The Yund Home – Guy Park Avenue – A French spinner named Joseph Yund had come to Amsterdam, NY from France in the 1850s because his talent was in huge demand among Amsterdam’s burgeoning textile mills. By 1864, he was ready to go into business for himself, first starting a broom company and then a high-end furniture and cabinet making shop. His sons would go on to become partners in a prosperous Amsterdam knitting mill called Yund Kennedy and Yund, the ruins of which are still visible on Amsterdam’s Kline Street. It was Joseph’s son Theodore who built this lovely home on Guy Park Avenue in the mid 1870’s. It now houses the accounting offices of certified public accountant, Michael Zumbolo.
The Greene Home – Market Street – In 1856, William Greene and his partner John McDonnell started a small Amsterdam knitting mill on the site now occupied by the Kirk Douglas Park. It was the first knitting mill to operate in this city and it grew rapidly, eventually extending over 300 feet up the east side of Market Hill and becoming one of the largest employers in the city. William Greene died in 1870 and the business was taken over by his sons Elijah and Henry. Elijah passed away in 1876. It was Henry Greene who then proceeded to build this glorious home on the west side of Market Street across the street from the family’s mill. Unfortunately Henry also died before the construction was completed in 1881 and never got the chance to live there. Today the site serves as a Liberty group home for folks with special needs.
The Finch Home – Market Street – This beautiful Market Street residence was built by an Amsterdam physician named L.H. Finch in the 1920’s. It became better known as the long-time home of the Kelly family, who ran the Kelly Lumber business that used to be located on Edson Street. For the past fifteen years its been the home of the Sollecito clan. I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being inside this place recently and can bear witness to the fact that though its infrastructure has been completely updated with all the modern amenities, the current owners have done a superb job maintaining the original charm and elegance of this pristine home.
The Kellogg Home – Church Street – The S. Sanford and Sons Rug mill complex was neighbors with the Kellogg Linseed Oil so it only seemed natural that the heads of two of Amsterdam’s most successful manufacturing businesses would be residential neighbors as well. This elegant home built by Kellogg sits next to Stephen Sanford’s mansion (now the Amsterdam City Hall) just south of the former sites of their respective mills. I wonder if they ever walked up the hill to work together?
The Barnes Home – Market Street – This classic home on upper Market Street was the residence of John Barnes, an Amsterdam industrialist, banker and hotelier. Though a bit faded by time gone by, everything about this property; its tiled roof, its huge circular drive, its amazing sun room, the sleek mediterranean lines and rich landscaping exude an elegance that is not duplicated by any other property in this city.
What are my picks for this city’s other five all-time top ten most distinguished looking homes? You’ll have to wait until my full Amsterdam All-Time Top Ten book comes out later this year to get a look at them.
Once a month, I will be sending out a newsletter that includes a portion of the All Time Amsterdam Top Ten Lists I happen to be working on at the time. I will also use this monthly newsletter to announce the topics for upcoming Top Ten Lists and welcoming readers to put forth their own nominations for these compilations. If you’d like be included, please add your e-mail address here.