Albany is an old place -- roughly 400 years old, depending on how you're counting. So it's going to have some old buildings. But how many? And which buildings? And how old?
There weren't good, comprehensive answers available to those questions until this week. On Tuesday the Historic Albany Foundation released the results of a year-long survey cataloging city buildings constructed before 1860.
And there were a lot! HAF, working with historians Don Rittner and Walter Wheeler, found more than 1,000 buildings for the list. And about 15 percent of them hadn't previously been listed on a historic register.
Historic Albany has posted results of the inventory online, and it's asking members of the public to suggest buildings that should be on the list.
Well, you know how we are. So it probably won't surprise you that we pulled the list for some interactive maps and a few notes...
Top 10 oldest buildings in Albany
The Van Ostrande-Radliff House -- in downtown Albany near the bus station, #2 on this list -- has been considered the oldest building. And in many respects it still is. The building at the top of the list has only partially survived.
There are a few maps above in large format -- click or scroll all the way up: including a clickable map with details for each building, a "time-lapse" map, and a "heat" map.
A few things...
+ Most of the buildings in the inventory were built between 1825 and 1875. It's not surprising that were would be more buildings in the (relatively) newer end of the list. But it also might highlight a big population upswing over that time -- Albany went from having 12,630 residents in 1820 to 90,758 in 1890.
+ The buildings are largely clustered in parts of downtown Albany and surrounding neighborhoods. But there are a few scattered farther out. The most western building appears to be a house on McCormack Rd, near the Normanskill.
+ Fun fact about the Van Ostrande-Radliff House -- the 1728 date for it was determined using dendrochronology (the study of tree rings).
+ Curiosity and nerding out aside, Historic Albany says the building inventory will be a tool for preservation, helping to identify buildings that might otherwise get demolished or neglected because no one realized their historical significance.
HAF advertises on AOA.
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