(Living Space) You Can’t Beat Living Downtown in the Summer
by Gloria Wright - Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
(Living Space) The Hogan Building in Armory Square

The apartment on the top floor of the Hogan Block Building in Armory Square is just 765 square feet. Tucked into that space are a large living room, galley kitchen, one bathroom and one bedroom with a walk-in closet.

“It’s fine. We’re only two, and we’re never here,” said Arthur Dessin, who lives at 247 W. Fayette St., with Julie Albanese.

The two looked at apartments with 1,100 and 1,200 square feet, but the spaces felt smaller.

“This looks bigger because of the ceilings,’’ he said.

The Hogan Block apartment of Arthur Dessin and Julie Albanese overlooks South Franklin street in Armory Square. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

The Hogan Block apartment of Arthur Dessin and Julie Albanese overlooks South Franklin street in Armory Square. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

The 12-foot-high ceilings are from the building’s past. It was built by attorney Thomas Hogan in 1895 to house a warehouse, retail business and a restaurant.
Now, the building houses Pastabilities restaurant, Mr. Shop clothing store, offices and apartments. The apartments were among the first living spaces to be developed in Armory Square, in 1985 and 1986.

Dessin and Albanese have lived in the Hogan Block Building for 11 months. Before that, they had an apartment above Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge, 321 S. Clinton St. They hope to move again, to another, quieter, apartment in the Hogan Block Building that overlooks an interior courtyard, not the street.

Although the view lately has been of hotel construction and street work, in the summer, the couple can see the outdoor tables at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub.

“You can’t beat living downtown in the summer,” Albanese said. “I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. … It’s convenient. You can walk to everything, including all the festivals in the summer.”

“And we get the view of the sunset,’’ Dessin said.

Arthur Dessin and Julie Albanese added their own touches to the kitchen of their Armory Square apartment, including the cabinet hardware and painting part of a wall with chalkboard paint. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

Arthur Dessin and Julie Albanese added their own touches to the kitchen of their Armory Square apartment, including the cabinet hardware and painting part of a wall with chalkboard paint. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

The couple pay $925 a month in rent, plus utilities, which average about $85 a month, Dessin said. Last month, they got the same rude surprise as many people in this cold winter: The utility bill jumped to $170.

Dessin, digital sales manager for CNY Central, and Albanese, a registered nurse at SUNY Upstate Medical University, eat out three nights a week and cook four nights a week. They love the addition of Alamo’s Food Market, which opened in late December at 128 Walton St.

“They have everything,’’ Albanese said.

The one-bedroom apartment in the Hogan Block building is 765 square feet. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

The one-bedroom apartment in the Hogan Block building is 765 square feet. (Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times)

Albanese is one of many nurses, doctors and medical students who call downtown home. She often sees her orthopedic surgeon on the elevator, she said.

Because the two work normal business hours, parking is generally not a problem. They often are coming home when many are leaving downtown to head home to the suburbs.

And, it’s not secret to those who live and work in Armory Square that the people who hand out parking tickets end their shift by 4:30 p.m.

Dessin and Albanese have no plans to leave downtown in the near future. Eventually, they plan to buy bar stools for the counter that separates the kitchen from the living room.

“As soon as we find something we can both agree on,’’ Albanese said.

 
Living Space is looking for interesting, unique apartments, lofts and residences in downtown to feature. If you would like to nominate a Living Space, please send an email with a low-res photo or two to: gwright@syracusenewtimes.com.

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