GLENVILLE – The town of Glenville is seeking a $250,000 state grant to help restore the Yates Mansion so it can be turned into a history center.
The Town Board approved sending an application to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for the grant at its Wednesday evening meeting. Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said that in the next week or so the town also will be seeking requests for proposals for interior construction work.
“We’re at the point where it’s ready for interior work,” he said.
The town, which bought the building in 2017, has already invested over $200,000 using state, local and private funding to replace the windows in the building so they were more historically accurate. The money also covered the costs of demolishing a small addition on the west side of the building.
Koetzle said the plan is to add back a “salt-box” style addition to the back of the building to restore it to its historic condition.
Before the town bought the building it had been carved up inside into modern apartments, and it had deteriorated for many years under previous owners before the town bought it.
The 18th century building, which was once the home of New York state governor Joseph Yates, is among the oldest and most historically significant buildings in Glenville.
“If there’s a first family of Schenectady during the Colonial era, it’s the Yates,” said Bill Buell, the county historian.
Buell said the family played a huge role in the community.
“It gets a little confusing because there are a handful of Josephs and Christophers, but for me, the three big ones are Joseph, who built the family farm out in Glenville, his son Christopher, who played a key role in the successful Saratoga campaign during the American Revolution, and Joseph, Christopher’s son, who became the first mayor of Schenectady when the city was incorporated in 1798, and eventually the only Schenectadian to become governor of New York in 1822,” he said.
Joseph Yates was also a founding trustee of Union College, according to the town’s website.
Buell said the family was prominent in the Albany area and then eventually throughout the state.
“Saving the family’s home on Maple Avenue in Glenville is preserving a great piece of history for later generations,” he said.
Koetzle said the building is on both the state and federal historic registry, meaning work to the building has to meet historic preservation guidelines.
The home, which contains 6,200 square feet, also would be a significant increase in work space for the town historian. Koetzle said Joan Szablewski is currently working out of a 900-square-foot building that is next to the Glenville Branch Library and in close proximity to Town Hall.
Szablewski could not be reached for comment.
Koetzle said the grants should be announced in December.
The application goes through the Regional Economic Development Council process, said Dan Keefe, a public information officer for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
The council will review all projects in the region and score them based on “how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies,” states the governor’s website.
The Capital Region to date has received $673 million for 933 projects, according to the site.
Koetzle said the goal is to have 90% of the restoration project funded by grants. The town set aside $70,000 in its 2021 budget for the project. The restoration is estimated to cost around $300,000 to $400,000.