Every five years, Historic Albany issues an Endangered Historic Resource List. In 2019, we are putting out interim updates on our endangered list by issuing a Dirty Dozen list that will highlight twelve of our previously listed endangered buildings that we are advocating heavily for throughout the year. Much, and sometimes all, of the work on these buildings happens behind the scenes. We felt it was time to open the proverbial wood windows and shed some light on the work, so critical to our mission, that we do every day.

Much of the information below comes from HAF’s years of working on these buildings and from the Vacant Building Task Force meetings run by the City of Albany, of which HAF is a participating member. Together, this partnership has allowed us to share more information and work toward game changing plans for these important pieces of Albany’s architectural heritage.

 

Holland Avenue Tudors | 1933, 1936-7 | Builder Jesse Leonard
100-110 Holland Avenue | Eligible for Listing on the National Register of Historic Places

Owner: Picotte Companies | Assessed Value $100,000 (average per building)
Last Occupied: over 10 years ago as student housing

These homes were designed and constructed by prominent Albany builder Jesse H. Leonard between 1933 (100 & 104), 1936 (106, 108, 110) and 1937 (112).  What makes these Tudor homes truly unique is the fact that they were planned as a cluster of six houses, making them the only planned or constructed residential structures along Holland Avenue and in University Heights.  They are also very unique in that they are a ‘development’ of Tudor houses. Throughout Albany is a smattering of Tudor and Tudor-like houses, however, the Holland Avenue homes are the only Tudor style homes intentionally constructed together. 

Current Conditions & Needs: The houses are vacant with broken windows and are overgrown with climbing weeds. The buildings need to be mothballed, closing up any openings/broken windows, and have the vegetation removed.

HAF’s Actions: HAF has been working with Picotte Realty Companies for nearly 10 years to find a new owner who could occupy the buildings on site, who could keep the buildings together and move them to a close location, or multiple owners who could occupy the buildings on a variety of sites near their current location. HAF had the buildings determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. The listing would make the buildings eligible for NYS and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits as well as various grants.  

What you can do: We encourage the public to keep an eye on these beautiful homes and note any vandalism, damage, open windows, etc. on See-Click-Fix for attention by the City Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance or contact the Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance directly. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 You can also write to Common Councilmember Cathy Fahy, whose district includes the Tudors, with your concerns and ideas.

Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance
200 Henry Johnson Blvd
First Floor | Suite #1
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 434-5995

Common Council Ward 7
Cathy Fahey
518-482-6159
cathyfahey7@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Roman Catholic Church | 1903-8 | Charles Ogden
142 Green Street | Pastures Historic District

Owner:  World Unity Corporation | Assessed Value $10,000
Last Occupied: 40+ years ago

This highly visible former Roman Catholic Church is one of the earliest steel frame buildings in Albany.  It was originally designed to be taller and larger, however, already declining congregations made the project smaller in its construction. Though clad with stone, the structure does have a steel frame, which is why despite over 40 years of vacancy and a fire, it still continues to stand. It has been the subject of many projects ranging from apartments to a grocery store to a center for study for former convicts. The many owners it has had have not been able to connect with the community and piece together a successful plan. The building also has a bit of land surrounding it, which would help any redevelopment project.
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

 Current Conditions & Needs: All can see the large holes in the roof from Interstate 787. The interior finishes are heavily deteriorated and the flooring has begun to give way.  The building is in need of mothballing: roof repairs and boarding up windows to stop the continued damage from exposure to the elements.  Additional conditions assessments and a list of repairs would benefit the building greatly.

HAF’s Actions: HAF worked with the current owner, initially to guide the rehabilitation after its purchase from the Albany County Foreclosure Auction in 2009, including structural assessments, funding research and assistance, volunteers for work parties, and other technical assistance.  When it became apparent that World Unity Corporation could not make the project work, we worked with them to find a new owner.  There were a number of interested parties, but few with viable projects or that would meet the exorbitant price tag the owner settled on the building.  HAF continues to present the building to developers looking for large projects in Albany and brainstorm new uses and owners.

What you can do: This is in the early stages of foreclosure.  It needs a new use that would benefit the neighborhood.  Community involvement in developing what would benefit the neighborhood is needed.  A taskforce for this building comprised of community stakeholders of all kinds should be created to focus on moving this building forward. You can also write to Common Councilmember Derek Johnson, whose district includes St. John’s, with your concerns and ideas.

