Inside/Outside: Finding a Sense of Place

Inside/Outside: Finding a Sense of Place (cover)

A Building Research Manual for Albany County

by Linda Stanley and Ellen Manning

A guide to researching the history of a building: when it was built, the changes and additions to the structure over the years, and information on its past occupants. This finding aid includes a manual illustrating how to conduct the research as well as guide to those records stored at the Hall of Records used in the research.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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	Researchers Linda Stanley and Ellen Manning began work on the draft 
for this manual ten years ago for the Bureau for Historical Services, 
a progenitor of the Albany County Hall of Records They gathered data on the 
many sources available for research and on interpretation of information 
for building histories.  Bob Arnold has been supportive of this project 
from its inception and without his guidance this material may have 
been lost.  He witnessed increased usership of archival records and the 
diversified reasons for their use as people came through his doors.  Bob 
felt the time was right to publish this useful tool and make it available 
for wider use. Tested. in practice by student volunteers and compiled 
originally by those exceptional researchers, Inside Outside will prove very 
handy for many people for a long time to come. My special thanks to Doug 
Sinclair who, without hesitation, provided me with artwork for the 
cover and assistance in proofing text.  John Merrill generously helped with 
technical assistance and guidance in putting the book together.  
	I want to thank several staff members for their support on this 
project: Annette M. Ward for data entry, Steven Lynch and John Sarkissian 
for photographs; and Jane Gundiach for proofreading.  I want particularly 
to recognize the owners of 208 Lancaster Street, Neil Cervera, Jr., and 420 
Broadway, William J. Coulson, Inc., for their permission in allowing use of 
their buildings as examples in this manual. 

Barbara Ruch Albany County Archivist August 1986


PREFACE

 
 
	Who were they? Where did they come from?  How many of them were 
there?  How did they make their livelihood?  How long did they utilize the 
structure?  These questions answered, are the history of a structure's 
occupancy and help explain original construction, modifications, or 
additions to the building.  Answered, they may help the property owner 
qualify for tax incentives, restore a property to a given period in time, 
discover in part the lost history of unknown, figurative ancestors, or 
permit sensitive adaptive reuse.  Finally, especially important in Albany 
County, in the City of Albany, the answers help to develop a sense of place, 
in the building, the neighborhood, the region.  In our often restless and 
mobile society, a sense of community, of belonging, combats insecurity and 
inculcates civic pride. 

Among the happiest and most practical uses of historical records are those by homeowners and property developers. They employ the recorded legacy of this community's builders, its citizens,and of the creators and preservers of historical records, and from that legacy create a sense of place. The story of an individual structure that is pieced together often reflects that of our community. What makes it different from other places? What makes it the same? In the research of a given building or in writing the history of a city or county, these questions are the essence of historical inquiry.

Robert W. Arnold III Executive Director, Albany County Hall of Records Director of Public Records, City of Albany Albany County Historian 1986


INTRODUCTION

	Researching the history of a building signals personal investment 
in the property.  With investigation, the property loses its anonymity.  
Records may reveal a long, dynamic and sometimes surprising pattern of 
change.  The researcher not only recovers relevant data from ordinary 
records but, as information is pieced together, the property owner 
personally may be caught up in discovering the unique history of the 
structure, and find changes not discernible by casual observation alone. 

In the last decade, the historic preservation movement fostered appreciation of Albany's special ambiance. The old building stock appealed to owners who saw value in the city's vernacular architecture, designed by local architects. As important as monumental structures, vernacular buildings frequently are more illustrative of the general development of a given neighborhood. Accurately placing buildings in historical context through research went hand in hand with restoring their facades; historic data supported decisions on what architectural features or ornamental details were original, and assured architectural integrity during restoration.

Existing along with the City of Albany's large collection of Victorian building stock is its immense collection of public records documenting Albany's built environment. The Archives of the Office for Public Records, City of Albany/ Albany County Hall of Records holds a most comprehensive collection of source materials and makes direct, unprocessed information accessible to the public. This manual provides step by step procedures for use of this information in compiling a written building history.

Barbara A. Ruch Albany County Archivist


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Writing the Building Report

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METHODOLOGY

 
	The building report, written when research is complete, utilizes 
information found in a variety of sources to form a cohesive history of that 
building.  In order to compile this history, the following method should be 
used: 

1. Observe the structure 2. Check architectural guidebooks for date of style 3. Collect tax assessment data 4. Gather necessary deed work 5. Compile data from city directories 6. Check maps 7. Check additional appropriate sources - i.e. census rolls, registers of voters, wills, building permits, common council minutes, and secondary and other sources.

