Partial collapse of neighbor to Albany's oldest building

scene of 50 Hudson Ave collapse

50 Hudson is the building to the right.

50 Hudson Ave in downtown Albany -- the building right next to Albany's oldest building, 48 Hudson, the Van Ostrande-Radliff House -- suffered what appeared to be a partial collapse Tuesday. Mayor Kathy Sheehan, who was on the scene, said demolition of the building would start today. [@Anyaon10]

Thanks to Sandy Johnston for passing along the photo above -- there are a few more after the jump. He's been posting a few updates from the scene on Twitter.

Historic Albany Foundation owns 48 Hudson, and Tuesday morning representatives were on the scene monitoring the situation. HAF's Nicki Brown told AOA that 48 Hudson was stable and the org is working with engineers to keep it that way.

Research involving the study of tree rings in timbers dated 48 Hudson Ave to 1728. And while 50 Hudson isn't that old, it's still had a long run -- HAF figures it dates back to the early 1800s. (City tax records have it pegged at 1855, but they become less reliable the farther back in history.)

You might remember that Historic Albany had a plan for 48 Hudson that involved the building becoming the new home of the Albany Distilling Co. That plan didn't end up getting funding through the last round of state regional economic development council awards. But Brown said HAF is still planning a restoration of the building that will restore its original footprint and some of its Dutch features with the goal of finding a modern use -- which could be as commercial space. The org is again applying for a state grant to aid the project.

What appears to be debris from collapsed floors inside the building:

50_Hudson_Ave_collapse_debris_Sandy_Johnston.jpg

Kathy Sheehan consulting at the scene:

50_Hudson_Ave_collapse__Kathy_Sheehan_at_scene_Sandy_Johnston.jpg

All photos by Sandy Jonhston. (Thanks, Sandy.)

Comments

50 Hudson briefly made the news years ago when a minister from the rescue mission found a 1920's Morphine stash in the attic. Who knows what else might fall out of the place when it gets knocked down?: http://www.upi.com/Archives/1987/11/18/History-laden-mission-housed-morphine/2773564210000/

That area is truly the epitome of urban blight. Chain link fencing, road equipment, and cracked asphalt parking lot. Can't forget the filthy armpit of a bus station.

SAD

I've always been fascinated by the story of the morphine suitcase found in the attic.

It appears that there is - soon to be was, unfortunately - an older building within the brick shell. The west wall shows the outline of a ghost building and the new crack seems to hint that it was a facade added over a previous structure.

It probably wasn't as old as its neighbor at 48, but it looks like it was a similar situation of an old building swallowed up by layers of additions and renovations over the years.

It's a shame to see another piece of a historic city's fabric vanish. The area between the bus station, 48 Hudson, and Liberty Park (the city's oldest green space) should be more than a wasteland of potholes and shabby lots.

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I'm concerned how much demolition is going on here. Too many important, historic buildings in Albany are already tagged with an 'X' and the city's approach seems to tear down and ask questions later. Not only are these homes part of the city's history but they are what makes this place unique and they should be treasured- not trashed. In addition, these structures are better built and will last longer than new construction. ...

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