Schenectady County

Schenectady’s 845 Commons gets preservation award

The Capital Region YMCA infused new life into the 100-year-old Mica Insulator Co. building last year
845 Commons on Broadway in Schenectady received an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award Friday from the Preservation League of New York State. (TOTARO PHOTOGRAPHY)
845 Commons on Broadway in Schenectady received an Excellence in Historic Preservation Award Friday from the Preservation League of New York State. (TOTARO PHOTOGRAPHY)

The Capital Region YMCA infused new life into the 100-year-old Mica Insulator Co. building last year, and in 2016 the celebration continues.

Now called 845 Commons at 845 Broadway in Schenectady, the building serves as a housing residence for up to 155 tenants. The structure, built in 1915, was selected Friday as a recipient of a Historic Preservation Award by The Preservation League of New York State.

“This $26.2 million project used housing tax credits as well as State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits to breathe new life into a 1915 industrial building that once housed the Mica Insulator Company,” said Jay DiLorenzo, president of The Preservation League, in a press release. “The formerly vacant daylight factory has been converted to affordable housing for up to 155 residents, many of them military veterans. The league applauds the concerted efforts of all involved to return this structure to productive use.”

The Capital Region YMCA held a grand opening for its facility on Feb. 5, 2015. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last year that “845 Commons gives hope to people, especially veterans, who need a decent place to live and services to help them succeed.” Friday’s press release also noted that “President Barack Obama recently recognized Schenectady as one of three cities in the U.S. to eliminate veterans’ homelessness,” and “the 845 Commons project made a major contribution toward achieving that goal.”

Other major partners in the project along with the YMCA were PACA Preservation of Kinderhook; the Galesi Group of Schenectady; Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs; Re4orm Architecture of Schenectady; KeyBank; Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority; and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Also involved were the New York State Office for Temporary Disability Assistance, the Homeless Housing Assistance Program, and the City of Schenectady Industrial Development Agency.

“This award is great recognition from the Preservation League of New York State for our efforts to save and renovate buildings with significant historic value in Schenectady County,” Anthony Jasenski, chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature, said in the press release. “This is a key focus of our economic development efforts and I would like to thank the Capital District YMCA and our other partners for their dedicated efforts to restore this building.”

Other winners

Other Preservation League award winners include The Renaissance Hotel (DeWitt Clinton Hotel) in Albany; the Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial in Saratoga Springs; T.G. Hawkes Glass Co. in Corning; Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock; Apple Store in Manhattan, Babcock Shattuck House in Syracuse; and United Nations Campus Headquarters in Manhattan.

The Renaissance Hotel is an 11-floor building located at the corner of State and Eagle streets in the shadow of the state Capitol. Built in 1927, it was originally called the DeWitt Clinton Hotel.

The Spirit of Life & Spencer Trask Memorial is in Congress Park on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. It was built in 1913 by Yaddo founder and Saratoga Springs resident Katrina Trask with help from his business partner, George Foster Peabody.

The work for the memorial was completed through an artistic collaboration of sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon.

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