a tavern, also known as a “publick house.” In 1826, the store of Samuel DeVeaux and Rufus Robertson was sold and the new owner named the structure the “Globe and Eagle.” Eventually, after numerous owners, John Wiss bought it and renamed it the Wiss Hotel in 1869.
Eula said the hotel had long been recognized as a source of historical interest.
Le Roy historian Lynne Belluscio has found sources indicating that Daniel Webster once stayed there, Eula said.
“Despite its long history, the hotel eventually fell on hard times,” Eula said.
By 2011, more than $22,000 in back taxes was owed.
“Because the building was in such disrepair at this point, the Genesee County Legislature refused to foreclose on the property,” Eula said. “The legislature saw it as a safety hazard.”
The building was demolished in April of 2013, despite concerned citizens' attempts to save it.
"Right now, we are still listening to the public," Rogers said. "It is not an urgent matter."
What A Place!! I could write a book about that place!
Thomas, if you would like to read a great book by a great writer, read "Up in the Old Hotel" by Joseph Mitchell. It contains by fiction and nonfiction about characters Mitchell, a legendary New York City reporter, encountered starting when he was a young reporter in the 1930s. His greatest gifts perhaps were his exquisite ear for dialogue and a photographic memory that enable him to quote people at length and add wonderful, authentic details to his descriptions of people, places and events. It is a joy to read and very funny.