One of the most legendary and historic buildings in the City of Utica is Olbiston Apartments building.

It has been undergoing a major renovation and the Mayor of Utica gave residents of the city a sneak peek at all the progress that is being made.

A Brief History Lesson

According to Liberty Affordable Housing Inc., the 7-story apartment building is the former location of the Genesee Flats.

Gino Geruntino, WIBX
Gino Geruntino, WIBX

The structure was constructed in the late 1800s and was completely destroyed by fire four years after its initial construction.

After the devastating blaze, the Olbiston Apartments were constructed in its place. It took two years to complete the Olbiston and it was finally reopened to residents in 1898.

Fell into Disrepair...

Unfortunately, over the years the building began to decay and the conditions within became horrific.

People living at the Olbiston had to deal with everything from roaches to rats and who knows what else.

It was finally declared unlivable in July of 2021 and all of the tenants who lived there were forced out.

At the time, Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri, who is still mayor until Michael Galime takes office in January of 2024, made various attempts to contact ownership of the building but unfortunately deemed in no longer habitable.

That is when Liberty took over and began their multi-million dollar project.

Restoring Efforts Continue

With any project of this magnitude a lot of money, time and resources have gone into revitalizing this once great property.

While some have criticized the nature of the removal of existing tenants, the end result appears to be one that will have a positive impact on the city and those in need of affordable and quality housing.

When it is all said and done, hopefully Liberty will have restored the structure and will have the ability to keep it clean and habitable for another hundred years to come.

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After more than two years of construction on the Olbiston Apartment building, Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri is giving citizens a peek behind the curtain at the extensive renovations being done.

Gallery Credit: Andrew Derminio

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