409 Madison

409 Madison building Albany

Today's moment of architecture gawking: 409 Madison Ave in Albany, just east of Lark.

This rather handsome building is now condos. But it first served as a school after it was built in 1872 -- School No. 11. Its architect was Edward Ogden, who -- along with a few partners, including his son Charles -- designed buildings all over the city. In fact, you might recognize the style of the Kenmore Hotel on Pearl Street in this building -- they're both Ogden designs. [Proceedings of the Board of Education of the City of Albany, 1909] [Architects in Albany]

Another Ogden building in which there's an echo of the style, though in this case it's a Charles Ogden building: the former Albany Home Telephone Co. downtown. That building is now the City Beer Hall -- and was once a restaurant called... Ogden's.

Find It

409 Madison
409 Madison Ave
Albany, NY 12210


This is a longshot, but I've been looking for historic photos or lithographs of this building for some time, and all I've found is this photo from 1894 at low resolution. Has anyone seen others?

By purest of coincidence, Hoxsie today has a large-scale photo of another of Ogden's gems, the first Albany High School: http://www.hoxsie.org/2013/03/this-is-why-we-cant-have-nice-high-schools.html

I lived in that building in the late 90's . Top floor (top left window in that pic). I loved it. Except for the climb up the stairs after a long night of partying (6 flights).

Beautiful building, was that where Metroland was?

I grew up (and still live) in the house adjacent to this.

Somewhere in my old photo albums, I think I've got a black-and-white photo of several great-aunts standing outside the school when they were students there.

In the late 70s, the building was used as a school for people with mental disabilities. After that, it was empty for a time, but there were some free art classes for kids held there. I attended those for a while; I remember making paper-mache puppets one week and, one day, we had our faces painted and did skits as monsters. The lady in charge of the classes was better known as Cranberry The Clown and was quite sweet. Plus, it was fun to look out the windows and see my own backyard below.

There used to be a massive fire escape on the east side. It was rather scary when they removed it (around the time it was converted to condos) as there were constant showers of sparks flying into our yard and, on several occasions, large pieces of metal grating would dangle overhead.

@mg Metroland was next door to this building (to the left in the photo above) in the old police station. That building is currently being converted into apartments.

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