Common Council Ward 2
Derek Johnson
518-720-7118
dejohnson@albanyny.gov

 

Third Police Precinct | 1906 | Walter Van Guysling
222 North Pearl Street | Clinton Ave/N.Pearl/Clinton Square Historic District

Owner:  222 North Pearl Associates LLC | Assessed Value $10,000
Last Occupied:  20+ years

This building is designed by one of Albany’s famed architects at the intersection of the burgeoning Warehouse and Theatre Districts.  Development is happening all around it at the Palace, the former Nabisco Bakery, and across the street with a mix of new infill downtown housing and entertainment venues. It has changed ownership many times in the last 10 years with plans for the building ranging including an Asian market and housing. A major challenge to the redevelopment of this building is the cost for asbestos abatement. This project is a part of the $10M Downtown Revitalization Initiative project focusing on Clinton Square. A Cyber Hub and six residential units are proposed.
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Conditions & Needs: This building is a steel frame building that while roofless, is still stable. The water infiltration has caused localized masonry deterioration.  The building needs a temporary roof structure to shed water and the masonry openings properly infilled with venting.

HAF’s Actions: HAF has worked with three owners over the last 10 years initially to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Third Police Precinct including providing lists of funding opportunities, researching funding sources and creative solutions for development challenges posed by the environmental issues, monitoring the building for vandalism and damage, as well as remaining in communication to keep the conversation of rehabilitation going.

What you can do:  You can follow this project through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project through charrettes, public meetings, and Capitalize Albany’s media updates. As this project progresses, it will be going before multiple regulatory boards for approvals.  You can comment on this project at the public hearings.  You can also report any vandalism through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 You can also write to Common Councilmember Joyce Love, whose district includes the Third Police Precinct, with your concerns and ideas.

Common Council Ward 3
Joyce Love
518-221-6221
jlove@albanyny.gov

Capitalize Albany
21 Lodge Street
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 434-2532

 

Church of the Holy Innocents  | 1849 | Frank Wills • 1866 | William L. Woollett, Jr & Edward Ogden
275 North Pearl Street | Individual Landmark

Owner:  275 North Pearl LLC | Assessed Value $25,000
Last Occupied:  1980s as a private residence

This originally Episcopal church was constructed on land donated by William De Witt as a memorial to De Witt’s deceased children. The church still retains it Bolton Brothers stained glass windows and portions of the highly decorative stylized celestial painting on the ceiling.  The building was used as a Russian Orthodox Church and in the 1980s was converted to a private residence.  The chapel was the residence and the sanctuary the owner’s personal library.  The building has been vacant since the late 1990s and suffered from deferred maintenance leading to a partial collapse at the rear in 2015. This project is a part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Clinton Square project.  It is proposed to be stabilized and preserved as an open air artists’ venue and park.
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: The building has a hole in the roof near the rear of the sanctuary and is in a general state of moderate disrepair. The rear of the building where the sanctuary and chapel are connected needs additional stabilization. The roof needs to be patched at least temporarily and requires additional roof framing shoring.

HAF’s Actions: HAF has been involved with the Church of the Holy Innocents since 2002 when we provided technical assistance to Hope House toward the building’s rehabilitation.  Over the next 8 years, we would bring in a number of experts: structural engineers, architects, stained glass experts, and potential new owners.  From 2010-2012 a working group of stakeholders met, had a team of architects assess the building, and applied for grants to reuse the building as a community center for the Albany Housing Authority’s Ida Yarborough community across the street and a “baby college” following the Harlem Children’s Zone model. Unfortunately, the grants were unsuccessful. When the collapse happened in 2015, we were there with engineers and consultants working to stabilize the building and get a new owner who would rehabilitate it. The building got a new owner in 2016 and we have been in close communication pushing stabilization and weatherization until rehabilitation can happen.

What you can do:  You can follow this project through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative project through charrettes, public meetings, and Capitalize Albany’s media updates. As this project progresses, it will be going before multiple regulatory boards for approvals.  You can comment on this project at the public hearings.  You can also report any vandalism through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 You can also write to Common Councilmember Kelly Kimbrough, whose district includes the Church of the Holy Innocents with your concerns and ideas.

