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Preservationists and neighbors celebrate two historic homes in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Executive Director Samantha Bosshart addressing neighbors and city residents on the recently completed porch of 65 Phila
Aaron Shellow-Lavine
/
WAMC
Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation Executive Director Samantha Bosshart addressing neighbors and city residents on the recently completed porch of 65 Phila

After extensive renovations, preservationists in Saratoga Springs are celebrating of a historic home.

The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation recently completed exterior renovations to a 19th Century home at 65 Phila street. On Wednesday, even with temperatures in the 90s, the whole neighborhood came out to celebrate.
Originally built in 1851, the home has connections to the city’s namesake springs, as well as ties to a historically Jewish neighborhood once dubbed The Gut.

Miriam Allen lives just a few doors up the street, she’s happy to see the area thrive.

“Well, I moved here in 2019, and both the buildings were complete eyesores. And it was kind of embarrassing. But it was worth the hammering all day, you know, I’m just glad they did both of them simultaneously because it cut down—if they had to finish one then start the other, I think we all would have lost it at one point. But it’s great, they look wonderful, and it’s just nice to see it happening and have this block party is really nice,” said Allen.

65 Phila’s sister property, 69 Phila, was purchased in 2021 by Rachel Ferluge and her husband. Construction was held up by the pandemic. They finally moved in on Memorial Day.

“But we still have a ways to go. There’s still probably 50 or so homes that were like 65 and 69 Phila Street. So, there’s still work to be made. But I think for this pocket of the East side of Saratoga Springs I think it’s going to bring more families, younger generations, which is so great to see,” said Ferluge.

Neighbor Vincent Pelliccia has lived around the corner for more than three decades.

“It’s stable, it’s not going to fall down or get torn down which is even worse. And we have potential, it’s all about potential. I wish I was 40 years younger I would take it on myself. And I have done projects—not this much. But hat’s nice about this is you get what you want. I you want the kitchen here, you want the bathroom there, you can play around with it and the potential is fantastic,” said Pelliccia.

The interior of the 65 Phila Street is mostly bare, with just a wooden skeleton of the old layout remaining.

With its colorful exterior now adorned with green and pink paint and a heavy chestnut door, Chris Bennett was one of many volunteers with the Saratoga Joinery who worked on the house’s lattice and deck.

“Our Executive Director Tori put together a group of volunteers and they measure, and there you go we did it! It was really—they were very passionate about it. Tom, the man who was doing most of the work, there was others, but Tom put it on a spreadsheet. I mean he laid this thing out, you thought we were building a nuclear power plant,” said Bennett.

Both Phila Street homes sat in disrepair for years.

After an outpouring of community support, the Preservation Foundation was able to purchase the property to begin renovations.

“We’re to our finish line, but I won’t be truly happy until we have the next buyer who takes it all the way home,” said Bosshart.

Samantha Bosshart is the Foundations Executive Director, she’s been looking forward to this day for more than two decades.

“It’s super rewarding, having a project that the foundation for over 2 years advocated for it’s preservation and to have it come this far, along with the building next door, 69 Phila Street, it’s just really truly amazing. And we couldn’t have done it without the community. The individuals who gave, the foundations, the county, the contractors, the businesses, the volunteers. It was a true community effort and it’s the only way we could have gotten it this far,” said Bosshart.

Profits from the sale of 65 Phila will go toward future preservation projects within the Spa City.

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