In Saratoga, the dilapidated but historic house will be preserved
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The dilapidated but historic home at 65 Phila Street – a near-wreck threatened with demolition as recently as March – has been purchased by the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, which plans to make necessary structural and cosmetic repairs to the construction of the building. salable, officials said Thursday.
The foundation has secured $ 235,000 in low-interest funding through Mark Haworth, a member of the foundation’s board of directors, to purchase the building, and is launching a campaign to raise approximately $ 250,000 to effect basic repairs needed, said foundation executive director Samantha Bosshart.
Last winter, the foundation opposed a proposal by previous owners to demolish both 65 Phila – a wooden structure with peeling paint and rotten steps – and neighboring 69 Phila St., a building in red bricks which has also seriously deteriorated.
The City Design Review Commission, which has authority over demolitions in the city’s historic district, rejected a proposal to demolish 65 Phila in late March, leaving her fate in limbo. The 69 Phila building got a private buyer shortly before this meeting and now needs to be repaired.
“Today, after more than 30 years, these two buildings will receive the much needed attention they deserve,” Bosshart said.
The house at 65 Phila was built in 1851 in an Italianate style by Alexander A. Patterson, an architect and builder who later owned a mineral springs company. It belonged to the Patterson family for 90 years, then became a boarding house. For several decades prior to 2002, it was a summer residence owned by a Hasidic Jewish congregation in Brooklyn.
The house at 69 Phila, meanwhile, belonged in the second half of the 19th century to the Reverend Bostwick Hawley, who established an orphanage in Saratoga Springs and a charitable foundation that still exists today. The new owners have consulted with the foundation, Bosshart said, and told them they plan to make repairs and use it as a single-family residence.
Both houses are listed as Contributory Buildings of the East Side Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, they sit where the restaurants and storefronts of lower Phila Street give way to residential housing.
Neighbors, most of whom have extensively rehabilitated their homes while retaining their historic facades, are delighted that something is being done with the buildings after decades of neglect. Neighbors were outspoken when examining the city, saying the buildings should not be demolished. Signs on the lawn “Save our historic buildings” remain in the neighborhood.
“I’ve been here for 30 years, and it was run down at the time,” said Willy Browne, who lives across the street. “[Rehabs] can be done. All these houses were in this kind of shape… Restoration is a difficult thing. It will be a beautiful house when they are done.
Foundation board chairman Adam Favro said the rehabilitation would be a chance for the foundation to show what it can do with a building, after years of primarily providing advisory and technical advice on the preservation of buildings in the city. When the foundation was established in 1977, it carried out building renovations, but this has not been the case in recent years.
“This is an exciting opportunity to undertake this demanding rehab and allow us to speak our best,” said Favro. “We will develop plans in collaboration with local architects, hire local contractors, present them to the Design Review Commission, and so on.
The first step, Bosshart said, will be a full assessment of the building, but a new roof, structural repairs and repaint are already planned. The foundation wants to restore the building to good condition to interest a private buyer.
“Our goal is to make it safe for future homeowners and the neighborhood, which is long overdue,” Bosshart said.
Any proceeds from the sale of the house would be reinvested in foundation preservation work, possibly including another building renovation, she said. “We hope to be able to start as soon as possible,” she said.
The foundation is launching a “Revive 65” campaign to increase the estimated cost of rehabilitation to $ 250,000.
State MP Carrie Woerner D-Round Lake, who is a former executive director of the foundation, praised his work and said Saratoga Springs’ efforts to preserve its historic architecture are a model for all of northern New York State.
“The foundation recognizes that our built environment is what carries our common history,” she said.
Saratoga Springs, Woerner added, “is a beacon across the state for what can happen when you invest in preserving the historic character of the community.”
Matthew Veitch, the city representative on the Saratoga County Oversight Board and former chairman of the foundation board, said the preservation foundation was established in 1977 in response to specific concerns, including the loss of a number of historic buildings during the urban renewal era of the 1960s and 1970s, when the federal government funded the demolition and replacement of aging downtown structures across the country.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Saratoga County, News