Hundreds of people fought Wednesday to buy a piece of Saratoga hotel history, and they’ll do so again today through Saturday.
As part of a large-scale renovation of the Adelphi Hotel on Broadway, the hotel’s owners and staff removed the Adelphi’s front desk, large mirrors and 70 percent of the furniture at the end of the summer season and put it into storage, said general manager Luke Duggan. Those items are being sold as the owners endeavor to return the 1877 hotel to the look it once had.
Duggan wasn’t sure about the vintage of the furniture, but said the hotel’s previous owners acquired most of it.
“It’s a chance for some to buy a piece of history,” he said.
Previous owners Sheila Parkert and the late Gregg Siefker remodeled the hotel starting in the late 1970s when it was boarded up and vacant. Last spring, Parkert sold the building to a group of investors led by Toby Milde for $4.5 million. The new owners hope to operate the Adelphi year-round after the renovation is complete.
Furniture prices ranged from $50 for an end table to $300 for most of the dressers and armoires. People quickly snapped up the most popular items on Wednesday morning, including stained glass, dishes and $75 flat-screen TVs, said Kim McVane of Saratoga Springs, who volunteered for the sale, greeting buyers as they arrived and telling them the procedures.
“I think everything was fairly, fairly priced,” she said. “I’ve been to a lot of antique fairs, and this was the place to be.”
Heath Ames agreed.
“My family had a lot of antiques, so once you have them, you kind of have the bug,” she said.
She took her time deciding whether to buy a solid wood $300 dresser with a cracked top.
“It has some major flaws, but it’s beautiful,” she said. Ultimately, she decided to buy it, along with several end tables and two lamps.
Many of the buyers hadn’t stayed at the hotel, because they’re locals. But many had visited to have a drink and gather during the summer.
Ames and her husband own Cantina on Broadway, so they’re fans of the city’s history and the Adelphi.
“You kind of wish that some of the big hotels were still here,” she said.
The Adelphi is the last of the Victorian hotels that dominated the resort town during the 19th century and early 20th century.
On Wednesday morning, antiques fans lined up from the Adelphi entrance all the way down the block to The Gap.
Just five workers managed the crowds and rang up people’s purchases, and so many would-be buyers crowded into the foyer in the first part of the day that the workers had to give people numbers and limit the number who were allowed to look at one time.
And even more are likely to come early today.
“Be here before 10 o’clock,” McVane advised two women who came Wednesday afternoon and wanted to come back today, when new items will be available to buy.
“It’s been a great turnout,” Duggan said during a slight lull in the action Wednesday afternoon. The sale goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Saturday, with new items brought out of storage each day.
Buyers are encouraged to pick up their furniture before the end of each day so there’s room for new pieces in the hotel’s lobby and ballroom.
McVane noted that Duggan donated items to the Saratoga Race Course backstretch workers and the local women’s shelter, including beds, linens, blankets, TVs, clocks and hair dryers.
“He donated an unbelievable amount of stuff,” she said. “The whole ballroom was full of stuff he was donating to the backstretch.”