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.

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