The Albany City Hall before the current one

old 1832 Albany City Hall postcard

A "full length statue of Alexander Hamilton" reportedly stood inside the building.

Albany's city hall kind of looks like it's been perched on the hill across from the Capitol forever. But the current building "only" dates back to 1883. And as you know, Albany is much older than that.

That postcard above -- courtesy of the Albany Postcard Project -- depicts the Albany city hall that stood before the current one and did so on the same site. (It was itself a sequel of sorts.) It was built in 1832 and made it half a century before it burned down in 1880.

A description of the building from Bi-Centennial History of Albany (1886) by George Rogers Howell and Jonathan Tenney:

It was begun in 1829 the ground having been purchased of St Peter's Church for $10,259.95. [About $234,360 in 2016 dollars.] August 31, 1830 the corner stone was laid by Mayor John Townsend with Masonic ceremonies. The building was completed in 1832 at a total cost of about $92,000. [About $2.24 million in 2016 dollars.] It was a comely and commodious structure built of white marble with an entrance porch supported by four Doric columns simple in their classical dignity. On the roof was a gilded dome somewhat similar to the present State Hall. There was but little of ornamentation to the interior of the building yet the artistic was not wholly wanting. A full length statue of Alexander Hamilton stood in the center of the upper hall between the Court room and the Common Council Chamber. Upon one side of this hall was a bas relief of DeWitt Clinton with a view of the primitive canal boat in the distance and on the opposite wall a similar figure of Sir Walter Scott in like style of art. The origin of the fire that destroyed the building in February 1880 is among the unsolved mysteries. The most important papers and other matters of value were rescued from the flames.

[inflation figures via]

The architect of this city hall was Philip Hooker, who was from Albany and designed many buildings in the area. Among those works: The former Albany Academy building -- now owned by the Albany school district -- just across Eagle in Academy Park.

Speaking of old buildings that once stood near there...
The first Albany High School building once stood just to the north on Eagle Street -- roughly where the Albany County Courthouse is today -- and was quite the looker. It was also designed by an Albany-famous architect, Edward Ogden.

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