Albany Archives Wellington Row Colorized BW original
Albany Archives Wellington Row Colorized

Wellington Row, a century ago, newly vibrant

Albany Archives Wellington Row colorized split BW

It's that row of buildings on the south side of State Street, just below the Capitol.

Check out this circa 1915 photo of Wellington Row on State Street in Albany that Albany Archives colorized. Here's a large-format "sliding" before and after photo.

We asked Matt Malette -- the man behind the curtain at Albany Archives -- how he figured out the colors from the black-and-white photo, which is from an archive at the Albany Public Library. "I went back through old postcards to see what colors the buildings were. If I couldn't find any extra guidance I winged it and made an educated guess on the shade of gray."

The (altered) facades of these buildings still stand today -- even if the rest of the original buildings don't. They were knocked down as part of the Wellington demolition, and they've since been replaced by new buildings fronted by old facades.


Old postcards are not a good source for information on historic colors. Most were colored by someone who never saw the subject building. Many turn of the century postcards were printed and tinted in Germany.

@Bill - I've seen at least one antique post card that shows the NYS Capitol with blue terra cotta tiles instead of the actual red.

While the colors of the postcard may not always be accurate, they are more accurate than guessing what shade of gray that brick could be. And while some postcards were printed and tinted in Germany, a large number were down right here in Albany and Mechanicville too. I trust those artists.

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