Displaying items by tag: adelphi hotel

Saratoga Springs has a very special energy.  Those of us who are lucky enough to live here know of this feeling as we walk about the city and visitors often say they can feel it when they arrive.

I give ghost tours in Saratoga and many people over the years have told me their stories of the mystifying sprits and strange happenings they have encountered. 

Often those stories involve their experiences relating the more infamous buildings in the city:

The Arcade Building at 378 Broadway is home to many disasters. First built on the property was the Center House constructed in 1851 by Lewis Putnam, the grandson of Gideon Putnam, one of the first settlers of Saratoga. It burned down in 1853 and was replaced by the Nicholas Building which  burned down in 1869. The next building was called the Arcade building, and there was a spectacular fire here in 1902.  Everything burned down except the stone façade which remains today. Five bodies were found in the ruins—a couple died in each other’s arms with their cat nearby.  It was one of the worst fires in the city’s history and also destroyed the offices of the Saratogian Newspaper, a theater, and a post office. The building is full of secret rooms and underground passageways that connect to other buildings. 

Many of the people who work there have had ghostly experiences. Some have seen an Asian lady who, upon further research, it turns out, had died in the fire. A massage therapist working in the basement would often feel the brush of an invisible cat on her ankles while she was working. She eventually had to move her practice.

The Adelphi Hotel on Broadway is the last of the Victorian Era hotels built in Saratoga in 1877. It is the stuff of legends and John Morrissey, the casino magnate, died there in 1878.  In the 1950s, it was auctioned off to a young couple, Sheila Parkert and Gregg Seifker for $82,500.  But the property was badly in need of renovation. The roof had caved in, and the only thing serviceable was the bar which they opened and used the proceeds to bring the hotel back to its glory days. They filled the hotel with antiques and other objects from the era — all those things that spirits love to be around.  In 2013, a developer bought the hotel for $5 million with the idea of renovating it. However, after starting the project, they ran into problem after problem and soon realized that they would have to reconstruct the building completely. 

The developers also found abandoned tunnels and chambers—all the conditions perfect for harboring spirits. According to a recent story in the Albany Times Union, the reason for the extensive rebuilding was that the hotel was only built for summer use like most of Saratoga’s hotels and that the owners had simply patched up the construction problems. Others say that the spirits did not like being disturbed and made life difficult for the developers forcing them to rebuild completely.  Objects like furniture and rooms themselves can often retain strong emotions experienced in their presence, and with more than 100 years of emotions floating through this hotel, there could be a lot of baggage. 

Longfellows Restaurant on Union Ave. also has a haunted history. The property had a barn used by bootleggers during prohibition. Saratoga Lake was the home of several illegal casinos run by the mob.  It is rumored that organized crime would rub out their victims in the barn.   

In addition, there was a funeral home across Union Ave. from the Inn. During the winter, when the ground was frozen, and it was difficult to dig graves, they would store the bodies on the property. That barn has since been torn down, but residents, including the owner, Steve Sullivan, report a strange feeling about the area.

I have spoken with hundreds of people over the years about their experiences and have spent many hours tracking down these legends in the Saratoga Room of the Public Library which has preserved so much of the history of these great (and often haunted) buildings.  There are many stories of ghostly experiences in our city.  Saratoga truly has a wonderful energy.

Joe Haedrich is the author of Haunted Saratoga. He gives ghost tours of Saratoga Springs every Friday and Saturday from May-October. HauntedSaratogaTours.com.

Published in History

The Design Review Commission will host a meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20 at City Hall. Among the items on the Commission’s agenda:  

- A review of a new six-story Hotel and Spa at 19 Washington St. that will connect to the Adelphi Hotel. Note, this is different than the existing Adelphi hotel, which is slated to open any day now and which you can read more about here: https://saratogatodaynewspaper.com/home/item/7174-adelphi-hotel-set-to-open-in-september-additional-structure-also-proposed

- The DRC is also expected to issue an Advisory Opinion for the proposed 120 Henry Street Condominium Project. Plans for that project call for the development of a five-story condominium building to house 30 units with 70 total bedrooms to be located at 120 Henry St., on subdivided land adjacent to the Four Seasons market. 

- Finally, a Historic Review will be conducted of a proposal for an addition to the Rip Van Dam Hotel, which is located at 353 Broadway. Plans call for a six-story addition - with a swimming pool and restaurant on the top floor and 152 rooms in all - to rise to a height of 70 feet on Washington Street behind the four-story brick hotel and the Starbucks café on Broadway. (See picture above). To learn more about the proposal, visit the city's web site here: http://saratoga-springs.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/2135?fileID=8995

Other Meetings This Week:

The Mayor’s Seniors Advisory Committee will host a forum 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Monday at Empire State College, 2 Union Ave. Public officials will address top concerns of seniors, including healthcare, housing and transportation. Anticipated speakers include: Congressman Paul Tonko, Sen. Kathy Marchione, City Supervisors Peter Martin and Matt Veitch, Mayor Joanne Yepsen, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Mathiesen and representatives from the offices of Sen. James Tedisco, and Assembly member Carrie Woerner.

The City Council will host a pre-agenda meeting 9:30 a.m. Monday, and a full meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The Charter Review Committee will host a meeting 7 p.m. Monday, location TBD.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS – An iconic Broadway hotel that harkens back to Saratoga Springs’ grand Victorian Era appears finally ready to reopen following an extensive five-year renovation and a project cost of approximately $30 million.   

“We feel this is a process and a labor love and we needed to take as long as it needed to take to make it as perfect as possible. That perfection means detailed craftmanship with every cut, every tile and every piece hand-laid and hand-measured,” said Adelphi Hotel COO Michel Ducamp.

