1 Franklin Square
Architecture and History of Saratoga blog series
by commercial REALTOR®, Olivia Huffman, and Professor James Kettlewell
This distinctive stone Greek Revival is located in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs. With approximately 5,179 square feet, this beautiful property is in excellent condition and has had many recent improvements including roof, porches, hot water boiler and fencing. Currently set-up with first-floor retail-space and four one-bedroom luxury apartments.
Professor (and Harvard historian) James Kettlewell notes that Franklin Square is the most architecturally interesting area in all of Saratoga Springs. “Franklin Square is the most remarkable architectural site in Saratoga Springs, with Greek Revival masterpieces including 1 Franklin Square and the Marvin House, as well as beautiful Victorian, Federal and Colonial structures, all within a large city block.”
Originally named Marvin Square, after the Marvin brothers who were prominent businessmen, Franklin Square, was named after Benjamin Franklin. It was adjacent to the imposing Victorian Railroad Station, as well as the rear entrance to the United States Hotel, which was the largest hotel on earth when it was constructed.
1 Franklin Square remains much in its original condition when built in 1836. The ground floor was modified, probably in the early 1870’s, by the addition of a Victorian double-leaved door and four-paned Victorian windows, which replace the original multi-paned windows of the Greek Revival style.
Kettlewell explains that the Greek Revival style was called a democratic style, as every American was thought to have the ability to construct a beautiful example of it. “The Greek Revival Style was democratic because if you followed the original Greek proportions, any carpenter could produce a striking piece of architecture, without training or expensive technology.”
“The most striking part is the dramatic porch, which adds importance to the house, and importance to the occupants, says Kettlewell. “Every home in America became a ‘government building.’ Each person was a citizen. It was a style perfectly suited for the American concept of democracy…for the people, by the people.”
The Greek Revival is the first true expression of American architecture.
1 Franklin Square – $1,190,000
4 luxury 1 bedroom apartments upstairs with retail space on the main floor. The residential units can be used as extra income for a business who would like to own. View listing
About the Authors
Professor James Kettlewell graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude honors in the field of American Architecture. He began teaching at Harvard University and was a professor at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs for many years. He was also the curator at the Hyde Museum in Glens Falls. His book on Saratoga architecture (pictured above) is available at Lyrical Ballad bookstore on Phila Street in downtown Saratoga Springs and on Amazon. www.jameskettlewell.com | Get his book on Amazon