The finished written history should include the following information:

Description of building Date of construction Wards in which the building has been located Known major alterations Names and occupations of all owners and occupants Uses the building has served Additional information that may be significant or interesting - i.e. biographical information of prominent owners, builders or architects; street name changes; development of the neighborhood.

Descriptions and methods for use of the sources are included in the following chapters of this manual, along with two sample building reports. The first sample report (#208 Lancaster St.) concerns a building which is historically significant within the context of its environment but which, as an individual structure, does not appear to require more than routine research. The second sample report (#420 Broadway) is more elaborately researched because of the historical significance of this structure. These reports illustrate the basic format of a written history, although it may be altered as the material dictates. Refer to the end of the reports for the procedure to be followed for footnoting.

Outside the scope of this manual is the architectural observation process and the specialized vocabulary used in describing style, decorative elements, and building materials. Insidel Outside concerns itself specifically, with the use of public records in preparing a building's history.

208 LANCASTER STREET

Number 208 Lancaster Street is located on the south side of Lancaster Street between Lark and Willett Streets. The property has been assessed in Albany's sixteenth ward (I 889 -1965) and fifth ward (1966-1986)1. The lot has been addressed as 208 Lancaster since 1890.2 On January 15, 1836, the Corporation of the City of Albany sold a portion of land to Henry Yates "known as lots 67, 68 and 69 as laid down in a map of the City by Evert Van Allen" of which 208 Lancaster Street was a part. The deed described the property as follows:

"... All that tract or parcel of land in the City of Albany, County of Albany bounded and described as follows: All those three lots of land situated in the formerly 10th ward in a block of lots bounded on the north by Lancaster Street on the east by Lark Street and on the south by lot #66. Known as lots 67,68 and 69 as laid down in a map of the city by Evert Van Allen each lot containing 33 feet front on Lark Street by 165 feet deep."3

Henry Yates sold the property to Thomas Pester in 1846.4 The premises were conveyed to Deborah Pester by Warranty Deed of Thomas Pester on April 20, 1849.5 On September 11,1866 Deborah Pester and William Pester, her husband, conveyed the property to Louis Kimball6 who in turn sold the property to Edwin Brainard on April 12, 1873. On April 6, 1888 Edwin Brainard sold the land to James Eaton8 who subsequently erected nine new houses of which the "most easterly but two" was built on 208 Lancaster Street, being the same building that is presently on the premises.9 James Eaton subdivided the land and sold the lot addressed as 208 Lancaster to Cornelia Page July 15,1889 for $9,000. The land is described in the deed as follows:

... beginning at a point in the south line of Lancaster Street distant about 37 feet 23/4 inches west from the west line of Lark Street, which point is the straight line running through the center of the division wall between the house upon the lot hereby intended to conveyed and the house upon the lot next adjoining to the east thereof and heretofore conveyed to Hamilton Harris by deed dated April 20,1889 Book 405 page 294; thence running westerly along said south line of Lancaster Street about 18 feet 23/4 inches to the line passing through the center of the division wall between the house upon the lot hereby intended to be conveyed and the house next west thereof; thence southerly to and through the center of said last mentioned division wall; and continuing thence southerly on a line parallel with the west line of Lark Street in all about 99 feet to the north line of the property lately owned by Ira Jagger...thence easterly along said mentioned line about 18 feet 23/4 inches to the west line to the lot next adjoining to the east; thence northerly along said last mentioned line about 99 feet to the beginning. Being the lot on which stands the most easterly but two of the nine houses erected by James Eaton ...10

