Home News House of the Week: After eight year search, owner finds ‘sanctuary’ inside condo built in former Syracuse school’s boiler room

House of the Week: After eight year search, owner finds ‘sanctuary’ inside condo built in former Syracuse school’s boiler room

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Syracuse, NY-Ed Robinson describes time at the Madison Court condo on the eastern side of Syracuse as “the story of an impossible buyer and a perfect home.”

“For much of my realtor’s regrets, I’ve been looking for the right property for almost eight years,” Robinson begins.

Between 2004 and 2012, he thought he saw 400 places, from large Victorian homes in the city to suburban and rural locations. I didn’t feel anything right.

“I’m a bit extreme,” admits Robinson.

The real estate list of Madison Court condominiums built in a former elementary school on 917 Madison Street in the early 1980s finally caught his eye.

This was the first “condo project” of this kind in downtown Syracuse. In 1985, Conifer Development purchased the abandoned James Madison Elementary School from the city for $ 1 when most of these developments were booked in the suburbs.

He considered the school’s architecture, built in 1917, to be “really beautiful” and liked the fact that it was just a few blocks from where he worked.

But looking at the two, the two units were disappointing. Also, I couldn’t expect the sound of a two-story condominium in the old boiler room of the school. The photo of the space looked “dark and boring” and I traveled around the building three times to find the entrance to the apartment.

Of the 45 units on Madison Court, the one built in the boiler room was probably the most unique.

“The architect in charge, Norbert Hausner, cleaned and painted the boiler for use as a wall in a condominium,” said a 1984 Post Standard article. “Mr. Hausner said the tenant is using the furnace compartment to stock wine.”

The uniqueness of the condominium influenced Robinson. His journey is over.

“When I came in and took the first step, I knew this was it,” he said.

It was the combination of “space, history, grandeur, and quality” he was looking for, in a “maintenance and worry-free arrangement”.

“The” boiler room “was the place,” Robinson recalled.

When he said he wanted to make an offer to his agent, he said he thought his realtor would faint.

The apartment had some serious needs for renewal.

Robinson repainted the entire unit and spent $ 20,000 on new windows and doors. Hardwood floors were installed on the top floor and the whole was refinished. New lighting, high efficiency heating, on-demand hot water supply and appliances have been added.

The two bedrooms and two bathrooms have been redesigned into Robinson’s “personal sanctuary from the outside world” and “a unique spatial experience that flushes out all the worries of the world.”

“Your mind can’t handle how beautiful it is,” he said. “For almost a decade, I was fortunate to have that feeling every time I stepped inside the front door.”

“I am grateful for the entire history of Syracuse,” Robinson said, carefully selecting photos and items from the time the school opened and expanded around 1936.

He found a student chair outside the master bedroom in Pennsylvania. He found an antique Syracuse children’s trolley token on eBay and decorated his desk with an old-style candlestick phone.

As a final piece, Robinson thought he needed an old car to park in front of the school. He bought Franklin in 1927 and was made here in Syracuse to complete the project.

The main topic of the condominium is the three coal boilers right next to the large room downstairs. Each of the original metal doors weighs 300-400 pounds and closes with a heavy “boom”.

Robinson stores books, toys and other works instead of wine.

The skylight in the kitchen used to be a coal chute.

Robinson says he feels “lucky and blessed” to call this unique property his hometown.

“Most people never get the chance to live in a place that feels exactly what they are looking for in their home,” he said.

He warns potential owners that this is “not an ordinary condo”. It’s for those who “want and appreciate the historic and eclectic mix it offers.”

For more information on this condo, please contact Howard Hannah Real Estate Services realtor Catherine Lee Almiho. Her contact information is below.

-Ed Robinson calls his condominium, built inside the James Madison School in the boiler room on 917 Madison Street in Syracuse, a “true sanctuary from the outside world.” This is one of the vintage photos in the building. It shows the early appearance of the school.Courtesy of EdrovinsonCourtesy of Edrovinson

917 Madison Street

-Ed Robinson calls his condominium, built inside the James Madison School in the boiler room on 917 Madison Street in Syracuse, a “true sanctuary from the outside world.” This is one of the vintage photos in the building. This is a 1921 kindergarten classroom.Courtesy of EdrovinsonCourtesy of Edrovinson


Address: 917 Madison Street, Apartment 16, Syracuse, NY 13210

Price: $ 229,900

Size: 1,630 square feet

HOA fee: $ 420 per month

Monthly Mortgage: $ 1,013 (based on the national average rate of 5.23% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment, according to Freddie Mac on June 9th. Fees and points are not included. )

Tax: $ 2,930 (based on a valuation of $ 70,500)

Built: The building dates back to 1917. The condominium was completed in 1984.

School district: Syracuse

kitchen: With the exception of the dishwasher, the kitchen appliances are new and made of stainless steel. It features a granite counter and ample storage space. When the building was a school, the skylight was once a coal chute into the boiler room. Laundry rooms and pantry are just steps away from the kitchen.

Living area: In the early 1980s, the Madison School was converted into a 45-unit Madison Court. During the school expansion in 1936, a boiler room was added to the school and is now the most unique unit in development. Featuring ample storage space, sparkling hardwood floors, a private outdoor entrance, and plenty of light from many new windows, this 1,630-square-foot condominium is visually pleasing and historically interesting. .. The 27-foot coal boiler can be used as a storage or library. A starter for instant conversation. In front of it is the original brick floor. Owner Edwin Robinson has a small dining area there. The spacious and wonderful room is like an elevated stage, “equipped with a self-floating 80-inch TV screen and a high-resolution projector. The gas fireplace provides warmth. He has one bedroom in his home office. There is an “infinite control” light all over. The total utility bill is about $ 100 per month.

bedroom: There are two bedrooms on the top floor. The owner’s bedroom is spacious and has a large walk-in closet. The second bedroom is currently the office.

Bathroom: The condo has one full bathroom and one half bathroom. The full bath is on the top floor and has a deep bathtub. The half bath has a pocket door for more storage space.

Outdoor: Old school auditoriums, gymnasiums, corridors, and former classrooms bring visitors back to life. A gated community that welcomes pets. The Homeowners Association fee pays for the maintenance of all premises. There are more than 1,000 plants on the premises. The large atrium can be used for hospitality. Gym and half basketball courts are available for exercise and recreation. This condo is one of two that is directly accessible from the outside. The building is on the eastern side of Syracuse, within walking distance of the hospital, Syracuse University and downtown.

Agent: Catherine Lee Almiho

Howard Hannah Real Estate Services

Address: 28 East Genesee Street, Skaneateles, NY 13152

Phone number: (315) 382-5044

Email: [email protected]

Website: catherinearmijo.howardhanna.com

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