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Schenectady building recommended for historic status

Schenectady building recommended for historic status

Historic districts in Fultonville and Palatine Bridge also recommended
Schenectady building recommended for historic status
Alexandra Apartment Hotel, at the corner of State Street and Washington Avenue in Schenectady, is pictured.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

SCHENECTADY -- A Schenectady apartment building constructed for General Electric workers and two sites in Montgomery County were recommended for the state and national registers of historic places, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

Alexandra Apartment Hotel in Schenectady is a five-story Queen Anne-style building built in 1900 at 3 State St., at the far western edge of the city. It sits across State Street from SUNY-Schenectady County Community College, at the corner of State and Washington streets, and it is literally one of the first structures people see entering the city from the west on state Route 5.

While the building has deteriorated, the historic designation would allow its owners to get tax credits to rehabilitate the building, said Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.

When it was constructed, the hotel was marketed primarily to employees of GE, which was just entering its first expansion phase as an electric power equipment company, and whose industrial works were only a short trolley ride away, the state nomination said.

"The building is associated with the growth of Schenectady and is significant as an apartment hotel building type," according to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which recommended the historic designation.

The building was one of 18 nominations statewide for the historic register announced by Cuomo on Friday.

"These historic locations highlight so much of what it is exceptional and exciting about New York's history and honor the legacy of some of the state's most distinguished leaders," Cuomo said in the announcement."By placing these landmarks on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, we are helping to ensure these places and their caretakers have the funding needed to preserve, improve and promote the best of the Empire State."

The Alexandra Apartment Hotel functioned as a residential hotel from 1900 to 1923, with a full-time staff and dining service. In about 1923 it was converted to a more traditional apartment building, according to a Office of Parks, Recreational and Historic Preservation historical evaluation.

The apartments deteriorated, but in 2016 Metroplex agreed to support a rehabilitation planned by CK2 Properties of Schenectady, which is the current owner.

Gillen said Friday's announcement is great news, because it will allow the owners to qualify for historic renovation tax credits. "The building has been vacant for a number of years, and this project really needs the tax credits," he said. "They are integral to the renovation of the building."

In Montgomery County, the state recommended sections of the small villages of Palatine Bridge and Fultonville for historic designation:

-- The Palatine Bridge Historic District encompasses 136 buildings, one park and two cemeteries built along two main transportation routes, West Grand Street and Lafayette Street, from its 18th-century settlement period through the final days of post-World War II expansion.

-- The Fultonville Historic District marks the settlement and growth of Fultonville as a transportation hub, from construction of the Erie Canal in the 1820s through the opening of the New York State Thruway in 1955. The district contains a collection of 19th and 20th century residential and commercial buildings, reflecting the community's prosperity during the historic period, state officials said.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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