A state-owned mansion in Auburn that served as the home of wardens and superintendents of Auburn Correctional Facility for 80 years was sold at auction Tuesday to a local construction firm.
The "Warden's Home," a stately three-story residence at 67 South St., fetched $132,000 at auction from the highest bidder, Auburn contractor Bouley Enterprises.
According to Heather Groll, a spokesperson for the state Office of General Services, the selling price for the 8,800 square foot mansion was $7,000 above the minimum bid of $125,000. Two registered bidders vied for the historic home.
Bouley Enterprises President Dan Bouley said the purchase price was a welcome discount from the current $366,500 assessment.
"We walked through it yesterday and kicked around some ideas about what purpose we could use it for," he said. "We expected the price to be in the $200,000 range, so we were very pleased and felt that at that price we were definitely willing to take the risk and purchase it."
Bouley said he and his siblings sharing ownership in the company aren't exactly sure how they'll use the newly acquired property, but they will strive to maintain the historic integrity of the home.
"We're consulting with architects familiar with historic properties before we decide the best way for us to proceed," he said. "We're going to do necessary renovation and repair work and then we'll consider whether to resell it as a single family home or possibly some kind of multi-unit apartment. Whatever we decide, it doesn't change our direction of preserving it as a historic landmark."
The Warden's Home was originally built in the 1840s by Amasa Curtis and was owned in the 1880s by local merchant E. Delevan Woodruff, who added a number of its most luxurious features, including a ballroom on the third floor, seven Italian marble and tile fireplaces and hand-carved woodwork.
After safety concerns raised by a prison riot, the state purchased the house in 1931 to house ACF's wardens.
A second, more modest property at 5 Harvard Ave, also sold at auction Tuesday by the state.
The ranch-style home previously used to house assistant prison administrators sold for $110,000. The highest bidder out of 10, whom Groll did not name, reached that figure after starting with a $65,000 minimum bid.
Groll said the purchaser plans to use the home as a private residence.
This year New York hopes to shed 23 residences formerly used to house prison administrators and other property related to the corrections department in an effort to streamline operations and reduce costs.
"This is a win-win for the state and the Auburn community for several reasons," Groll said. "The first is that these properties will no longer be maintained at a cost to state taxpayers and instead will be put to use and returned to the tax rolls."
She said it will take about three months for the state to finalize the deals with the new buyers.