As a transformative historic tax credit project concludes in Schenectady, a nearly destroyed iconic building is being revealed after decades hidden under layers of poor alterations and extensive damage.
The Schenectady Railway station at 512 State Street was a monumental stone and brick masonry building with a dramatic front arched window and cavernous waiting room, all chiseled away or hidden by a radical c. 1950 remodeling. The 1913 building was designed by noted architect Marcus T. Reynolds.
The building is one of four-building complex being redeveloped by Sequence Development partners Jeffrey Buell and Elizabeth Young Jojo, who discovered the original expansive vaulted ceiling under drop ceiling tiles.
The badly damaged ceiling, sawed and chiseled back in places, then covered in modern wall board and ceiling tile, is being restored from a hidden vestige to a key feature. The vast fourth floor will be an open volume for innovative work space.
The mixed-use project includes a highly intact rear building that served as the railway’s offices, but declined into a single-room occupancy apartment building. Sequence Development in 2016 finished the first of the four buildings, the Hotel Foster, a downtown landmark that now holds 10 luxury apartments.
TAP has overseen more than a dozen projects whose owners used the historic tax credits to complete multi-million-dollar rehabilitations of former schools, factories and department stores. The tax reform package proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives eliminates the credit. Preservationists are lobbying for its restoration.
An Efner Archive photograph and the Schenectady Railway station in 1948.
After the railway closed, the station was radically modified for mixed use. The building as it stood in 2014.
The Schenectady Railway’s new façade, of sleek metal panel, with a large arched window, is a contemporary take on the original façade.
An undated postcard shows the grandeur of the Schenectady Railway waiting room.
The vaulted plaster ceiling of the Schenectady Railway station. A significant portion of the ceiling survived mid-century alterations that stripped the building of its original ornamentation.