The oldest building in Albany?

Le Canard.jpg

The oldest house in Albany? Not so fast...

By Katherine Stephens

The city of Albany is full of old buildings -- so which one is the oldest?

Simple question, right?

Well, it turns out the answer is a little complicated.

If you ask around, a lot of folks will tell you the oldest building in Albany is the one that houses Le Canard in Quackenbush Square. But a friend told me there's a house on Hudson Street, near the Times Union Center, that's even older.

So I headed to the Historic Albany Foundation to try to settle the matter.

48 HudsonIt turns out my friend was right. Technically the oldest building in Albany is at 48 Hudson Avenue (that's a photo on the right, you can see a larger version by clicking on it). There have been a lot of additions made to the building over its lifetime, but parts of the original structure date back to 1728. It was originally a house for the Radcliffe family and sat alongside an early public green called Liberty Park. More recently it served as the building for the Saul Equipment Company, which sold restaurant supplies. Currently, it's empty and under renovation.

Of course, this being Albany, there's more to the story. 48 Hudson's age was only discovered a few years ago. Until then, the Quackenbush House was considered the oldest structure in the city -- built somewhere between 1736 and 1746. It's possible that Quackenbush could be older than the Hudson building, but the folks at Historic Albany say it's tough to get a date-able sample because the Q House is made of brick (historic houses are often dated by studying the wood used in their construction). The house is lucky to still be in the running for oldest building -- it was nearly torn down in 1969 for an I-787 off-ramp. It was saved from demolition by several historical societies and is now owned by the by the Albany Local Development Corporation.

But, wait, there's more: 48 Hudson just happens to sit right on the proposed location for the Albany convention center. If the project ever does go forward, the convention center authority's plans include the preservation of 48 Hudson.

Earlier on AOA: The oldest house in Saratoga Springs

Find It

The oldest building in Albany?
48 Hudson Ave
Albany, NY 12207

Comments

That's interesting stuff. I wish they would hurry up and decide what they're doing with the convention center, because seeing the building on Hudson in that state is pretty sad.

Nice reporting Katherine! The building next to 48 Hudson looks pretty darn old too. It's fun living in a city that's full of history.

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

The softer side of the crow collective intelligence

Very much farther afield: An eight-year-old girl in Seattle started regularly feeding the crows in her neighborhood -- and now the crows leave her gifts.... (more)

Leaning toward renting

Last week we wrote about one of the residential conversions in progress in downtown Albany. As is so often the case, a prominent thread in... (more)

Black and Blue

You might have heard that the former 99 Restaurant building on Western Ave near Fuller Road in Guilderland is being rebuilt into a steak house... (more)

The Country of Ice Cream Star at Nortshire Saratoga

Could be interesting: The author of the new novel The Country of Ice Cream Star, Sandra Newman, will be at Northshire Saratoga Friday evening. The... (more)

The quiet is close

One of the good things about the Capital Region is that you don't have to travel all that far to go hiking, experience some natural... (more)

Recent Comments

When I used to bus-commute in another city, there was a similar smart card system and it was AWESOME. On/Off time was significantly decreased, so buses were even a little more timely. I hope this pilot goes smoothly because the faster this gets implemented, the better for bus riders. This is good news!

Scheduled for arrival: BurgerFi

...has 8 comments, most recently from mg

Place game: the eyes have it

...has 4 comments, most recently from Danielle Sanzone

Morning Blend for Feb 26

...has 1 comment, most recently from Rich

CDTA Navigator

...has 3 comments, most recently from Rich

Residential rooftop solar options?

...has 13 comments, most recently from Megan Vanderhoof