Apartments bring new life to former DSS Building in Schenectady

Apartments bring new life to former DSS Building in Schenectady

16-unit building dates to 1877; conversion cost $3 million, took 12 months

April 23, 2018

BY JOHN CROPLEY, The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY — The new apartments in one of the city’s oldest buildings are nearly all rented out.

The developer of the old Nott Street School at Nott Street and Seward Place said that, as of Wednesday, 13 of the 16 apartments were occupied or had commitments from tenants.

The yearlong, $3 million overhaul of the circa-1877 building by the Galesi Group is essentially complete. But for minor tasks such as the window-caulking that workers were doing Wednesday morning, the work is done.

The building now known as 487 Nott Apartments served more than 60 years each as classroom and office space, but it is inefficiently designed for residential use: Hallways and staircases are much wider than they need to be, creating a nice sense of openness but wasting a lot of floor space.

Designed from scratch, a modern building with the same footprint could fit substantially more tenants; because the load-bearing walls couldn’t be moved, it was an accomplishment to squeeze even 16 apartments into the former schoolhouse.

The oldest part of the structure was built in 1877 as the city’s fifth public school, and it was expanded in 1909. It was used as a school until 1942, then turned over to the county, which placed a wartime rationing office there. After World War II, the county put its Department of Social Services there.

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