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.

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