banner search whats new site index home

East Side Historic District


The East Side Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2010, The Gombach Group.

Description

The East Side Historic District lies within the so-called "East Side" neighborhood of Saratoga Springs. It is located east of Broadway, north of Union Avenue, west of East Avenue, and south of New York Route 50. This neighborhood lies on relatively flat terrain above and east of the geological fault line and valley of springs east of Broadway. The predominant character of the East Side Historic District is one of tree-lined streets and accessory alleys laid out at right angles in a grid pattern. Lake Avenue is the principal east-west thoroughfare in this part of the city. The heart of this residential district is focused around Spring, Phila, Caroline, Regent, and Circular Streets.

The East Side Historic District includes approximately 400 structures, the vast majority of which contribute to the historic significance of the area. There are only fifteen non-contributing buildings. The East Side Historic District represents a significant collection of nineteenth-century residential architecture ranging from Federal and Greek Revival styles through a full range of Victorian residential designs (including Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, and Queen Anne styles), to the Colonial Revival, Tudor, and Bungalow styles of the early twentieth century. Building materials vary greatly. The predominant exterior materials are clapboard and brick. The East Side Historic District contains examples of both vernacular and high-style residences which exhibit a cohesive character of compatible scale and integrity. The East Side Historic District provides insight into nearly a century of one neighborhood's socio-economic life and the city's nineteenth-century prosperity.

Significance

The East Side Historic District encompasses a large, significant concentration of well-preserved nineteenth and early twentieth century residences in an intact neighborhood setting. Exhibiting a variety of architectural styles, the residences within the East Side Historic District are a result of development east of Broadway by middle to upper class Saratoga Springs merchant families. A number of architects who gained local, regional, and national recognition designed structures still extant in the district. The East Side Historic District also includes buildings associated with one of the nation's leading early twentieth century women's educational institutions, Skidmore College.

The structures of the East Side Historic District constitute a cohesive nineteenth and early twentieth century residential neighborhood which reflects the prosperity of local merchants in a nationally recognized nineteenth-century health spa and seasonal resort city. These fashionable homes were built on the east side of Broadway in the quadrant between North Broadway and Union Avenue. In contrast to "society's" neighborhoods on Union Avenue and North Broadway, this neighborhood provided housing for the city's hotel and spa owners, retail merchants, local mill owners, and successful builders and contractors who prospered as the resort prospered. These local burghers hired the architects and builders popular among the city's seasonal society to design slightly more modest year-round residences on Circular, Phila, Fifth and Caroline Streets.

The work of a significant number of architects who gained local, regional or national recognition is represented in at least 42 structures in the district. Buildings designed by, or attributed to, Gilbert Cross, Rufus H. Dorn, J.D. Stevens, Frelin G. Vaughan (Stevens and Vaughan), S. Gifford Slocum, R. Newton Brezee, Isaac Perry, Alfred Hopkins, Ludlow and Peabody, William H. Vaughan and LaFarge, Warren and Clark are located throughout Saratoga's east side. Designs by Gilbert Croff and Aldred Hopkins, architects practicing in Saratoga Springs for a number of years, appeared in standard architectural journals of the time. Isaac Perry, who designed the New York State Armory on Lake Avenue, is best known for completing the New York State Capitol (National Historic Landmark) in his capacity as capitol commissioner appointed by Governor Grover Cleveland. R. Newton Brezee, Saratoga's most prolific local architect, designed 24 Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style houses within the present historic district between 1885 and 1925, including his own residence at 119 Caroline Street (1891). One of the city's most reputable nineteenth-century construction firms, William J. and Julius Case/William J. Case and Son, worked with architects Sheridan and William Vaughan, R. Newton Brezee and Aymar Embury II to build substantial structures for their clients, and the East Side Historic District contains significant examples of their craftsmanship.

The original circa 1915 campus of Skidmore School of the Arts in the vicinity of Union, Regent, Spring and Circular Streets represents a compact and cohesive grouping of the buildings of Skidmore College. The college developed from the Young Women's Industrial Club (1902) formed by Lucy Skidmore Scribner. It became the Skidmore School of the Arts in 1911 and Skidmore College in 1922. The Regent Street Theatre, the first structure built specifically for this institution, is attributed to architect William Vaughan and local builder W.J. Case. Vaughan and William Case and Son supplied designs and altered and built structures for Skidmore School of the Arts between 1911 and 1918. After 1922, the New York City firm of Ludlow and Peabody was employed by the college to design at least one dormitory building which is still extant. By 1931, the campus included buildings on Phila Street, Spring Street, Court Street, Regent Street, Circular Street and Union Avenue. Further expansion included the renovation and rehabilitation of existing nineteenth-century residential buildings in the neighborhood to the north, east and south of the original campus. The college eventually occupied a campus which included eighty-two renovated nineteenth-century residences and buildings designed specifically for educational purposes. The campus covered thirty-four acres of land in the western portion of the East Side Historic District. Skidmore College vacated many of its east side buildings upon construction of a new campus in 1976.

The structures of the East Side Historic District vary in style but are cohesive in their character and uniform scale. These middle and upper class residential buildings have retained much of their architectural detail and integrity and are currently the focus of extensive preservation and rehabilitation efforts.

References

Beers, F.W. and Louis H. Cramer. Combined Atlas of Saratoga and Ballston. New York, 1876.

Beers, S.N. New Topographical Atlas of Saratoga County, New York. Philadelphia, 1866.

Bevan, John. Map of Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, New York. New York, 1848.

Burns, Kathryn A. "An Inventory and Analysis of the Work of Architect, R. Newton Brezee, Saratoga Springs, New York (1884-1929)." Unpublished master's thesis, George Washington University, 1980.

Prokopoff, Stephen S. The Nineteenth Century Architecture of Saratoga Springs: Architecture Worth Saving in New York State. New York, 1980.

  1. Raymond W. Smith, New York State Division for Historic Preservation, East Side Historic District, Saratoga Springs, New York, nomination document, 1982, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

East Side Historic District Map

Street Names
5th Avenue • Allerdice Lane • Caroline Street • Cottage Place • Court Street • George Street • Harrison Street East • Henry Street • Hodgeman Street • Labelle Lane • Lafayette Street • Madison Street • Mitchell Place • Petit Way • Phila Street • Regent Street • Spring Street • Swanner Lane • Talford Place • Tipton Lane

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
Copyright © 1997-2016 • The Gombach Group • www.gombach.com • 215-295-6555 • 109818 • Privacy