Common Council Ward 4
Kelly Kimbrough
518-250-9267
kellykimbrough4@gmail.com

Capitalize Albany
21 Lodge Street
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 434-2535

 

Bath House No. 2 | 1905 | City Engineer’s Office (William Obenaus, Architect)
90 Fourth Avenue | South End-Groesbeckville Historic District

Owner:  City of Albany | Assessed Value:  $207,580
Last Occupied:  2010

Bath House No. 2 was constructed as one of three public bath houses in the middle of the public health movement at the beginning of the 20th century when indoor plumbing was just becoming available to the general public. It was used by community members from a number of neighborhoods and surrounding towns until 2010 when it was closed due to the costs of operation, maintenance and repairs that had stacked up from years of minimal maintenance. Sale and adaptive reuse, or reuse as a pool facility again has not been widely considered. The building is near much of the Albany Housing Authority’s investment in the South End neighborhood and can be gently adaptively reused so that it can be occupied and function as a pool once again if desired. The City is preparing a Request for Proposals to sell the building so it can be reused.
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: On whole the bath house is still in fair condition with the exception of a roof leak and lack of regular maintenance.  Reassessment of the building itself and the pool is recommended with recommendations for regular maintenance and repairs.

HAF’s Actions: We worked with community members and stakeholders to keep the bathhouse open in 2010 because once a building is vacant, maintenance happens less frequently and deterioration occurs more quickly.  We have worked with a number of potential new users to evaluate the building for their needs and identify funding and continue to do so.

What you can do: You can also report any vandalism or problems through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 Proposals for reuse should be sent to the Department of Planning & Development. You can also write to Common Councilmember Derek Johnson, whose district includes Bath House No. 2, with your concerns and ideas.

Common Council Ward 2
Derek Johnson
518-720-7118
dejohnson@albanyny.gov

Department of Planning & Development
200 Henry Johnson Blvd 
First Floor  |  Suite #3
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 465-6066

 

St. Joseph’s Church | 1856 | Patrick Keeley
38 Ten Broeck Street | Arbor Hill/Ten Broeck Triangle Historic District

Owner:  City of Albany | Assessed Value $100,000
Last Occupied:  1990s as house of worship

The crown jewel of Patrick Keeley’s over 600 churches, St. Joseph’s is a magnificent example of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture even in its vacant and deteriorated state.  The building was the subject of much community effort from 2001-2012 when HAF owned the building and did extensive stabilization work with a grant from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and a bridge loan from Albany Local Development Corporation, the precursor to Capitalize Albany.  Nearly $1M was raised and spent stabilizing the building so the public could continue to utilize the building as much as possible. During this time, the building was used as a community space, hosting art shows, concerts, philanthropic events, and even a wedding. The building was open to the public as frequently as possible in the warmer months and was a stop on house tours to promote the architecture of the building. Many potential new owners had been identified, however, no viable plan was produced.  With stabilization complete and efforts to find a new owner ongoing, the building was transferred back to the City in 2012. 
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: The building is stable, but continues to need repairs and mothballing. Localized roof patching is needed along with the covering of any broken windows. The building suffered a localized collapse at the rear of the sacristy in 2017 and requires masonry repairs. The City has been securing the building against vandalism and break ins, cleaning the pigeon guano, and is working on some interior repairs. They are pursuing a potential state funding that was secured prior to City ownership.

HAF’s Actions: After a decade of ownership and stewardship, stabilizing the building, hosting community events and work parties, Historic Albany continues to discuss the building with potential developers and seek funding sources for its rehabilitation regardless of the owner.

What you can do:  You can also report any vandalism or problems through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 Proposals for reuse should be sent to the Department of Planning & Development. You can also write to Common Councilmember Joyce Love, whose district includes St. Joseph’s, with your concerns and ideas.  

Common Council Ward 3
Joyce Love
518-221-6221
jlove@albanyny.gov

Department of Planning & Development
200 Henry Johnson Blvd 
First Floor  |  Suite #3
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 465-6066

 

Central Fire Alarm Station | 1917 | Morris Ryder
25 Delaware Avenue | Center Square-Hudson Park Historic District

Owner:  City of Albany | Assessed Value $872,700
Last Occupied:  2011 Senior Services of Albany

Senior Services of Albany occupied the building for over 50 years until the City ceased leasing the space to them due to structural problems with a later addition off the rear of the building.  The addition was later torn down.  The building has sat vacant since with some interest.  The building is actively being marketed and is part of a proposed housing project around that location on Lark Street and Myrtle Avenue to be rehabilitated as a community center. *This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: The building is in fair condition needing maintenance and small repairs. 

