What have we liked best about life at 60 Chestnut Street? The character of the house: the proportions of the rooms, the high ceilings, the moldings and medallions and other embellishments. Over the last 12 years, we have thrown ourselves into restoring and renovating, searching out architectural salvage and historic house-parts to make sure we got the details right. From the antique brass doorknobs on the restored front doors, to a replacement for one missing original fireplace screen, to the unused-original 19th century bin-pulls and historical-salvage transom window in the kitchen, we have preserved this home from top to bottom. We crafted our dream kitchen, driving hours to find the right soapstone for the counters, searching for the (reproduction) Holophane light fixtures, and deliberating at least a year before settling on the Motawi tiles for the backsplash.
We’ve used the first floor for guests, an additional work-from-home Zoom studio, and exercise space. We have especially appreciated how sunny and bright the first floor is—not just thanks to the color scheme! It stays cool even on the warmest summer days, and the back room gets the full force of the winter sun. The baseboard heating system is great (and the high-efficiency boiler, zoned by floor, keeps costs reasonable).
We will miss our spacious, private deck; we have meals out there most summer days. And the garden! We get more sun than most Center Square gardens. We have grown everything from tomatoes and strawberries and butternut squash and a dwarf peach tree to lilies and zinnias and lavender—and of course, being in Albany, tulips. Having a back gate, unlike many of our neighbors, has been handy, too. And after the pink dogwood blooms in spring, the red maple is simply stunning in the fall.
We adore the neighborhood, as well. Our neighbors are friendly and helpful; Center Square is a true community, with social events and hidden-garden tours and an endless font of suggestions for the best contractors and tradespeople and plants to thrive in any given spot. Both the Center Square Association and Historic Albany Foundation are amazing organizations, and Chestnut Street itself has been known to have the occasional block party (when we’re not all social-distancing).
We walk everywhere. Living so near the Empire State Plaza is fantastic: we can walk in minutes to concerts at the Egg, to a year-round farmers’ market, to the ice-skating rink outside in winter or the gym below in the Concourse, to all sorts of festivals … and the sunset view of the Plaza from our deck (especially juxtaposed against the 19th century brownstone synagogue-turned-gospel-church right behind us) is amazing. We’re also mere minutes from both Washington Park and the Hudson River and its ever-extending biking/running paths, along with still more festivals and public concerts.
We’re surrounded by stunning architecture and fascinating history, of which we see traces everywhere. We are steps from amazing restaurants, cafes, and other great spots — among our personal favorites: the brand-new Rosanna’s (formerly Bongiorno’s), Dove & Deer, Iron Gate for brunch, City Beer Hall, Berben & Wolff’s, Stacks Espresso Bar—as well as the Albany Public Library, the Albany Institute of History & Art, and the New York State Museum. We’ll be sad to leave 60 Chestnut, but we hope its new owners will love it every bit as much as we have!
- National Grid (gas/electric, via Arcadia Power): $1,195.27 total in 2019 (last bill: $66.59, paid 9/20; range for 2019: $55.58-173.75 per month, or $99.60 average)
- Albany Water Board: $213.30 in 2019 (billed every 4 months; last bill: $73, paid 9/20)
- City of Albany waste collection fee (paid 8/20): $90 for 2020
Taxes for 2020: $8,847.50
- City of Albany Property Taxes (paid 1/20): $3,605.77
- City School District of Albany (paid 9/20): $5,241.73
- Space available in lot at 128/129 Chestnut St. for $150/month (contact Sanjiv: Sanj2112@gmail.com, 518-542-5564)
- Parking lot more or less across the street on Chestnut also rents spaces (none currently for rent, per leasing agent at 252 State, the building the lot sits behind)
- City of Albany residential parking permit: $20/year, plus $5/year for visitor permit
Historic Albany Foundation:
- Attached is the history of the house and supporting documentation (plaque in front of the house and research is from 2009)