A rabbit hole of Albany historical images

albany the way it was Flickr group composite

A few images from the group.

After that post earlier this week with vintage postcards of Albany, Julie O'Connor pointed out an "Albany... The Way It Was" Flickr group that she administers. The photostream is jammed with all sorts of historical images from the Albany area -- old photos, advertisements, illustrations, news clippings.

And it just keeps going and going. This morning we kept scrolling through as we recognized places that still exist (if not with the same use), gawking at buildings no longer standing, considering plans that never materialized.

A quick sample of things that caught our eye:

+ A photo of The Egg being constructed.

+ A photo from a tollgate on the Albany Turnpike on South Pearl in the 1890s.

+ A photo from Broadway in the 1860s.

+ An aerial photo of 787 being constructed.

+ A news clipping about a Swan Street bridge that was never built.

+ A photo from an Albany Medical School operating theater in the 1940s.

+ A photo of the old Maiden Lane Bridge and the yacht club along the Hudson River. A photo of the yacht club in the 1930s. And a yacht club postcard.

+ A photo of the old Washington Park lake house.

+ A photo of a streetcar on Western Ave near Manning Blvd.

+ A photo of the Albany riverfront in the 1950s.

+ A then-and-now from Central Ave near Quail.

+ A news clipping about a proposed expansion of the apartments -- and a retail strip -- along Buckingham Pond (it didn't happen).

+ A photo of the Nemith car dealership at Latham Circle in the 1950s.

+ An ice cream shop/gas station on New Scotland in Bethlehem in the 1950s. (Is that the Tollgate?)


Absolutely one of my favorite Facebook groups...which is not exactly a surprise!

Hippies invading Tulip Fest is my favorite so far!


Also, yes. I am almost certain that last picture is the Tollgate.

A lot of talk and sadness lately about how Albany used to be. People are realizing that the suburban sprawl life that we have created for ourselves isn't the best way to live. The vibrancy of a healthy city is incomparable to the cul-de-sac nation we have created.

I'm nominating the photo from the Albany Medical School operating theater in the 1940s as the creepiest photo of the month.

If there is one clipping there that truly represents the spirit of the city it is this one:


"The bank has asked the Albany Building and Zoning Appeals Board for permission to demolish four buildings between Mechanic's and Farmers Bank, and McManus & Riley. State Bank owns the property between, occupied, by Nunn-Bush Shoes, Green's office supplies, Fuhrman's Jeweler's and Reed's Clothing. State Bank would pave the area and erect an ornamental wall in State St. Using only the existing entrance to its James St. parking lot."

And of course today, as the bankers wanted, it is a parking lot. Check out that "ornamental wall."

I need someone to photoshop a box of Junior Mints into the operating theater picture.

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