Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Renovation of Babcock-Shattuck House (former Jewish War Veterans' Post) Begins

Syracuse, NY. Babcock-Shattuck house (ca. 1895).  Photo: Samuel D. Gruber Jan. 15, 2013.

Syracuse, NY. Babcock-Shattuck house (ca. 1895), expected appearance.  Photo courtesy Crawford & Stearns

Renovation of Babcock-Shattuck House (former Jewish War Veterans' Post) Begins

The long awaited renovation of the once grand Babcock-Shattuck House (also known as the former Jewish War Veterans' Post), of which I have written in the past, has begun.  The University Neighborhood Preservation Association (UNPA), which purchased the property form the city last year, has signed contracts for the exterior repair and renovation of the building to be completed by the end of June 2013.  The commencement of exterior restoration could not have come a better time.  Last month part of the masonry of the massive front porch collapsed.  The building could not hold out much longer for repair.

Syracuse, NY. Babcock-Shattuck house (ca. 1895).  Photos: Samuel D. Gruber Jan. 15, 2013.

The house will be transformed into a four coop apartments. I am happy to serve as a community representative on the project committee assembled by UNPA and led by Dave Michel.  More than anyone, Dave has been tireless in his effort to make this work.

Tim Knauss reports (and quotes me) in the Post-Standard on some of the details of the project:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Work is under way on a $1.2 million project to turn a long-vacant mansion on Syracuse’s East Side from a tattered and gloomy hulk into what neighbors hope will be a beacon of renewal at the gateway to Westcott Street.

A contractor recently started work on the exterior of the historic Babcock-Shattuck House — also known as the Jewish War Veterans building — which anchors the corner of East Genesee and Westcott streets.
The building on the National Register of Historic Places has been boarded up for more than two decades. Neighborhood activists fought off attempts in the 1990s to demolish it and build a Rite Aid drug store, but efforts to revive the Queen Anne-style house have sputtered until now.

The nonprofit University Neighborhood Preservation Association, which acquired the property from the city last year, recently hired contractor CNY Builder Services to start work on a $317,000 project to restore the exterior. The outside renovation — subsidized by a $200,000 grant awarded last year through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation — is due to be completed by June.

Read the entire story here

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