With the revival of The Woman’s Club of Albany beginning in 2004, the membership realized that the WCA is the steward and caretaker of a beautiful, irreplaceable historic resource desperately needing extensive restoration and repair. As a result, we embarked upon an ambitious undertaking to restore and repair our 1895 home according to historic preservation standards.
Progress to Date
Since 2005, much has been accomplished. Our first efforts were to shore up the first floor under the dining room and back parlor, complete major roof repairs and rehabilitate the second-floor ballroom, using original historic details.
In 2012, we completed a project essential to the structural survival of the house, restoration of the West bay, including major repairs of the tall stained glass windows. A first-floor restroom was added as the first phase of our accessibility renovations. Restoration of the crumbling back porch was completed in 2015. Extensive plaster repairs and painting in the front and back parlors and butler’s pantry were done in 2019.
The WCA is indebted to the supporters whose generosity has made this possible, including membership donations, the Bender Family Foundation, the Impact Grant Program of the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region, an Environmental Protection Fund Historic Property Preservation Grant and a grant funded through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.
While substantial progress has been made, much remains to be done. Fortunately, we received three significant grants in 2019 that will provide much of the $350,000 needed to complete additional renovation work. We continue to raise the funds required to meet our matching share of two of the grants and to pay for additional projects.
Several areas of the house await restoration, but our deteriorating front porch is most important. The wood columns are rotting, the granite steps have shifted and cracked and the masonry has cracked or bowed in many places. Repairs to the porch also will allow us to create an entry ramp that will make the first floor fully accessible.
The side entrance under the porte-cochere needs significant work, only a portion of which will be covered by one of the state grants we received. The roof and chimney need major repairs and improving the driveway is high on our priority list.
Inside the house, damage to the antique parquet floors, woodwork, hardware, decorative windowpanes and lighting fixtures on the first floor must be addressed.
Please join our restoration effort with a gift that will help realize our dream of repairing the WCA’s home and making it accessible to everyone.
You can make a one-time gift or multi-year pledge to provide ongoing, predictable support.