Tax Credit Spotlight: Rehab on Ashland Avenue
“It had always been a dream of mine when I bought the house,” said Christine B. of her Ashland Avenue home, “to turn it back into its single-family glory.” Built in 1894, the 2 ½-story front gable frame Queen Anne house had already been remuddled into two units when Christine bought the property 2007. Over the years she and her husband Ryan had pieced together an idea of how their house likely originally laid out by matching weird wall and door placements to things they saw in friends’ houses in the neighborhood.
Fast forward a couple more years and now expecting their second child, Christine and Ryan needed more space. They had started to do some smaller work to renovate the upstairs, but when they found out about the NYS Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Tax Credit they decided to make a full commitment to returning the property to a single-family home.
“We consulted with PBN to learn the application process and what project expenditures qualified,” said Christine, “and then we met with our architect to see if we really could put it back or if too much had been lost.” Thankfully through proper research and planning, the project was a go and work on the downstairs of the house started in October 2017.
While they basically gutted the first floor, they were able to save a fair amount of the molding, flooring, and some original walls (which were still there but had been covered over with drywall in the previous remuddling). A major part of the project was realigning the stairs to match their historic footprint and restoring the cut-up original foyer. And the most surprising aspect of the project was when removing drywall in what was originally the dining room, they found six almost mint condition original stained-glass windows.
As far as navigating the tax credit project, Christine said it was a fairly smooth process, “We did have a back and forth with SHPO about some things, but as long as we kept them updated with our changes or issues that developed, there weren’t any major roadblocks.” She added that it all seemed intimidating at the start but that “once you go through the process and get the hang of documenting and explaining the work, it went by fairly easy.”