The oldest building in Albany -- the 285-year-old Van Ostrande-Radliff House, at 48 Hudson in downtown Albany (the photo on the right is from 2009) -- is now in the hands of the Historic Albany Foundation, the org announced today. It says the building was donated by Orion Enterprises LLC, a development company that had owned the building since 2005.
From the press release:
The 1728 date of the Van Ostrande-Radliff House was established in 2005 by dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, conducted by Lamont-Doherty Earth Sciences Laboratory of Columbia University. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a listed local landmark in the City of Albany. It is considered one of the most significant Colonial-era townhouses in the Hudson Valley.
The Van Ostrande townhouse was built just outside of the city's stockade and a few hundred yards from the site of Fort Orange. Johannes Van Ostrande was a member of the Common Council and sold the building to Johannes Radliffe, a shoemaker, in the 1750s. Number 48 Hudson was also used as the Jared Holt Wax Factory in the mid to late 1800s, and most recently served as Saul's Equipment for more than 50 years.
The building is now adjacent to empty land designated for the Albany convention center project. Plans for convention center -- if/when it moves forward -- have for years included preserving the building.
HAF says it's planning tours and fundraising for the building. Of its plans for the building: "Goals for the building are to have it habitable and possibly used as offices for likeminded agencies and organizations in the future."
Studying the tree rings in beams from old buildings is one of the tools used to nail down their ages. Similar studies have been used to figure out which house is the oldest in Schenectady.
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