MAYOR JENNINGS AND ALBANY HOUSING AUTHORITY CUT RIBBON ON HISTORIC KING’S PLACE IN ARBOR HILL
Albany, NY, (January 16 2013) – Today, Mayor Jennings and Housing officials joined preservationists and stakeholders of the historic Arbor Hill neighborhood in cutting the ribbon on the newly rehabilitated 157 year-old building known as King’s Place.
Officials participating in the rededication ceremony on North Swan Street were City of Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings; Michael Yevoli, Commissioner of Development and Planning; Steven T. Longo, Executive Director of the Albany Housing Authority; and, Wendy Burch, Executive Director and trustees of the Albany County Historical Association.
King’s Place is a double, two and a half story Greek Revival house distinguished by a large center arch, through which passes King’s Way. It was originally constructed between 1852 and 1856 by J. Howard King and John J. Olcott, Esq., son of Thomas Worth Olcott, a prominent Albany banker and philanthropists whose family owned the Ten Broeck Mansion for roughly 100 years prior to its donation to the Historical Association.
The rehabilitation of King’s Place brings its history full circle to reconnect with that of the Ten Broeck Mansion. The building will serve as the administrative headquarters for the Historical Association, which was previously headquartered at the Ten Broeck Mansion. This move will free up the Mansion’s basement to become more interpretive museum space. The Ten Broeck Mansion is considered one of the crown jewels of Arbor Hill’s reawakening of its arts, cultural and heritage scene and reconnecting it with North Swan Street is considered instrumental to the neighborhood’s revitalization.
“The Albany County Historical Association has been a stable cultural presence in this neighborhood since 1947” said Marie Erkes, President of the Albany County Historical Association. “We are delighted to partner with the Arbor Hill Community, the City of Albany, and the Albany Housing Authority in redeveloping North Swan Street. Our presence at King’s Place will allow us to play a more active role in the community. We are very excited about our future in this historic neighborhood.”
Steve Longo said, “This project is about leveraging community assets for a better tomorrow and there is nothing more important to Arbor Hill’s future than celebrating its strong cultural heritage. The Ten Broeck Mansion is a national treasure that draws visitors from far and wide. We are excited that they will see and contribute to renaissance of North Swan Street.”
Funding was provided for the $750,000 project through a $300,300 City of Albany Community Development Block Grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and through Replacement Housing Factor Funds from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The project was also funded by the New York State Assembly through member item funds provided by Assemblymen Ron Canestrari and Jack McEneny. The goals of the ARRA funding were to remove blight and provide affordable housing. Two one-bedroom apartments are also a part of the project and will be rented by the Authority to qualified applicants on its wait list.
“The Albany Housing Authority has been an exceptional partner in our revitalization of the Arbor Hill neighborhood” said Michael Yevoli. “King’s Place brings us one big step closer to the transformation of North Swan Street. The revitalization of this historic property will bring additional vibrancy back into the community and adds to the nearly $80 million of investment made since the completion of the Arbor Hill Plan.”
Mayor Gerald Jennings said, “This is another significant milestone in achieving the goals we set forth in the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Plan of 2003. We are following through on a promise to remove blight and invest in arts, culture and heritage as a way of creating a neighborhood where people have secure future. Congratulations to everyone involved.”
The King’s Place project is one of many recent developments in the Arbor Hill neighborhood over the past year, including the addition of 23 new rental units on Clinton Avenue; the redesign of the North Swan Street Park; and the continuing rehabilitation and conversion of Saint Joseph’s Academy into artist lofts on North Swan Street- totaling more than $28 million dollars of investment in and around surrounding areas of North Swan Street.