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Historic Hotels Move Toward New Futures

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Two historic hotels in the region are moving a step closer to finding new life in their communities. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on the latest developments in Saratoga Springs and Cambridge.

Local media reported this week that the renovation and restoration of the antique Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs would be funded through its completion. The structure, built in 1877, is a landmark on Broadway and had long been a summertime destination in the Spa City.

Closed for the past two years, the 137-room Adelphi has been undergoing renovations by owner Richbell Capital, LLC. RBC president Toby Milde could not reach WAMC this week, but told the Albany Business Review that the company had secured a $24 million loan to cover construction costs.

Todd Shimkus, President and CEO of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber is especially excited to see the property in a key area of the city’s downtown brought back to life.

“It’s definitely a high profile property, obviously on Broadway. It’s one of the high value properties because of its historic nature, because of the ambience that it creates along Broadway. You almost feel like you’re stepping back in time when you walk in front of it and when you walk inside, so we absolutely are looking forward to seeing that reopened as fast as possible.”

RBC purchased the building in 2012 before it began the ground-up restoration. Delays had prevented the hotel from being opened for last year’s summer racing season.

Meanwhile, in the Washington County village of Cambridge, the 130-year old Cambridge Hotel is moving forward in its transformation into an assisted-living home.

Known has the birthplace of pie a la mode, the building’s management has been in a state of flux over the past several years. Before foreclosure, the hotel was featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s TV series Hotel Hell, but despite the upgrades and advice, the inn was closed in 2012.

Since 2013, the property has been owned by Albany-based ICC Management and Consulting Corp. The company already operates another nearby assisted living home, the Cambridge Guest Home. Many of the residents will be moved to the old hotel building, which will be renamed The Cambridge: An Assisted Living Residence. The Guest Home will take on a new moniker: The Mansion At South Union, according to the Glens Falls Post Star.

ICC President George Scala was out of town Friday and could not provide comment to WAMC, but told the newspaper the renovation of the hotel will expand its available beds from 32 to 80, and the company will add another 30 employees to its payroll in the community.

As part of a deal with the neighboring Cambridge United Presbyterian Church, ICC will donate furniture and equipment from the hotel. Pastor Kate Kotfila said the donations include beds, chairs, tables, and other furniture and equipment.

The church also operates a sanctuary built in 1869, a senior center, and a code blue shelter.

What cannot be used will be auctioned off on February 5th to help fund updates to the other facilities.

“The Cambridge United Presbyterian Church is really committed to being a center of hospitality and service. And so we see our buildings as our…we’re stewards of them so good things can happen to people who are in need. SO this will be a way for us to continue doing that,” said Kotfila.

Pastor Kotfila said the church has chosen to open up the auction to the community, and the public is invited to donate their items to support the church. Kotfila remarked on the assets staying in the community.

“It was incredible that we were called, but it’s kind of the way Cambridge seems to do things.”

The auction will be held February 5th at the Eagle Bridge Antique Center, 152 State Route 67, Eagle Bridge, New York.


Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.
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