Berkshire Bank opened a branch Wednesday inside the newly renovated Stanford Mansion, marking a new purpose for the stately manor that once overlooked an estate.
Once tied up in litigation and twice moved during the development of Mansion Square, the building's interior has been remodeled to include all the amenities of any other branch of the bank. The bank also created a community room, offering free space for local small businesses and community members to conduct meetings or activities.
Built in 1814 by former town Supervisor Harmanus Schuyler, the Stanford Mansion was once the center of a large farm that sprawled along Balltown Road. For much of the 19th century, the mansion was owned by the Stanford family, including the founder of Stanford University in California.
The mansion later housed the Ingersoll Home nursing facility until it moved into a new building on Consaul Road. Developers of Mansion Square agreed to spare the historic mansion from demolition after they were given permission to move the structure from its original site.
As part of its grand opening, the Berkshire Bank Foundation presented $5,000 donations to the Niskayuna Central School District Science Technology Engineering and Math Initiative and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady Project Learn Youth Development Program.
The location in the mansion becomes Berkshire's third in Schenectady County.
But the Niskayuna branch wasn't the only new addition for the bank Wednesday; its parent company, Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc., also announced the acquisition of 20 retail branches from Bank of America.
All of the branches are in New York state markets, including a number in the Capital Region. Former Bank of America branches in Amsterdam, Johnstown, Glens Falls and Queensbury will bring Berkshire Bank’s total number of branches to 94. The acquisition also more than doubles the number of Berkshire branches in New York state.