HAF’s Actions: HAF has monitored the building and discussed the building with potential developers.

What you can do: As this project progresses, it will be going before multiple regulatory boards for approvals.  You can comment on this project at the public hearings.  You can also report any vandalism through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 You can also write to Common Councilmember Richard Conti, whose district includes the former Fire Alarm Building, with your concerns and ideas.  

Common Council Ward 6
Richard Conti
518-436-8546
rc6thward@aol.com

 

German Evangelical Church | 1857
82 Clinton Street |
South End-Groesbeckville Historic District

Owner:  Healing From Heaven Friends | Assessed Value $267,500
Last Occupied:  2011

The German Evangelical Church closed their doors in 2011, leaving the building in the ownership of the United Church of Christ whose diocese sits in Syracuse.  Leslie Phelan continued to do mission work out of the attached community building in the rear until 2018.  The building was in need of roof and masonry repairs in 2012 when the church closed.  These areas have become worse since the building became vacant.  There have been multiple congregations interested in purchasing the building, but none had done so until Living Word Bible Church did in 2018.  The building is still in need of considerable repairs.
*This building is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: The sanctuary has significant masonry deterioration at the roofline on the west side due to the loss of a drain spout causing water to pour down the side of the sanctuary. This has led to partial collapse of the ceiling.  The community building at the rear has had a roof leak for over a decade which has caused ever increasing damage inside. There are other areas in need of repointing including the chimney and east wall. 

HAF’s Actions:  HAF evaluated the building for the German Evangelical Church prior to their closing and gave them a list of repairs along with funding opportunities to finance the repairs.  After the parish closed, HAF worked with Leslie to try and find new owners as well as obtain funds for the roof leak and masonry repairs.  We brought in contractors who were able to do some work. We spoke with potential funders to try to secure funding for repairs with no apparent new owner.  We continue to seek new ways to fund the repairs.

What you can do: You can reach out to Pastor Valentine to see how to best assist the congregation.

Living Word Bible Church
Pastor Alvis Valentine
82 Clinton Street
Albany, NY 12202
(518) 380-6893
info@livingwordbiblechurch.org

Common Council Ward 2
Derek Johnson
518-720-7118
dejohnson@albanyny.gov

 

558 Madison Avenue  | 1880
Washington Park Historic District

Owner:  Maurice Benno | Assessed Value $150,000
Last Occupied: 15+ years ago

This corner building across from Washington Park has sat vacant for decades with no apparent reuse.  Given the prime location, the building has had significant interest, however, the current owner has not been willing to sell the building. The building has been in Vacant Building Court, but the owner cannot be swayed to sell.

Current Condition & Needs: The building is in good condition.

HAF’s Action: HAF has worked with the City to encourage the owner to sell the building and tried to connect him with numerous potential developers. We will continue to work with the City to facilitate the sale of the building to someone who will occupy it.

What you can do: You can report any vandalism through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 You can also write to Common Councilmember Richard Conti, whose district includes 558 Madison Avenue, with your concerns and ideas.  

Common Council Ward 6
Richard Conti
518-436-8546
rc6thward@aol.com

 

Argus Press Building | 1915 | Marcus T. Reynolds
1031 Broadway

Owner:  1031 Broadway, Inc. | Assessed Value $200,000
Last Occupied: 15+ years ago

With the Warehouse District taking off, there has been an increased interest in the Argus Press Building with each year. The highly visible polychrome daylight industrial building sits vacant while development around it takes off.  It is ideal for loft style residential or amenities for the new housing and bar scene in the neighborhood. The owner has no interest in selling, and in fact, purchased it back from Albany County when they foreclosed on it in early 2018.

Current Condition & Needs: The building needs a proper conditions assessment as no information has been attainable on its condition.  From the exterior, the building needs the vegetation removed and general repairs and maintenance.

HAF’s Actions: HAF has worked with many developers interested in this building to get a response from the owner and continues to do so.

What you can do: You can report any code violations, disrepair, and vandalism through See-Click-Fix. https://en.seeclickfix.com/albany_2 Ideas for reuse should be sent to the Department of Planning & Development. You can also write to Common Councilmember Kelly Kimbrough, whose district includes 558 Madison Avenue, with your concerns and ideas.  

