Repairs, renovations complete at Broadalbin hotel

BROADALBIN-The historic Broadalbin Hotel is sporting a new look after renovations repaired the dilapidated structure outside.

Dave and Zoe Thompson, owners of the hotel and the 1854 Pub and Eatery inside, have spent the last two years renovating the exterior of the 150-year-old building, replacing the porch and columns after the building was damaged by ice and age.

“All the poles were replaced, [along with] the concrete deck, the ceiling, the balcony. The porch was damaged a couple years ago by ice and it knocked down a couple of pillars, so basically the entire front had to be replaced,” Dave Thompson said.

He said repairs to the front porch of the hotel cost about $160,000. More renovations are planned for the interior and the balcony.

Thompson said there was no difficulty in performing renovations, even though the building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Basically, we did not change any architecture throughout the hotel,” Thompson said.

The columns broke the same March 2011 day the state supported the building’s nomination to the register. In May 2011, the hotel was accepted.

Repairs in 2011 were originally held up by the insurance company’s requirement the hotel be brought up to code for wheelchair accessibility and footings for the piers, as well as repairing the damage, all while preserving its historical nature.

The hotel can trace its history back to 1854 when it was a smaller. brick building containing a glove store. In 1881, the wooden part of the building that stands today was added, and the building operated as a hotel and restaurant, Zoe Thompson said.

“The building has been used for a lot of different things, particularly in the late 1800s and early 1900s,” she said.

According to her, a hospital was opened in the hotel, leased by a Dr. H.C. Finch.

“He was going to cure alcoholism, he thought,” Zoe Thompson said.

A surgeon from Chicago, named Johnson, was brought in 1889 to serve there. According to the stories the Thompsons have heard, the town undertaker at the time would make frequent trips to the hospital for fatalities.

“Whatever he was doing to cure alcoholism wasn’t working out,” she joked. He was soon run out of town, she said.

On June 16, 1904, the building was reopened as the Kennyetto Inn. Over the years, the hotel has changed names and owners, until it settled in the Thompsons’ hands six years ago.

Arthur Cleveland can be reached at