Category Archives: City Planning in Saratoga Springs

Victorians Make A Comback

The Adelphi Hotel is one of the few Broadway businesses that recreates traditional Victorian design and makes it work. This is not a popular style these days, and most places either do a dreadful hokey version, or avoid it with modern sleak design. No matter how you feel about it, Saratoga Springs is a Victorian city, and the Adelphi seems to be the sole flag bearer working within the tradition.

From the Moment You Get Our of Your Car It's Perfect

From the Moment You Get Out of Your Car It's Perfect

From a distance, across the street, or right in front of the door, there are no bad views. The small gardens between the sidewalk and the entrance are in harmony with the building design and the surrounding landscaping. The walkway from the street is a grand entrance under a vine covered trellis.

Small Victorian Gardens

Small Victorian Gardens

Whether you love the old world style or not, this is what people come to Saratoga Springs to experience.  They have done a great job with all the details – the type treatment of their logo, the colors of the building, flowers in the pots in front of the doors, even the gold leaf on the entrance door signs, all look as if they have come from Saratoga’s past.

The Grand Entrance

The Grand Entrance

The design consistent even when you look up, with traditional banners, and flowers giving a festive victorian view.

Looking up at the Adelphi Balcony

Looking up at the Adelphi Balcony

The old Saratoga may be fading away, but the Adelphi is letting visitors step back in time and see what originally made this city famous.

A Slow Road To A Park View

The Park View Condominiums have been rising for almost two years now. I have been watching the construction as it seems to move ever so slow. Even at this point getting a perspective of what it is going to look like is difficult. It still isn’t at a point where I can decide if it is a good looking building or a giant monstrosity that should never have been allowed to be next to Congress Park.

Park View's West Side Facing Broadway

Park View's West Side Facing Broadway

Sonny Bonacio has an incredible but sometimes spotty record for his building design. I’m not really sure who the architect is, but he often uses Olsen Architects for such large projects.

On this day I couldn’t get close enough to look at the details of material, but it seems they are using soap stone on the front facade, but that is just a guess.

Soapstone Facade or Slate?

Soapstone Facade or Slate?

The North side of the building, which will look out over Congress Park and also have a birds eye view of Broadway. If these are the most valuable living spaces, why does it seem they are the last to be finished. Are sales slow? Are the most valuable apartments still available?

North Views from Condominiums

North View Side Of Building

I’m waiting for the day I can write how much I like the final product.

Economy Brings Bikes To a Head

A Call To All Cyclists

A Call To All Cyclists

The bicycle racks are unique to Saratoga, but maybe they should be identified as bike racks. They really don’t look like they have any purpose other than holding a horse head. Signs should be placed on them stating they are for locking your bike.

Where Do I Stick the Wheel?

Where Do I Stick the Wheel?

The First Flags of Broadway

Springs brings the flags out on Broadway. This year the trend is to not be able to read them.

I can't read this banner

I can't read this banner

Please when you design a banner, make them colorful and realize that people are driving by in their car. No one can read this.

Mid Century Modern Meets Downtown Saratoga Springs

The New City Center Design Concept

The New City Center Design Concept

After years of talk, the Saratoga Springs City Center has finally unveiled the new design for that corner of Broadway. If this concept is constructed as proposed it will be the first modern looking building to be constructed on Broadway. It is a very bold move to submit such a design since people will inevitably shout that it doesn’t compliment the character of the neighborhood.

Gone are the atrium peaks that echoed the features of Broadway buildings past. Gone are the bricks and morter of the twenty five year old structure, replaced with glass and beige block. The overall style is definately Mid Century Modern. If you notice the horizontal overhangs, and exceptionally strong vertical lines in the windows, it harks back to a early sixties shopping mall – and I don’t mean this in a bad way.

Mid Century Modern Style

Mid Century Modern Style

or

Mid Century Shopping Center

Mid Century Shopping Center

The classic features of mid century design are the large rectangular areas and long horizontal lines. The City Center concept ads a modern touch with its large glass walls and the interesting “V” shaped corner. This type of styling has a tendancy to go well with a many types of design styles, and in that respect it was an excellent choice for downtown Saratoga Springs.

Here are a few design ideas for marketing the new City Center

Illustration Styling That Could Be Used For the City Center

Advertising Style That Could Be Used For the City Center

Illustration Style for New City Center

Illustration Style for New City Center

Mid Century Modern Man Who Will Visit the City Center

Mid Century Modern Man Who Will Visit the City Center

I like the fact that there will be a modern building in the city, someone had to do it at some point. It is a nice looking structure that has its own character but not obtrusive to neighboring buildings. It will enhance downtown and give us a City Center we can be proud of twenty five years from now.

Does anyone know who the Architect is??

Picture Shows On Broadway

The Times Union Published this view of a Broadway Movie Theater Concept. It is proposed by a private firm. It is a brick building with interesting windows. It seems the private firm envisions it located in the parking lot next to the Algonquin Building- see upper left side of image. It has no unique features, it is what I would consider a “B” building. This means on it’s own it doesn’t make a statement, but it would lend support to making the Algonquin Building look even better. It would enhance the surrounding architecture to be better as a whole.

I’m glad it is a concept, and if it ever actually happens, lets hope for once the final product can be as good or better.

Cinema Proposal on Broadway in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs Cinema Proposal on Broadway

Saving Sixty Six

There has been lot of news coverage spent on an old building located just off Franklin Square. It seems that it will be a fight to the bitter end whether 66 Franklin Street will be saved or not. The sometimes overzealous Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation is determined to save the old structure, while the owner, Joseph Boff, is wagering he can tear it down.

66 Franklin Should Be Saved

66 Franklin Should Be Saved

The question each side will ask: is building worth saving? And each will give a different answer.

Here are a series of question that should be asked
1. Is the building relevant to Saratoga Spring history?
2. Is the architecture of such distinction that it carries special value?
3. Is there enough of the architecture still existing to have it remain of historical value?
4. Was the architect prominent in the development of Saratoga Springs
I believe the answer is yes on all counts.

Of course Mr. Boff will present a cost analysis of the building and lot value compared to rehab costs. But this is not a valid, because Mr. Boff bought the building already knowing the answer. He purchased it knowing this information, his intent was to try and knock it down. This is a fight that he believed he would win before he made the transaction.

Mr. Boff rebuilt the Crafters Gallery Building, and did an incredible job. Yet he seems to have fallen short on this project. Since he knew what the cost would be, and if he loses his gamble, he should have to pay the cost.