Historic Syracuse home slowly being renovated

Jul 16, 2013

Renovations have slowly been continuing on an historic home on Syracuse’s east side.

The Babcock-Shattuck House stands at the gateway to Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood. It’s also a rare empty property in an otherwise vibrant area.

It was built around 1895 and last served as a home for Jewish war veterans. It's been empty since the late 1980's.

Now, the University Neighborhood Preservation Association is working to convert the vacant property into four condos.

"It was a significant problem in the neighborhood," says preservation association vice president David Michel. "And we feel that restoring the building not only will help Westcott Street, but I think it will help East Genesee Street."

A developer has already bought a few properties neighboring the house, Michel points out.

UNPA bought the home two years ago. The association is investing $200,000 in the exterior work that's being matched with a state historic grant. They're partnering with Home Headquarters for the interior work and eventual operation of the condos.

Michel says the past seven months of work have been hampered a little by rain, and the unexpected.

"When they started the exterior work, they found a lot more deterioration," he said on a recent tour of the building. "For instance, they had to re-do the back porch completely. A lot more work on the front porch; more deteriorated than they thought."

Part of the stone front porch had collapsed, but a mason was able to repair it.

The exterior work should take another two months. Then work will begin on the inside.

The home’s boarded-up windows were decorated several years ago by artists. Michel says the artworks are being saved – and will possibly be auctioned off.

Here is a slideshow of the renovation work so far: