© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation to host annual spring historic homes tour

The Senator Edgar T. Brackett House at 605 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation
The Senator Edgar T. Brackett House at 605 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs

History enthusiasts and Saratoga Springs residents will have a chance to visit historic homes this month.

Since 1989, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation has been protecting and showing off some of the city’s architectural jewels. On May 11th, seven homes will be open for tours.

Executive Director Samantha Bosshart.

“We’ve been doing the historic homes tour in May for almost a decade. And so, we’re really excited about this year which is always a treat,” said Bosshart.

Four homes along North Broadway will be open, including the Surrey-Williamson Inn as well as the former Lucy Scribner home—the original home of Skidmore College’s founder.

Bosshart says it has been more than a decade since the properties were open for regular tours.

“It’s really an exclusive opportunity to go inside some of these private homes and really admire their architecture from the inside and out, as well as learn about the people who built and lived in these homes and learn about those stories. So, for us it’s a great opportunity to sort of showcase the importance of preservation,” said Bosshart.

Private residences along Greenfield Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue will also be available to tour.

Saratoga Springs History Museum Educator and Program Director Charlie Kuenzel will be leading the “Breakfast & Buildings” program that will center on Woodlawn Park, the former estate of Judge Henry Hilton.

“Just the stories and especially the pictures of how wonderful it was and the opulence of it. There was well over a million dollars spent in buying power of that day. So, when you talk 1,300 acres that was a private estate and with the outbuildings and things that were there, it’s worth a story to say the least. Even though, there’s not one trace left of it today,” said Kuenzel.

Volunteer Carol Godette will be running the “Lunch & Learning” program. She says the spring tour is one way for residents and nearby enthusiasts to celebrate and support the preservation of history in their own backyard.

“I’m always interested when people come to programs to see, are you a lifelong Saratogain who just wants to hear a little bit more? Or are you from someplace else? And I’m often pleasantly surprised that people come from other communities because they don’t have what we have here, of beautifully restore homes,” said Godette.

Godette will discuss some of the challenges that preservationists face from strenuous regulations to exorbitant costs.

“It requires people to step up to the plate and say, ‘you know, I’m not going to build something new, I’m going to take something that already exists and maintain it and keep that tradition alive.’ And I always like to give credit to those people for preserving and being keepers of the flame, to keep those homes going,” said Godette.

The tours begin at 10 on May 11th.

Saratoga Springs Historic Homes Tour