Schenectady County and State to Fund Restoration Effort of Historic Façade at SUNY Schenectady’s Elston Hall

Elston Hall

The Schenectady County Legislature and SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) today announced that work will get underway later this month to restore and preserve the facade of Elston Hall. The historic building, formerly The Hotel Van Curler, is located on Washington Avenue in downtown Schenectady.

“The County is pleased to provide the funding required to maintain and preserve this important downtown landmark built in 1925," said County Legislator Richard Patierne, Chair of the Legislature's Committee on Libraries and Education and Committee on Public Facilities, Transportation and Infrastructure.  "Our community college continues to be a priority for the Legislature.  We will continue to work with Dr. Moono and his team to improve the campus that strategically sits at the gateway to our revitalized downtown.”

“What better way to kick off our 50th anniversary in 2019 than by renovating the historic Elston Hall, our original home and a key part of Schenectady history,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady.

The cost of the $350,000 facade project is being shared by Schenectady County and New York State.  The project involves cleaning the façade to remove dirt, mold and mildew, reglazing and painting windows, and the repair of both wood and masonry surfaces. Elston Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Schenectady County purchased the former hotel for use by the College. The first classes were held in the historic building in 1969. The College is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year while Elston Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2025.

In addition to the façade renovation, other recently completed improvements to Elston Hall include replacement of an air conditioning tower, four new elevators, new restrooms on four floors of the building, and a new biotechnology lab on the sixth floor. In addition, campus parking lots and driveways were repaved and striped this summer along with sidewalk upgrades.  

The renovations at Elston Hall complement other developments in the lower State Street area including the new Gateway Plaza, renovations to the Schenectady Civic Playhouse (built in 1869 and opened as a theater in 1928), renovation and conversion to apartments of the former YMCA building (built in 1926), and renovations and repurposing of the former Schenectady Armory (built in 1936). In addition, over $45 million in construction is underway on lower State Street near the College, as work continues on both the Electric City Apartments and the Mill Artisan District.