Historic house moved out of flight path

Nothing is allowed to be in the way when a plane is ready for takeoff.

Especially not a house with more than 2,146 square feet of living space.

That is why the Albany International Airport Authority had to make a drastic move when they learned a house owned by them, which was on a national list of historic places, was in the flight path.

The house, known as the Ebenezer Hills Jr. Farmhouse, has a history dating back to at least 1785. Colonie Town Historian Kevin Franklin said the lack of paper artifacts recovered from the house makes it difficult to tell definitively when it was constructed and who occupied it, but he estimated that it was built between the years 1785 and 1800.

Since then, the house had remained in the very same location until last week.

According to Doug Myers, public relations representative for the Airport Authority, the house needed to be moved 220 feet in order to comply with federal airport regulations.

There are federal regulations so far as the flight paths are concerned," said Myers. "It has to do with the heights and proximity and what would happen if the plane had to come in at a slight angle."

Myers said that this only became an issue within the last year when federal regulations became more intensive. To accommodate the regulations, the house was placed on lifts and moved by a bulldozer in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Aug. 5.

Franklin said the house has likely grown over the years as it passed from owner to owner.

"The house, itself, probably grew in some stages at one point," he said. "It may have been a much smaller home originally."

Franklin said that had the house not been protected by the historic list, it probably would have been knocked down when airport officials realized it was in the way of the flight path.

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