Jump to the intro and notes.

Clickable map

Notes and other details via the Historic Albany catalog. Addresses for the buildings have been auto-geocoded, so there are bound to be some errors. (And, yep, the dates in the legend shouldn't have commas.)

Timelapse map

HAF albany building inventory map timelapse gif

Heat map

HAF building inventory map heat

Just sort of a groovy way of showing the "hot" spots for old buildings. (Generated using Google Fusion Tables -- there are a few buildings not represented.)

Albany's oldest buildings

The Van Ostrande-Radliff House is the oldest (still mostly there) building in the city.

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

HAF building inventory top 10 oldest table

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.

Maps

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...

HAF building inventory year built graph

+ 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.

Comments

Awesome! Can't wait to dig into this.

Right off the bat - what's with the three "buildings" to the immediate west of the Greyhound station? Satellite view shows only parking lots there. Perhaps the historic foundations still survive?

7 Alfred Street was built as the summer home of prominent Albany doctor Thomas Hun. The 40 acres he started clearing in the 1840s was called Buena Vista and included my house at 19 Golder Street which was either a caretakers house or his summer doctor's office. They were both built in the Gothic style and although the porches and windows have been removed from Alfred Street, a gothic shutter remains at the northern gable.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Approval for another large residential project in downtown Albany that could be the first of many notable projects, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

A row of buildings gone, except for one

A follow up of sorts about the old, beautiful Mechanics and Farmers Bank building at the corner of State and James in downtown Albany and... (more)

BUILT 2018 call for entries

This year's Historic Albany Foundation BUILT event -- "Albany's Architecture through Artists' Eyes" -- will be at the State Museum November 3. The annual fundraiser... (more)

"Gambling was the bedrock of every day of our lives growing up in Schenectady"

At the center of this Ringer profile of new Monday Night Football play-by-play man Joe Tessitore is an account of his childhood in/around Schenectady and... (more)

The Breeders at Upstate Concert Hall

Catching up a bit: The Breeders are set to play Upstate Concert Hall October 28. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $30 ahead /... (more)

Recent Comments

Who would have thought that the way to finally get Exit 3 made after 30+ years was to just name it 'Exit 4 II: The Other Exit 4'.

A row of buildings gone, except for one

...has 2 comments, most recently from Greg

BUILT 2018 call for entries

...has 1 comment, most recently from Pamela Howard

Debbie's Kitchen is returning (with Debbie)

...has 9 comments, most recently from BS

Morning Blend for Aug 17

...has 1 comment, most recently from ethan

The Movies Under the Stars series returns to Albany this summer

...has 3 comments, most recently from Elena