Posted by: David Giacalone | July 29, 2017

moving images of 4 Washington Avenue

. . above: rear of 4 Washington Ave. [L] & 6 Washington Ave. during flooding post-Hurricane Irene (Aug. 28, 2011) . . 

   . . left: flood waters from Hurricane Irene at River end of Washington Ave. with #4 & #6 on left . .


 . . left: floodwaters at end of Washington Ave., with neighbors at stoop of 6 Washington Ave. (vintage photo from collection of Schenectady County Historical Society, undated)

Meredith Anker’s home at 4 Washington Avenue, in the Schenectady Stockade Historic District, was constructed circa 1820. It was built along the Washington Avenue lot line, with no front lawn, but a spacious rear and side yard that borders the Mohawk River. Flooding in 2011 due to waters associated with Hurricane Irene did dramatic and traumatic damage to the first floor of Meredith’s home. Immediately below are photos of the front of the house and its yard taken last May:

  . . 

. . above: 4 Washington Ave. & yard (May 18, 2016) . . 

    If the current project is successful, sometime this summer (2017), the house will be elevated about 7.5 feet and set back 15 to 20 feet from Washington Avenue, in order to remove it from the River’s flood plain. See “Stockade project to move historic home from flood plain underway” (Albany Times Union, by Paul Nelson, July 20, 2017). It took the homeowner, her architect (and across-the-street neighbor) Frank Gilmore, and contractor Jim Plowman, several sessions before Schenectady’s Historic District Commission approved the lift-and-move project, which is the first such project in the Stockade Historic District, where paint colors and removal of window shutters need Commission permission. See “Panel OKs plan to elevate Schenectady home above flood zone” (Times Union, by Paul Nelson, November 17, 2015); and “Homeowner allowed to raise, move Stockade house: After nearly half a year of discussion, the Schenectady Historic District Commission reluctantly agrees” (Schenectady Daily Gazette, by Haley Viccaro, November 16, 2015; $ub. req’d). The sketch to the right of this paragraph is the rendering submitted to the Historic Commission when seeking its approval for the project.

The blank wall in the sketch represents 6 Washington Avenue, the home of Scott Andrus and Jone Jensen, who are watching the process closely, and are not sure what to expect. The Historic Commission made it clear that they have not yet reviewed or approved the final design scheme (colors, landscaping, etc.).

. . above: the last runner in the 2016 Stockade-athon enters Riverside Park after passing 4 Washington Avenue  (Nov. 13, 2016) . . 

   Larmon House Movers is in charge of the short trip. However, the first-phase lift and shift has not yet happened, because National Grid has not yet honored the request that it turn off the gas line. According to the Times Union:
[T]he structure will remain at a temporary site for upwards of a month, which will give the crew time to fill in and shore up the foundation at the new spot, said [contractor Jim] Plowman. A one-car garage will be built into the foundation.
   Since I first saw the large gray metal container sitting alongside Meredith’s house in early May, I have been sporadically photographing this historic process, and (if the creek don’t rise) I plan to continue documenting the move as the process unfolds — and will add images to this posting as they are taken.
    We have had a lot or rain lately, and many sidewalk kibitzers and amateur engineers have offered me and other neighbors skeptical predictions about the likelihood that the ancient structure, with its flagstone and brick foundation, can be successfully and safely moved. Like virtually all Stockade homes, the original home has had additions appended to it. Whether it is out of an abundance of caution or true necessity, yesterday (Friday, July 28, 2017), workers strung a metal cable and chain around the structure.  See the photo to the right of this paragraph.

 . . 

   As of the date of this posting, the Slideshow below displays photos in chronological order, taken from May 10 through the end of July 29, 2017. As mentioned above, photos will be added as the project progresses. As always, you can see a larger version of an image in the Slideshow by pausing it on the image, right-clicking and choosing See Image in New Tab.
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. . above: 1-9 Washington Ave., Aug. 28, 2011 . . 

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