The Johnes Holden Home for Aged Couples, located at 11 Old Balmville Road in Newburgh, closed over five years ago and was purchased by Phil DeAngelo in mid 2018. DeAngelo held a new vision for the 33,600 square-foot space, one that was thoughtful of the original architects.
DeAngelo owns Focused Wealth Management, an investment advisor firm, and it was brought to his attention that the property on Old Balmville Road was for sale.
“It was a gorgeous building,” said DeAngelo. “I had been looking for a home for our firm for the past ten years. Then, I got involved with the history of the building.”
Newburgh native Francis Abreu designed and B. Maynard Higginson built the infrastructure in the early 1930s.
“The late Mary B. Johnes’ vision of a home for the aged was fulfilled Monday when the doors of the Goldsmith D. and Mary B. Johnes Memorial Home on the Balmville Road were opened for the first time,” read the Newburgh News’ Tuesday, October 9, 1934 edition.
Mrs. Johnes left the property behind as a memorial to her late husband, Goldsmith D. Johnes. At the time it was able to house 30 people.
Newburgh Free Library’s historian Heather H. Georghiou confirmed that the property had only ever been used as an old person’s home.
However, DeAngelo knew right away that he wanted to purchase the property and also have other tenants. The renovations began in 2019.
“Phil certainly wanted to make sure the plan was what he envisioned,” said Project Manager Jim Connelly. “Early stages with architectures and site planners took time. Demolition and construction of the interior began in spring of this year.”
When the property was occupied as the more recent Johnes Holden Home, it held around 50 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.
During the renovation, 500,000 pounds of demolition was removed, mostly from the bedrooms and bathrooms.
“We needed high tech office space,” said DeAngelo. “And, after COVID, we wanted to be fully compliant with the air quality systems, no touch bathrooms and all of that.”
The building had no air conditioning system when purchased. They are equipping the building with the proper HVAC systems.
Everything inside was restored to the original wood. Thirty-six layers of paint were taken off the walls. The steel-case windows “which were a fixture of Abreu’s design,” were also restored to be brought back to the original metal and original brass with the help of Peekskill’s Seekircher.
Additionally, they found a pathway made out of rose bricks, from the local company Roseton Brick, that was overgrown for years.
“Phil had those bricks painstakingly scraped and cleaned just so they can be used,” said Connelly. “We used every single brick throughout the building.”
Renovations also included a parking lot, which wasn’t originally there.
“We talked to three engineering firms until we found the right engineer that respected the property,” said DeAngelo. “Not only did Francis Abrue design the building and Maynard Higginson built it, but Professor Hugh Finley … planted every single tree on that property.”
In the process of laying the parking lot, they were able to save around 40 trees. The property is seven acres.
Randy Florke is the interior designer for the space.
“No one goes out and shops for 1933 historical pieces, and there’s very few of them around,” said DeAngelo. “Randy Florke was able to find the colors and the materials.”
The space will include hand drawn maps of the Newburgh area that mirror the original delft tiles.
The two and a half year project expects to come to a close around late-September.
The other tenants in the building are accounting firm PKF O’Connor Davies and law firm Northrop & Stradar.
“We made the most high tech office facility in all of Orange County,” said DeAngelo.