Algonquin Building residents must go due to renovations
SARATOGA SPRINGS The Algonquin Building at 510 Broadway, a model of late Victorian architecture built in 1892-93, will undergo an interior renovation starting in early August.
This means the people living in the 45 apartments will have to find other accommodations by that time. The retail stores on the building’s first floor will not be affected by the project and will remain open.
“The tenants have to be out by July 31,” said Mary Ann Lawrence, the property manager.
Lawrence said many of the tenants are Skidmore College students whose leases expire by May 31. But she said there are some long-term residents who need to find somewhere else to live. Seven of the apartments are currently vacant.
“They will have first priority [to rent the renovated units]. I’ve already had tenants who told me they are interested,” Lawrence said.
Notices of the upcoming interior renovations have been sent to tenants in recent days.
The renovations are intended to modernize and improve the building’s plumbing and heating systems but maintain its historic character, Lawrence said.
Bonacio Construction will do the renovation for Saratoga Algonquin LLC, which owns the structure.
Last November the Saratoga Springs Design Review Commission reviewed and approved plans to renovate the Algonquin. Architect Michael Tuck of Saratoga Springs said the renovation work will include removing exterior fire escapes from portions of the building; roof repairs and improvements; and interior improvements.
Tuck, with the firm Balzer & Tuck Architecture, said Tuesday that the building owners are working with state historic preservation officials to make sure interior historic design standards are observed.
“They are going the extra mile,” he said. However, he said the interior design is still being developed and hasn’t been finalized.
“We are still planning it,” he said.
Jason Thomas, who was a rental agent for the Algonquin for a number of years but is no longer associated with the building, said the interior of the building is in need of renovation, especially the plumbing and heating systems.
“I know people are upset; I understand that,” Thomas said about those being told they must move out by July 31.
He said he also understands that the building owners want to upgrade the apartments and the building’s mechanical systems, which have caused problems in recent years.
Thomas said that he is trying to find other apartments for current tenants where possible and provide a reference to landlords of other apartments when they call for reference checks.
“This is the most striking and original late-Victorian building in Saratoga Springs,” said James Kettlewell, a retired Skidmore College professor and author of the book “Saratoga Springs: An Architectural History” (1991, Lyrical Ballad Books).
The building was designed by architect S. Gifford Slocum and built by James H. Pardue on land purchased from Henry Hilton, Kettlewell said.
“An extraordinary enterprise for its day, the Algonquin included luxurious apartments overhead with fine stores along Broadway on the ground floor,” he wrote.
The apartments are arranged around a central light court that rises the full height of the building to skylights at the top. Kettlewell said many of the apartments “are spacious, with handsome late Victorian fireplaces surrounded with decorative tiles and with large windows with interesting views.”