“To do anything less would have been a discredit to the city of Saratoga Springs and to the building – which deserves to be renovated completely and thoroughly with no-holds barred and no corners cut,” said Ducamp, standing on Broadway in front of the hotel in the gleam of an afternoon sun that illuminated the copper face of the hotel’s street-side bar named after Saratoga legend John Morrissey. The one-time world heavyweight champion, congressman, and founder of Saratoga’s thoroughbred race course died of pneumonia at the hotel a year after it opened, and was laid in state in the second-floor parlor that opened onto the piazza.

The Adelphi first opened in 1877. More recently, it was purchased for $4.5 million by RBC Hotels - a hotel management company owned by Richbell Capital LLC-  and closed following the summer 2012 season for what was anticipated to be an 18-month renovation.  As construction got underway, however, it became apparent that extensive reconstruction would be required.

“With a building its age, one never knows what one may find,” Ducamp said. Richbell Capital and Blue Skies Forever subsequently partnered to create a new luxury hospitality company called The Adelphi Hospitality Group, and additional properties located on Washington Street just west of Broadway and adjacent to the Adelphi were purchased.  A plan presented to the city this week calls for an additional six-story hotel and spa with an indoor swimming pool and 50 rooms to be developed adjacent to the Adelphi on the Washington Street side, near UPH.  It will be connected in name to the Adelphi as well as physically connected as part of the expanding complex.

“Were trying to create, especially on the room side, a luxury hotel that is so special and different that we’ll be attracting people from New York, from Boston, from Montreal. We’re not competing with our sister hotels in town,” Ducamp said.  “We’re bringing more people to Saratoga Springs who will not only stay in our hotel and dine with us, but will go out to the street. They’ll want to clothes shopping, they’ll want to go to SPAC, to the races, and to the shops.“

Inside there is an “old/new” conception that boasts custom designed lobby chandeliers, entryway glass, and restored antiques refurbished in modern fabrics.

“Unfortunately, we pretty much had to gut the building because it was pretty dilapidated. We couldn’t keep very much of it, but we kept what we could. We wanted to keep the Victorian grandeur and at the same time make it appropriate for the 21st century,” Ducamp said. “We did keep the staircase. That is all original and it is spectacular. It was made of American walnut from 1877 from the forest outside of Saratoga Springs.”

The hotel stands four stories tall, the uppermost three floors with 11 rooms each, of which four are suites. There are 32 rooms in all - the variance due to the equivalent of one room being converted into a hotel guest library. 

The rooms are equipped with individual thermostats which heat the bathroom floors, the towel bar, the toilet seat and the mirror. Almost all have free-standing European style deep-soaking tubs and a separate shower in the porcelainized Italian stone and marble bathroom. An integrated room automation system operates independent lighting fixtures, shades and drapes via a control panel.

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Room sizes vary from about 375 to 550 square feet and costs range from the high $200s or $300s in the winter and $800 to $1,200 in the summer. Suite rates are different and are sized up to 685 square feet and feature a large veranda overlooking Broadway.

Last year, the company opened Salt & Char - a modern luxury steakhouse. Inside the hotel, the owners will open Morrissey’s – which holds additional seasonal seating for about 40 people outdoors on Broadway - and the Blue Hen fine dining restaurant, which sits towards the back end of the lobby. Morrissey’s, like Salt & Char will offer lunch and dinner and the Blue Hen will offer breakfast and dinner. Outdoor seasonal seating aside, all will be open year-round. “The food will be exceptionally good, fairly-priced and unique,” Ducamp said.

The main floor will also feature a large ballroom, the front of which will serve as a social gathering place. At the rear will be the re-created the Adelphi Garden, which is anticipated to open next spring.

“It’s for everybody and very relaxed. People can walk in off the street sit down and chat,” Ducamp explained. “If you’d like to have a cup of coffee in the morning or a cocktail in the afternoon – that’s nice. If you’d like to have a business meeting, that’s great too. It’s purely a gathering place for everybody. We want to make sure people in Saratoga Springs feel welcome. It’s a piece of the city, it’s a part of our culture and we want to make sure that people feel welcome and at home.”

Food and beverage pricing will be reasonable, Ducamp said. “This is a building that goes beyond ownership of a physical asset. This is a cultural asset a cultural icon for the city and it would be shameful if we did not make it completely accessible to local residents.”

There are hand-carved mahogany and walnut mirrors in the hallway dating to the original hotel in the 1870s, custom-designed wall patterns exclusive to the hotel, an original raw steel support pole that travels along a north-south path through the floors, and a massive mahogany-and-walnut staircase that was painstakingly disassembled and completely restored. 

“All of the wall coverings, all of the light fixtures, all fabrics are custom-designed, or are original. It’s not something that you can find in any store.”

There is a focus on sustainability both in the guest rooms and in the food and beverage detail, where non-GMO products are provided nearly entirely by local farmers, and everything is completely composted.

The exterior colors of the hotel very closely match the colors of the Adelphi in 1877, before the 20th century color palette moved toward darker colors and the rooms incorporate vintage glassware, hatboxes and magazines – the latter dating to at least the 1920s, as well as Italian linens and lighted makeup mirrors.  The beds incorporate custom-designed linens made in Italy, a unique artistic pattern that matches the wall coverings. and a 1-1/2-inch-thick mattress topper made of a product comprised of the processed bark of a eucalyptus tree that was grown in a biodynamic and sustainable forest in Austria.

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“It’s absolutely divine and there’s nothing like it. Once you get in, you’ll never want to get out,” Ducamp said. “In three weeks, we hope to open. It’s getting very, very close.” 

 

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Published in News