In The News



PLATTSBURGH — Phase one of the historic 1888 Samuel F. Vilas Home expansion is now complete and will soon be providing residents access to a wider range of personalized care services and modern amenities.

“It’s a real honor to be the person who is behind this addition and pushing the legacy of the Vilas Home forward. This is a very special building,” Owner Eli Schwartzberg said at the ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.

“It’s a landmark in the City of Plattsburgh. Generations of people have enjoyed this over the last 136 years. I’m just a small blip on the radar of this great home and I feel honored to be the shepherd.”



Eli and his wife, Emily Schwartzberg, purchased the historic adult home, located on the corner of Cornelia and Beekman Streets in Plattsburgh, from its not-for-profit board in 2019 with a plan to modernize and expand the offerings so that the Vilas Home could be competitive in the marketplace for today’s seniors.

To make that plan come to fruition, a two-phase expansion project for the home kicked off in the fall of 2020.

Now, four years later, the phase one end result is a newly constructed three-story residence — attached to the 1888 historic building — with 70 fully furnished assisted living rooms, including spacious studios with kitchenettes; all of which feature private bathrooms with walk-in showers, an emergency call bell system and in-room personal heat and A/C units.

“I’d love to take credit for all this, but this project and this building is bigger than any one person, and the people who really deserve all the credit here — I mean this from the bottom of my heart — are the people that work here every day: now and for the last 136 years,” Eli Schwartzberg said.

“One of the most proud things that Emily and I have in buying this home four years ago is that we still have employees that have worked here for over 25 years, who have survived the change of ownership, and now, we’re moving into a new building with some of those staff. People who know anything about care, a building is beautiful, but it’s only a beautiful building. People are here and people’s parents or grandparents are here, and they trust us and Emily and I take that responsibility very seriously … we really care.”


Eli and Emily Schwartzberg also own and operate the Champlain Valley Senior Community (CVSC), an enhanced assisted living and memory care community in Willsboro.

The couple opened CVSC in 2013 after an extensive and historically sensitive renovation of the former Willsboro Grade School.

Both CVSC and the Vilas Home are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The original Vilas Home, which was built in 1888 for aging widows, was established with a basic adult home license that dictates that residents with increasing care needs must move on to a higher level care facility even though the individual may be socially appropriate for a less restrictive setting.

Now, residents who require skilled nursing services such as transfer assistance, diabetic care, incontinence care and management as well as medical equipment management, among others, may remain at the Vilas Home and receive those additional services under the home’s new enhanced assisted living license.

This license will allow people to “age in place” at the new Vilas Home, Eli Schwartzberg said.

“In the old Vilas Home, if people needed more care, they’d have to go to a nursing home. and now, if they need more care, they can stay in the same room, just the caregiver’s skill level changes,” he said.

“People will still go to a nursing home if they become medically complicated, but if they aren’t medically complicated, we will do end-of-life care here. We couldn’t do that before under the old license.”


Services at the new home will also include 24/7 personal care assistance, medication management, daily meals and snacks, laundry and housekeeping services, case management services as well as local transportation.

As there are a few finishing touches that need to be made around the building, residents will be moving into the new expansion building in about two weeks, he said.

“We know that these improvements at the Vilas Home will help local families keep their loved ones in the community and will also revitalize a beautiful, historic building in the process,” Eli Schwartzberg said.

“Our residents are anxious to move to the new building and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them.”

“The Vilas Home has a long and meaningful history in the Plattsburgh community and we’re proud to be a part of this exciting chapter and bring enhanced assisted living services to Plattsburgh,” Emily Schwartzberg said.

“It’s important to us to continue the Vilas family legacy and provide a modernized, safe and beautiful home where aging seniors can receive great care from our dedicated staff. We know our residents are excited to move over in a few weeks and we’re looking forward to welcoming them.”


With phase one now complete, the overall project is about 65% of the way done, Eli Schwartzberg said.

He said they will be starting phase two, which will complete a historically sensitive renovation of the 1888 Vilas Home building into two, secure memory care units as well as add more assisted living rooms and common spaces, once the historic home is vacated.

Currently, the Vilas Home features a grand two-story dining room, an ice cream parlor, and a salon, among other amenities.

As part of the phase 2 construction, additional amenities, including a physical therapy gym with a therapy pool, an activities room, library and a new main entrance and lobby with four-season porches, as well as an outdoor courtyard with a walking loop, will become available.

When phase two is complete, which is projected for next year, the Vilas Home will also up its room total to 109.

A new front entrance on the Cornelia Street side, under a yet-to-be-constructed carport, will also be a part of the phase two construction.

“Phase two is exciting, because that’s going to be the connection to the City of Plattsburgh,” Eli Schwartzberg said.


Project financing is being provided by Champlain National Bank in partnership with Glens Falls National Bank and Community Bank in addition to private investment.

The Vilas Home is also the recipient of a PILOT through the Clinton County IDA and has partnered with the Plattsburgh Housing Authority and the City of Plattsburgh to receive a Community Development Block Grant.

“We couldn’t do this without all the community partners and especially the staff, some of which have been here 25 years,” Eli Schwartzberg said.

“It’s really special to have those people still be a part of the Vilas Home.”