Lower Lancaster Street

This could be an interesting look into Albany not-so-long ago past: WMHT will be showing the 1981 documentary Lower Lancaster Street this Thursday at 7:30 pm. Blurbage:

LOWER LANCASTER STREET is a documentary film that focuses on the gentrification of a rundown block in Albany that was being taken over by the middle-class at the expense of the working-class and the unemployed. Produced over the course of an entire year beginning in 1980, the film captures the transformation that took place in the decade following the completion of the Empire State Plaza where areas close to the newly constructed New York State office buildings were largely purchased by those in the middle class who displaced a predominantly working poor population who had made these neighborhoods their home. LOWER LANCASTER STREET originally appeared on PBS stations across the United States as part of the US CHRONICLE series which was hosted by Jim Lehrer.
LOWER LANCASTER STREET was produced in a cinema verite style by Steve Dunn, who lived on Lancaster Street at the time while working as a cameraman for the iconic public television series, INSIDE ALBANY. LOWER LANCASTER STREET was narrated by INSIDE ALBANY host, David Hepp. Mr. Hepp has now recorded a new on-camera introduction and conclusion for the documentary to take the place of what Jim Lehrer recorded almost 35-years-ago.

That a short trailer embedded above. WMHT says it hasn't shown the doc in more than 30 years.

If you're a WMHT member, you can watch the entire 30-minute doc online at that first link above.

Lancaster now...
Here's the Google Street View (captured July 2017) of that same block depicted in the thumbnail of the embedded trailer.


Actually, Albany needs more gentrification, more middle class people, otherwise how will we pay for the 200 million dollar high school we don't need, or the 30 million in improvements to the palace theatre or the salaries for the relatives of all the pols ... Oh my , how will we do it?

I have to agree with Brainiac on this one. This is especially the case now that the Trump administration will probably cut federal grants to cities and municipalities, especially in blue states, and that residents blue states will be paying higher federal taxes. The city needs more internal wealth to fund its services because federal decay will force us to become more self-sufficient. Cities in red states like South Carolina, however, will still get lots of federal transfers like they always have.

So let me get this right...in order to have a nice place to live and to pay for things a person or a town or a city needs to create wealth??? No wonder we have a problem with thoughts like the above!!!!!

Sorry B.S.. But it comes down to economics. It costs money to clean and maintain road and schools and all those other things that we enjoy. If people with money buy houses and pay property taxes that cab happen.

Our family is watching, eagerly for the "200 million dollar high school we don't need"

Because when I graduated from AHS in 1997 is was in DIRE need of a complete overhaul.

I can't figure it out. We say we want to give our kids everything we can for them to succeed. We know environment influences behavior. We know that Albany has some of the highest need kids in the area, many with god awful and heartbreaking home lives, we know the city must compete with it's suburban neighbors for schools that attract and retain families. But when it comes time to provide financial support for these facilities, everyone shrinks away. It's sad when you stop and think about it.

Yeah I know it comes down to economics.....would Love Love Love to see the mayor of albany or the common council or anyone start talking about REAL economic development and landing some major private employers to provide the jobs, that provide the money, that provide the nice schools and roads, that provide the.......fill in blank. Can’t just keep redistributing and taxing and hoping the budget balances and the “feds” give more or the “state” helps out.....I honestly think Albany is either a.clueless and unaware of what drives an Economy or b. Apathetic and don’t care or c. Purposefully preventing real economic growth so as to keep the status quo with the massive state government . It breaks my heart to see such a potentially incredible small city linger around like Bart Simpson just doing enough to get by.

BS - what can Albany do for a private business? Especially in downtown, with uncertainty of 787 - no sane business would gamble on loosing highway access...
Latest big chance for Albany was, from my perspective, when East Greenbush was supposed to be a site for what ended up as Global Foundries. Albany downtown would be within easy commute distance, and things could be interesting. But thanks to NIMBYs Malta was chosen - and the rest is history.

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