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A local contracting crew was expected today to resume tearing down Arthur Spiegel's half-built, 10,000-square-foot mansion in Lake Placid, seen here Friday. Photo: Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
A local contracting crew was expected today to resume tearing down Arthur Spiegel's half-built, 10,000-square-foot mansion in Lake Placid, seen here Friday. Photo: Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Demolition ends Speigel house dispute

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A contractor is expected to resume demolition today of a 10,000-square foot house in Lake Placid that was the focus of a long-running legal battle between a Plattsburgh businessman and the Adirondack Park Agency.

A judge had ruled last year that Arthur Spiegel's ridgeline home, which is visible from state Route 86 and Lake Placid, had violated height, setback and other permit requirements.

As Chris Knight reports, demolition began after the judge set a deadline for Spiegel to come into compliance, or face a stiff penalty.

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The house in June 2011.

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Reported by

Chris Knight
Adirondack Correspondent

Back in June, Arthur Spiegel was still holding out hope that he could finish building the house, despite a series of court rulings against him.

"We want to finish the house," Spiegel said. "We'd like to live in the house. But we'll do what we have to do when it's finally resolved."

True to those words, Spiegel said Friday that he had hired a crew to begin taking the house down.

"It's done," he said during a brief phone conversation. "It's over."

The legal battle between Spiegel and the APA, which dates to 2005, appeared to be over last year. That's when state Supreme Court Judge Robert Muller essentially ordered the house to be torn down because it was built too close to a steep slope, it was more than 20 feet taller than allowed, and too much vegetation had been cleared during construction.

When the demolition still hadn't been done by June, the APA filed a motion asking the judge to find Spiegel in contempt of court.

APA spokesman Keith McKeever said Friday that the judge recently ruled in the agency's favor again and ordered Spiegel to bring the house into compliance by a date in December or face thousands of dollars in fines.

McKeever said the agency was pleased the case has finally been resolved.

A contractor from Lake Placid is handling the demolition. Spiegel said Friday he hasn't decided what he plans to do with the property once the house is torn down.

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