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J. Richardson Rowhomes on Water Street
The Water Street Rowhomes were built in the Second Empire style by Jackson Richardson for the management employees of his Richardson Shoe Company in 1877. They are built of shale brick furnished by J Phillip Weyer, who manufactured the bricks in his kilns on Newtown Creek on the east side of Elmira. They were among the first structures in Elmira to have both running water and artificial gas that furnished heat and light. The Richardson Shoe factory was located at the corner of Market Street and Railroad Avenue, and at its height produced roughly 1600 pairs of shoes and boots daily.
When we purchased this row of properties in 2011 they were in a state of severe disrepair, and had been vacant for many years. While it was unfortunate that so little of its original features were still intact, it allowed us to build brand new state-of-the-art apartments, with either original or recreated crown moldings, window and door frames, brick patterns, and high ceilings to give these otherwise very modern apartments a touch of Victorian grandeur. Although nearly identical, each of these three adjacent buildings have subtle variations. 391 is the smallest of the three, and contains four 1-bedroom apartments on the upper floors, with the first floor occupied by The Finger Lakes House Craft Beer & Wine. The other two buildings are entirely residential, with 395 containing six slightly larger 1-bedroom units, and 399 being the largest, boasting six 2-bedroom units. Each of the brand-new modern-styled kitchens feature granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, custom-built cabinetry, as well as a breakfast bar open to the living rooms. The bathrooms feature large tubs, tiled floors and walls, and lots of storage space. Other features of these buildings include maple hardwood floors throughout, exposed brick & unique light fixtures, spacious master bedrooms, ample closet space, and unrivaled views of the Chemung River from each apartment's private back deck. Additional amenities and utilities at this building include laundry in each unit, off-street parking, water, sewer, and trash collection.
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