Schenectady’s Col. James Andrews House home to family of four and 100 years of history

MARC SCHULTZ/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERFrom left, Emily, Mary and Caleb Einhorn pose for a photo outside their home on Stratford Road in Schenectady’s GE Realty Plot.
From left, Emily, Mary and Caleb Einhorn pose for a photo outside their home on Stratford Road in Schenectady’s GE Realty Plot.

SCHENECTADY — Two years ago, Mary and Andy Einhorn were looking to move. They knew they wanted to stay in the same Schenectady school district for their two children, but there was only one house on the market that was large enough for them.

“We were not looking for this size home,” Mary said of the Col. James Andrews House. “The property, 1.2 acres plus the ravine, really sealed the deal.”

The house, built in 1904, includes three living rooms, a spacious dining room addition completed in 1911 that seats 40 people, a kitchen, five bedrooms and several bathrooms. For Mary, the amount of outdoor space is perfect for the family, especially for a city property.

“I like how old it is,” Einhorn said. “I like the imperfections. I love the fact that it’s never going to be expected to be new-looking. Even when we make some upgrades to this, that or the other thing, we’re still going to keep the age. Not redo the floors or the windows.”

When one enters the home, as the marble floors draw attention, to the right hangs a portrait of the house when it was owned by Andrews, a highly decorated leader in the Spanish-American War who was promoted to colonel of “E” Company of the 150th Infantry of the New York National Guard, according to Chris Leonard, Schenectady city historian. Andrews served alongside Gen. John J. “Blackjack” Pershing “against the forces of Santa Ana during the Mexican Campaign” from 1911 to 1914, according to Leonard.

Einhorn said her favorite aspect of the home, aside from the space, is its dining room, a wing that was added in 1911 with 15-foot-high ceilings. Inside it sits one of four fireplaces for the home’s three chimneys and a table big enough for the Einhorn family and some guests. Surrounding the table are old display drawers and chests from Einhorn’s parents.

A sitting area inside the Einhorn home on Stratford Road offers plenty of natural light and a wide variety of decor.

“We came with all of this,” Einhorn said. “There’s nothing new in here. These were in different rooms in our old house and we restored them.”

Throughout the home, Einhorn has painted walls and added neutral colors where the previous owners opted for pops of color — purples and greens. The color remains in a few bathrooms and guest rooms, but the neutral colors Einhorn applied now bring out the family’s movie poster collection (including a “Taxi Driver” print and one of Frank Sinatra) and make the home feel even more spacious than it already is.

“Neutral colors brighten it up,” Einhorn said of redesigning the home’s interior while still maintaining its historic elements. “You can still add colors. I don’t mind them in rooms, but not in the big living spaces.”

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And the home’s big living spaces are certainly grand. The main first-floor bathroom includes a sink that Einhorn said was all original despite how modern it looks. A back room, which the previous owners used as a playroom, was converted by the Einhorns into a large office space with enough desks for the family to work from home.

Even the rooms that stand out — including bathrooms that feature bright pinks or were inspired by illustrator Eric Carle — still make the home feel like a great place for children to hang out. Another one of Einhorn’s favorite rooms is actually her son’s, which features all the toys and New York Yankees memorabilia necessary for a kid, and an additional bathroom to match.

From the outside, the large white home is a treat as well. It looks and feels retro enough for a historian to gush over, yet homey enough for a family of four to admire — even if Santa Claus would have trouble figuring out which chimney to enter on Christmas Eve.

“It’s not the oldest home in the city, but it’s definitely been well-maintained,” Einhorn said.

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