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Week of January 31, 1969 – 50th Anniversary News Series

Week of January 31, 1969

50th Anniversary News | Saratoga Springs, NY

series by Mary Flanagan, Associate Real Estate Broker & lifelong Saratogian

519 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY: Currently home to Roohan Realty and other local businesses, this historic building served as the city's movie theater for forty years from 1938 to 1978.

519 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY: Currently home to Roohan Realty and other local businesses, this historic building was actually a movie theater for forty years (1938-1978).

2019 marks Roohan Realty’s 50th year in business! We would like to take you back to 1969 and share what was happening in the news – locally and nationally. We’ve been having a great time reading old newspapers and hope you enjoy seeing the historic Roohan Realty connections as much as we do. Community involvement and public service have been ingrained in our business from the very beginning – a commitment that continues today. Check back every Thursday for a fresh flashback to 1969!

1. NYRA Raises the Travers Stakes

NYRA announces the 100th Running of the Travers will take place on August 16, 1969. The purse will be raised from $75,000 to $100,000:

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 27, 1969 accessed at

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 27, 1969 accessed at

2. Union Ave Shopping Center Seen As Threat

Headline news in January is a proposed shopping center on Union Avenue featuring a WT Grant store and a grocery store requiring a zoning change for a 15-acre parcel on the northeast side of Exit 14 of the Northway. Seen as a threat to downtown development, hundreds show up in protest to a meeting at the Holiday Inn:

proposed shopping center saratoga springs ny 1969

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 1969 accessed at

Speaking against the plaza included John T. Roohan, and  Former Mayor James Benton (father of Roohan REALTOR®, Chris Benton) and the Chamber of Commerce. The City Council voted 3/1 against it. Mayor James Murphy voted in favor. Voting against were Commissioners Kenneth King, James Gaffney, Rod O. Sutton (father-in-law of Roohan REALTOR®, Amy Sutton) Commissioner James Foley was absent. Read the story

3. BOCES Groundbreaking Set for Spring

A March 1 groundbreaking ceremony for the new BOCES building on Henning Road is announced by Superintendent F. Donald Myers. Read the BOCES announcement

Boces Henning Road Saratoga Springs NY 1969 construction photo

Photo: from The Saratogian, Apr. 16, 1969 accessed at

4. Saratoga County Eyes $3M Infirmary

saratoga springs ny eyes new $3 million infirmary in 1969

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 31, 1969 accessed at

5. FHA Announces Affordable Housing Program

The FHA announces a home buying program that will enable people to purchase homes with as little as $200 down. This is the hot topic of discussion at the Saratoga Springs Urban Renewal Agency luncheon held at the Holiday Inn, attended by 50 URA directors with guest speaker, Robert Wolfe, of the Albany Federal Housing Administration office:

saratoga springs urban renewal luncheon 1969 robert wolfe fha

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 29, 1969 accessed at

The mortgage limit is set between $15 and $17,500 depending on the area; the maximum for Saratoga Springs is $16,500. At the meeting, Wolfe points out that the homes purchased under this program will not be set apart or carry the stigma of low income projects, but that the key to its success is cooperation from banks…many of which are reluctant to act as mortgagees due to the low interest rates and paperwork involved. Full story here: 50 URA Directors Hear Talk

6. What’s On the Big Screen

Kirk Douglas “gives the kiss of death” in The Brotherhood (1968), playing at the Saratoga Springs Community Theater at 8PM:

the brotherhood playing at saratoga springs community theater 1969

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 29, 1969 accessed at

7. Blaze = Bargains at Local Shop

Raymond’s Bootery – one of the four Broadway businesses involved in a fire earlier this month – is making the best out of their bout of bad luck by having a “Smoke Damage Sale!”

raymonds bootery saratoga 1969 smoke damage sale ad

Source: The Saratogian, Jan. 29, 1969 accessed at

8. The Beatles “Raise the Roof”

The Beatles climb atop the roof of a five story London building (their recording company’s headquarters) with instruments in tow to give a 42 minute impromptu concert:

the beatles 1969 rooftop concert london

Source: Wikipedia

The event is filmed for their upcoming documentary, Let It Be, and the “rooftop concert” will later be known as their last ever public performance.

9. Autos’ “Baby Brother” Brings Fun Back to Winter

The media is buzzing about a “little gasoline horse” that is changing winter play — the snowmobile:

saratoga scene 1969 image of a little gasoline horse aka snowmobile

Source: Saratoga Scene, Jan. 31, 1969 accessed at

Read the Saratoga Scene’s report on how the “snowmobile hath ungloomed winter” here: Saratoga Scene – Jan. 31, 1969

10. House of the Week

Design Z-78 – which might sound like a top-secret military aircraft of the 60’s – is actually this week’s House of the Week. Architect, Herman H. York, describes the interestingly-named abode as a modified French Provincial ranch that works as a compromise for buyers who want a home that’s a little “extra,” but can’t necessarily pay a little extra:

saratoga scene house of the week january 31 1969 a modified provincial ranch

Source: Saratoga Scene, Jan. 31, 1969 accessed at

With its hip roof, evenly-sized windows with special shutters and cornice moldings, it is slightly more elegant and sophisticated than a traditional ranch. View the story and floor plan here: Saratoga Scene – Jan. 31, 1969


mary beth flanaganMary Flanagan is an Associate Real Estate Broker at Roohan Realty with over 30 years of experience as a licensed REALTOR® specializing in residential real estate. A lifelong resident of Saratoga Springs, NY, Mary is extremely knowledgeable about not only Saratoga’s real estate market, but also its history and the community as a whole. She is an active board member for Racing City Rotary Club and U.S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site, and served on the Saratoga Springs Board of Appeals from 1994 to 2004. In her free time, Mary enjoys researching and writing about Saratoga’s history; she authored Roohan Realty’s Saratoga Centennial blog series in 2015 and is currently working on an Anniversary News series to commemorate our company’s 50th year in business this year (2019). View Mary’s bio & current listings

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