Former Kingston Gas & Electric Company building enjoys a resurgence after its renovation – Daily Freeman

KINGSTON, NY – A street-level Broadway retail store used electricity and gas to sell all kinds of things to consumers in the early and mid-19th centuries.

The store was on the first floor of 609 Broadway, with the remainder being used by Kingston Gas & Electric Company, a company that had been in the building since 1911.

Today 690 Broadway stands – “decades neglected and abused,” said Kingston architect Scott Dutton – solidly renovated, with eight new apartments on the upper floors and street-level retail space open to business.

Additionally, the four-story brick-facade building has been officially listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, said Marissa Marvelli, a conservation advisor who prepared a historical report as part of the historic designation application.

“From 1912 to 1945, Kingston Gas & Electric ran all local businesses from its Broadway building, 609-611,” Marvelli wrote. “From its street-level retail store, it sold gas lamps, cookers and kettles, and electric lamps, irons, toasters, kitchen gadgets, fans, refrigerators and freezers.”

A strong heritage conservation advocate and renovation architect, Dutton said the remodeling of the Kingston Gas & Electric building is a prime example of what can be done to salvage old structures and make them usable again.

“This is an example of what can be done across town, even on distressed properties where the economy doesn’t make sense at face value,” said Dutton.

The architect added that listed projects like the Kingston Gas & Electric building are feasible through state and state tax credits to builders.

“The current owners (JMS Realty) embraced the idea that we could do a better job and invest a lot more by working within the boundaries of the (State Department’s Heritage Site) and National Parks Service guidelines for an adaptive recycling project working big leap, ”said Dutton.

Stefan Bohdanowycz, the owner of the building, said the goal is to “repurpose the old building” and integrate it into the modern world. Marvelli’s report brings this ancient world into focus.

“The Kingston Gas & Electric Company building is … important to commerce as the former headquarters of a utility company that promoted the introduction of gas and electricity into the city of Kingston in the early 20th century,” Marvelli wrote.

The building was constructed in 1911 by Kingston construction company Campbell and Dempsey and opened to the public in 1912.

“Up until 1945, the building served as an administration center for company managers and their field service, as well as a retail store for household appliances, which in the early days was indispensable for the sale of new types of equipment – and thus also for subscriptions to the utility service. a skeptical public, ”says Marvelli’s report.

The company was founded in 1902 as a franchise of the American Gas Company, a Philadelphia-based organization that grew by acquiring small local businesses, Marvelli wrote.

Ads for electrical lighting and appliances such as irons, vacuum cleaners, and fans were not regularly displayed until 1915.

“As was typical of the period, advertising reinforced gender stereotypes – the working husband providing comfort and security for his family and the ‘intelligent’ woman running the household,” says Marvelli’s report. “The company’s other marketing activities included door-to-door promotions, in-store demonstrations, presentations to women’s aid and church groups, and post-WWI model houses wired for electrical operation.”

A photo taken around 1913 shows the building, which is still new. It shows a cornice shop window front with lamps on display in the shop window.

“A sign underneath bears the company’s name,“ KINGSTON GAS AND ELECTRIC CO. ”, Says Marvelli’s story. “There are also decorative lighting fixtures on the outside – torches on the pillars on the ground floor and three gooseneck lamps mounted over the cornice of the shop front. The two-door entrance on the west side of the facade is set back and gives the shop window of the shop window front depth. “

The upper part of the facade looks exactly as it does today, minus the construction date of 1912 on the parapet.

Andrea Mau, music teacher in Ellenville, moves into one of the apartments on Broadway 609. (TANIA BARRICKLO / DAILY FREIMANN)
The kitchen in one of the apartments on 609 Broadway. (TANIA BARRICKLO DAILY FREEMAN)

Photos: Former Kingston Gas & Electric

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