Story and photographs by Stanley A. Johnson
Demolition on the buildings at 100-104 Jay Street in Schenectady continues this week following the fire earlier this month which killed at least four, injured several more and left dozens looking for new homes.
I did not know Harry Simpson, Robert Thomas, Berenices Suarez nor Jermaine Allen, who all died in the blaze. I did recognize James & Kristie Lynch, who lived at 100 Jay Street. They were volunteer security at almost every Alive at 5 concert for the last decade. James is always the first to tell you to get down if you attempt to get upon someone’s shoulders to see better.
The couple has had a particularly hard time settling down in the past year, winding up on Jay Street after being forced out of one of the two Colonie motels that are also currently being demolished, those for code violations.
Those two tall Jay Street buildings across from Schenectady City Hall have been home to hundreds, perhaps thousands of short and long-term residents over the years. The Gleason Building, 104 on the left, had an elaborate front full of faces and scrollwork.