The EBA building on Lark Street is up for auction

Lark Street corner with Hudson Ave

You know the building.

For sale: Century-old Lark Street theater. Only two owners.

The building at the corner of Lark and Hudson that houses the dance company EBA, a staple of the neighborhood since 1977, is up for auction.

Collar City Auctions will be taking bids online for 351 Hudson Ave through March 2. The building's full-value assessment in city tax records is $518,400.

Maude Baum, founder of EBA, bought the building in 1977 from the Daughters of the Eastern Star, the women's arm of the Masons. She's been running the dance company and classes out of the space ever since. And she says the company will continue.

"There are lots of places to hold classes, there are lots of places to perform, there are lots of places to rehearse," said Baum. "I'm OK with it. I'm sort of at the point where it's time for a change."

Baum says the building was on the market a few years ago, but the only interest was from developers who wanted the land, but not the building. They soon discovered that demolishing the building would not be cost effective.

"It's built like a Mack truck," said Baum. "The beams are 15-inch metal studs so it's structurally sound. It's in excellent shape. We just finished shingling, there's a new boiler, and a new tin ceiling in the theater."

Baum said the company applied for a state Main Street grant, with a plan to put in apartments and offices, but it was turned down. So she's turned to an online auction.

"Who knows, maybe someone will buy the building and want to lease the space back to us, or share it with us somehow. Anything could happen."

maude baum holding lark street sign
As Baum told us a few years ago while reflecting on how Lark Street has changed during the last four decades: "The neighborhood is beautiful now compared to what it was. It still has a little bit of a weird attraction for the underbelly, but not anything like it used to.

We spoke with Baum a few years ago about how Lark Street had changed in the years since EBA opened its doors. She told us the presence of a theater and a performance company helped to change the fortunes of the street. Today she says she'd be happy to stay around Lark Street if the opportunity arose, though she realizes that changing times and the parking situation have made it difficult.

"When we started here in 1977, we were the only place for adults to take a dance class. Now there are lots of places."

She said the upkeep on the place just became overwhelming.

"When we moved in in 1977, we had $150,000 to pay employees. Now that kind of operations money is very difficult to come by."

For now, everything is operating normally at EBA. It's holding its regularly-scheduled rehearsals, performances, and classes until the bidding closes in March. After that, Baum said she and her board of directors are wide open to possibilities.

"Everything that has happened here is still in my heart -- all the artwork and performances -- they re still inside of me," she said. "What's the difference if you look at a photo here or you look at it someplace else."

She added, wistfully, about selling the building: "Apparently it's supposed to happen. It's just supposed to happen. And I'm OK with it."
____

Earlier on AOA
+ Lark Street, 35 years ago
+ Thinking about the future of Lark Street
+ Ideas for Lark Street's longterm future

Find It

EBA Building
351 Hudson Ave
Albany, NY 12210

Comments

Seems like a good space for a gym/fitness center.

Remember my uncle.the mayor of Lark St. Paul Kilmartin. Our family owned Kimberly diamond mines in south africa.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of autumn

Sunflower -- and sun. Enjoy the beautiful weekend.... (more)

Night of the Walking Red V

The League of Extraordinary Red Heads will once again gather at Ryan's Wake in Troy on October 4 for The Night of the Walking Red.... (more)

Troy history walking tours: Uncle Sam, ghost signs, wild women, mayhem

The Rensselaer County Historical Society has a handful of Saturday morning walking history walking tours of Troy coming up over the next few weeks. The... (more)

Checked in

Two bits from this Mike DeMasi story about SUNY Poly and its scandal-stalled plan to build a residence hall on/near its Albany campus: 1) Because... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Another gorgeous September weekend is ahead of us, filled with festivals, cider donuts, theater, haunted tours, and more. Our list is below -- pick your... (more)

Recent Comments

Imagine if a mixed use development - apartments, townhouses, restaurants, offices, a park - were built on the Rensselaer riverfront, and people on both sides could go to work and go out in either Albany or Renss, just by walking to a gondola station? If people had reason to traverse the Hudson - in both directions - for a reason other than commuting or getting to/from the train station, a gondola could be an awesome (and financially self-sustaining) idea, that also cuts down on the need for parking. ...

Checking out 5 Wits at Crossgates, and other Capital Region escape rooms

...has 5 comments, most recently from Lee

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 2 comments, most recently from EP

The Playdium redevelopment! Downtown residential! Neighborhood critics! And more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

...has 17 comments, most recently from cmm2581

Quick-scan primary election results 2017: Sheehan wins Albany Democratic mayoral primary

...has 12 comments, most recently from Bruce

Those plants in Washington Park are for admiring, not taking

...has 4 comments, most recently from Marco Romano