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Historic Syracuse home slowly being renovated

Ryan Delaney
The Babcock-Shattuck home in Syracuse's Westcott neighborhood was built in the 1890's but has been vacant for decades.

Renovations have slowly been continuing on an historic home on Syracuse’s east side.

The Babcock-Shattuck House stands at the gateway to Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood. It’s also a rare empty property in an otherwise vibrant area.

It was built around 1895 and last served as a home for Jewish war veterans. It's been empty since the late 1980's.

Now, the University Neighborhood Preservation Association is working to convert the vacant property into four condos."It was a significant problem in the neighborhood," says preservation association vice president David Michel. "And we feel that restoring the building not only will help Westcott Street, but I think it will help East Genesee Street."

A developer has already bought a few properties neighboring the house, Michel points out.

UNPA bought the home two years ago. The association is investing $200,000 in the exterior work that's being matched by a state historic grant. They're partnering with not-for-profit Home Headquarters for the interior work and eventual operation of the condos.

Michel says the past seven months of work have been hampered a little by rain, and the unexpected.

"When they started the exterior work, they found a lot more deterioration," he says on a recent tour of the building. "For instance, they had to re-do the back porch completely. A lot more work on the front porch; more deteriorated than they thought."

Part of the stone front porch had collapsed, but a mason was able to repair it.

The exterior work should take another two months. Then work will begin on the inside.

The home’s boarded-up windows were decorated several years ago by artists. Michel says the artworks are being saved – and will possibly be auctioned off.

Here is a slideshow of the renovation work so far:

Ryan Delaney works on the Innovation Trail project - covering technology, economic development, startups and other issues relating to New York's innovation economy.