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Algonquin open house shows off the newly restored building’s apartments

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> In the Algonquin Building at 510 Broadway, newly restored apartments are ready to lease and will please people seeking homes as well as lovers of historic Saratogian architecture. Nov. 21, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation welcomed the public to tour the building.

“People were dying to see it restored,” said Roohan Realty Listing Agent Robin Dalton. “If you just say, ‘The Algonquin’ to people, everyone has a story about it.”

Originally built in 1893, the Algonquin Building now offers five floors of luxury apartments in downtown Saratoga Springs, with the first floor street-level retail shops. The 28 rental units are one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that combine historic features and modern amenities. The attractive layouts offer ample space, beautiful hardwood flooring and amazing downtown views framed through floor-to-ceiling windows. Many of the units feature private outdoor balconies, great for relaxing and enjoying the panoramic views of Saratoga’s historic Broadway neighborhood. The building is topped by four exclusive penthouses with rooftop decks and lofts.

Rental pricing ranges from $1,800 monthly for unit 2B with one bedroom and one bath, to $4,950 monthly for unit 2G with three bedroom and three baths.

Ensuring sound engineering was a key focus, she said, with everything examined from an engineering standpoint. Building owner Ben Aronson hired Bonacio Construction as contractors.

“They kept the original floors wherever they could,” Dalton said. “And the wooden doors, the brick fireplaces and some stained-glass windows were preserved.”

The Algonquin’s long history of preservation started out with dishes. James H. Pardue, who owned a china, crockery and glassware shop called China Hall in the late 1800s, hired noted local architect S. Gifford Slocum to construct a luxury Romanesque-influenced apartment building at 510 Broadway. In 1894, Pardue opened a retail store and lived in the southernmost portion of the building, which might explain why this part of the structure has the most ornate woodwork, wainscoting, built-ins and fireplaces. The place initially became known as the Pardue Building for its owner.

Over time, the original apartments were subdivided into 44 units, and their luxury was lost.

In 2013, current owner Ben Aronson closed the residential portion of the building to restore the apartments to more closely reflect the original design and to meet current life safety codes. Original fireplaces remain, historic woodwork was retained and perhaps most important, an insensitively placed elevator was relocated to allow the atrium to be experienced as it was originally built. Standing in the wooden stairwell, you look up into dazzling skylights.

Upon completion this year, the Algonquin will also feature a 24/7 fitness center, assigned off-street parking and 24-hour video surveillance. Feb. 1, 2016, is the official move-in date. If any units open up earlier, the tenants can move in and live that time rent-free till Feb. 1.

“It’s amazing — I’m so pleased with the building,” Dalton said. “This is such a great spot on Broadway, right in the middle of downtown, but not on top of all the hustle and bustle. It’s incredibly quiet inside here.”

Fred Songayllo of Malta was one of the throng that came to tour the Algonquin and marvel at the silent traffic below on Broadway, seen moving through the arched windows.

“I like historic buildings,” he said. “I grew up in Massachusetts in an old building, and I lived in an 1810 house north of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain. I moved here to be closer to my grandkids.”

He said he would be in the market for a downtown apartment in about three years.

“These are a little steep, though,” he said, smiling.

Ronnie McCluskey and her boyfriend, Jerry Sheehan, of Saratoga Springs, also came to check out the Algonquin living. They are currently tenants at the Paddocks of Saratoga near Wilton.

“We’re just looking,” she said.

Sheehan added, “We’re kicking the tires.”

He appreciated the proximity to downtown, while she liked the historical features such as the fireplaces.

Samantha Bosshart, the executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, also appreciated how the project had restored so many original aspects of the building. The proceeds from the open house tour are going to the foundation. Started in 1977, the not-for-profit organization promotes preservation and enhancement of the architectural, cultural and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs.

“This is a great opportunity to show the building to a lot of people,” she said. “The Algonquin is a wonderful example of a preservation project done well.”

Susan Mahoney of Porter Corners said she was very impressed with the renovations. She loved that the workers kept as much old detail as possible.

“I wish I could move in tomorrow,” she said.

To learn more about leasing, contact Dalton of Roohan Realty at 587-4500.

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