Nipper Almost Ran Away From Albany to Long Island
The question, "What will become of Nipper?" was almost answered with, "He's running away to Long Island." The good news is that, at least for now, Nipper isn't going anywhere.
Nipper, the world's largest man-made dog, has been keeping Albany under his watchful eyes and upturned ear since 1958. Harold Gabrilove had the crazy idea to put Nipper atop the building at 991 Broadway because the RTA appliance store there sold RCA products. Of course, Nipper is the world-famous Jack Russell Terrier that became the icon of the Victor Talking Machine Company and then eventually RCA.
Harold Gabrilove worked with architect Harris Sanders to bring the 28 foot tall, four-ton steel and fiberglass puppy to his perch....and he's been there ever since. Nipper was given a fresh coat of paint and a little renovation work back in 1998. Other than an aircraft beacon that was added many years ago Nipper looks about the same as he did in 1958.
In recent years, the fate of Nipper has been somewhat in question. The building he sits on has been abandoned and fallen into a state of disrepair. According to the article in the Times Union, there were plans to build 150 apartments that Nipper could keep a watchful eye on, but those plans have been stalled due to legal issues.
So, how did we almost lose Nipper to Long Island. Well, there's an appliance dealer in Long Island that has two smaller Nipper dogs as store mascots. When Alan Howard, who runs Plesser’s Appliances heard of the building's legal issues he offered to buy Nipper have him moved to his location to make sure nothing bad happens to Albany's iconic dog.
According to the Times Union, Howard was willing to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 for Nipper and then pay to move him. Luckily, the nice offer won't be necessary since the building's owner, Bill Barber said he has no plans on selling or moving Nipper.
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