Common Council Ward 4
Kelly Kimbrough
518-250-9267
kellykimbrough4@gmail.com

Department of Planning & Development
200 Henry Johnson Blvd 
First Floor  |  Suite #3
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 465-6066

 

4 & 5 Madison Place | 1856 & 1845 | David Orr & Andrew Cunningham
Mansion Historic District

No. 4 Madison Place
Owner:  Pearl Properties LLC | Assessed Value  $24,000
Last Occupied: 2005 

No. 5 Madison Place
Owner:  Ceallaigh Interiors LLC | Assessed Value  $25,000
Last Occupied:  2005

The two row houses burned in 2005, leaving 4 a façade and 5 a floor shorter and uninhabitable. The absence of no. 4 has caused water infiltration to number 3. No. 4 sustained further damage later, necessitating the demolition of the top floor of the façade.  The façade had been listed for sale, however, the price prohibitive for the cost of new construction.  A new house has been proposed for the site with the removal of the façade, but has yet to move forward. Number 5 found a new owner within a few years and the project has been moving forward slowly. The owner has proposed four apartments.
*5 Madison Place is eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Condition & Needs: Number 4 requires site drainage to stop continued damage to number 3. The façade needs to be stabilized with framing behind it if a new building will not be built soon. Number 5 also needs the installation of site drainage. The building is in fair condition.  Active permits have been pulled for construction.

HAF’s Actions: HAF worked with the neighbors and the City to keep 4 and 5 standing when the fire happened.  We sought new owners for both properties and kept in contact with the owners.  When 5 was purchased, we provided technical assistance on the regulatory board applications, funding, and design guidance.

What you can do: Number 4 needs a new owner who will creatively construct a new home on the site. Anyone interested in rebuilding on this nationally recognized row should contact the owner directly. You can also contact the Mansion Neighborhood Association to see how you can help.

Owner No. 4
Pearl Properties LLC
111 Washington Ave, Ste #105
Albany 12210

Mansion Neighborhood Association
Holly Katz
hakatz@me.com

 

2, 3 & 4 E-Commerce Square (324, 338 Broadway, 35 Liberty St), 358 Broadway
Downtown Historic District

2 E-Commerce Square | 1917
Owner:  Albany Convention Ctr Authority | Assessed Value  $205,880
Last Occupied:  2010

3 E-Commerce Square | before 1909, Fuld & Hatch Knitting Co.
Owner:  Albany Convention Ctr Authority | Assessed Value  $4,732,500
Last Occupied:  2010

4 E-Commerce Square | 1849
Owner:  Albany Convention Ctr Authority | Assessed Value $666,800
Last Occupied:  2010

358 Broadway | 1962-3
Owner:  Albany Convention Ctr Authority | Assessed Value $307,200
Last Occupied: 15+ years ago

These buildings have been vacant since purchased by the Albany Convention Center Authority in 2009. The buildings were occupied prior to their ownership. These buildings have suffered from deferred maintenance for over 10 years. Initially the buildings were scheduled to be demolished to make way for a parking garage and hotel. When the Convention Center moved, the plans for the buildings were scrapped and they remained with no budget for maintenance. There was a Request for Proposals for developers to purchase and redevelop parcels including these buildings, however, no viable proposals were submitted.  In 2017 a feasibility study was done for the area calling for their reuse. The properties are in the process of being transferred from the Albany Convention Center Authority to Capitalize Albany who is better equipped to market the buildings for redevelopment.
*These buildings are eligible for the New York State and Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits.

Current Conditions & Needs: The buildings suffer from varying states of deterioration with localized problems, but are stable. The buildings need to be properly mothballed and small repairs made to keep them from further deterioration while they await redevelopment.

HAF’s Actions: HAF has advocated for the reuse of these buildings since the Convention Center Authority’s plan to demolish them.  We have consistently encouraged the Convention Authority to maintain the buildings while under their ownership and have provided technical assistance to developers interested in the buildings.

What you can do: You can participate in the charrettes, planning events, etc. that Capitalize Albany and the Department of Development & Planning will be holding once Capitalize Albany takes ownership. You can also write to Common Councilmember Joyce Love, whose district includes E-Commerce square, with your concerns and ideas.  

Department of Planning & Development
200 Henry Johnson Blvd 
First Floor  |  Suite #3
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 465-6066

Capitalize Albany
21 Lodge Street
Albany, NY 12207
(518) 434-2535

Common Council Ward 3
Joyce Love
518-221-6221
jlove@albanyny.gov