first Albany High School 1900
The bricks were a dark red, according to an old postcard. / photo: Detroit Publishing Co via Library of Congress

first Albany High School 1900 tall
photo: Detroit Publishing Co via Library of Congress

Albany's first high school

first Albany High School 1900

A bit more handsome than the current building.

Because of all the talk about the vote over what to do with the current Albany High School, we thought we pull out some photos of the city's first high school building. Here's a larger version, along with a different view.

The building was constructed on Eagle Street, roughly where the Albany County Court House now stands, in 1876. And it was designed by the Albany-famous architect Edward Ogden (he also designed the Kenmore Hotel on Pearl Street, and you might notice some similarities). Carl has the backstory of the building over at Hoxsie.

By the early 1900s, with enrollments in the 700-800 student range -- there was a push to replace it for reasons that will sound familiar. Again, Carl has the backstory at Hoxsie -- here's a clip from a 1909 resolution calling for a new building:

"Whereas, In its present overcrowded condition, it presents entirely inadequate facilities for the healthful study of the academic, commercial and industrial arts, lacking proper facilities in study hall and recitation rooms, cloak rooms and hall space, and has no adequate gymnasium or provision for lunch rooms, and, in its crowded condition, with its auditorium on the upper floor and by its intersecting and narrow halls, is a constant menace to the health and life of the pupils attending thereat ...

And it was replaced in 1913 by a new high school building on Lake Avenue between Western and Washington. That building is still there -- after the current high school was built it served as the Philip Schuyler Elementary School, and in recent years was sold to UAlbany.


Aww, thanks, guys! I think I'll just go by the nickname "Backstory" from now on.

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