Cornelia Page resided at the address from 1890 until 1930 when she died."11 Mrs.Page conveyed the premises to Charles M. Page by her last will and testament in 1930.12 Charles Page, and his wife, Mary, lived in the building from 1930 until 1937 when Charles Page died. His widow continued to live there until her death in 1953.13 Charles Page willed the land to Helen Page Thompson who in turn sold the premises to Nellie B. Austen on May 17, 1952. Austen bought it for $10.00, subject to "two mortgages upon said premises held by the Home Savings Bank. The aforesaid mortgages were consolidated by an agreement made February 13,1952 recorded in Mortgages Book 1279 p. 377 on which there is an unpaid principal of $6,448.64 with interest from May 1, 1952 at 5% per annum.14 Nellie Austen, a teacher at School I I and 26, lived on the premises from 1952 until 1968.15 Elizabeth A. Manso and Francis Hynds bought the land from Nellie for $1.00 on October 5, 1967.16 On March 9, 1968, Elizabeth Manso conveyed the property for $ 1.00 to Konstanty and Leontyna Naider.17 Naider who lived at #30 Willett Street, rented out the buildingas apartments.18 Jeffrey Mintz, a teacher,and his wife, Susan, lived in the building from 1969 to 1970.19 Brainerd E. Prescott, a lawyer, lived there from 1969 to 1971.20 Lenora Ryan, also a lawyer, rented an apartment there in 1970.21 In 1972, two retired men rented apartments in the building; John J. M'Gann and John Coren, who stayed only one year.22 In 1974 Nancy E. Stone, a teacher in Voorheesville, was the only tenant in the building.23 Neil J. Cervera, Jr. and his wife are currently the owners of 208 Lancaster Street.24

 
1.Assessors, City of Albany,Assess-	13.Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany 
  ment Rolls 1889-1986		           Directory 1930 p.792; 1937 p.569 
2.Sampson, Murdock, & Company,		   1953 p.509 
  Albany Directory 1890 p.243	        14.Deeds Book 1311 p.531 
3.Deeds Book 394 p.308	                15.Sampson, Murdock & Co. Alban           
4.Deeds Book 91  p.252		           Directory 1952 p.56; 1968 p.33 
5.Deeds Book 101 p.392	                16.Deeds Book 1935 p.103 
6.Deeds Book 202 p.198	                17.Deeds Book 1935 p.87 
7.Deeds Book 262 p.100	                18.R.L.Polk & co. Polk's Albany 
8.Deeds Book 394 p.308		           1971 p.501 
9.Deeds Book 831 p.130; Assessors,	19.lbid 1969 p.133 
  City of Albany Assessment Rolls	20.lbid 1969 p.133;   1970 p.129 
  1986 Ward 5 p.59	                21.Ibid 1970 p.129 
10.Deed Book 408 p.275; Book 831	22.lbid 1972 p.136;1973 p.136 
   p. 130	                        23.Ibid 1974 p.641 
11.Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany        24.Assessors, City of Albany 
   Director.1, 1890 p.243;1930 p.792       Assessment Rolls 1986 Ward 5 p.59 
12.Deeds Book 831 p.130 
 

 

420 BROADWAY

Number 420 Broadway is located on the west side of that street between Beaver and State Streets. It has been assessed in Albany's fourth ward (I 819-1834, 1841-1869), sixth ward (1870-1964) and third ward (1835-1840, 1965-1986). The lot has been addressed as #387 Market Street (1819-1831), #359 Market Street (1832-1839), #9 South Market Street (1840-1845) and #420 Broadway (1846-1986).1 In 1802, Spencer Stafford, an Albany merchant, purchased the lot on Market Street from Thomas Gould for $8,000. The lot contained a house and store and measured approximately 33' x 77'2; these dimensions remained constant from 1802-1986.3 Stafford demolished the buildings and, in 1814-1815, erected a new four-story fireproof brick store;4 this structure, although extensively renovated, remains on the lot in 1986. In 1817, after a judgement in the New York State Supreme Court,5 Stafford was forced to sell his lot and store to Bartholomew Hounsfield, a merchant of New York City, for $20,000.6 In July, 1818, Hounsfield sold the property to Edward Canning, also a New York merchant.7 Five years later, in September of 1823,Spencer Stafford repurchased his property from Edward Canning.8Stafford retained ownership until his death in 1844. Despite the legal maneuvering over property ownership, Spencer Stafford, with his son-in-law, Lewis Benedict, operated a stove and hardware business at #387 Market Street from 1815-1825.9 The establishment was one of the first stove-casting firms in the area (this industry assumed major proportions in Albany by the middle of the century); the firm was distinguished along "Hardware Row" by the "sign of the gilt stove" which hung over the doorway.10 Spencer Stafford retired in 1825; two of his sons continued to operate his business at the store from 1825-1831.11 After the later date,the building was rented to other firms, such as Benedict and Raby, dealers in hardware (1831-1836)12 and Gregory and Company, wholesale and retail dealers in crockery (1837-1843).13Boyd and Paul, druggists, occupied the store in 1844-1845. In 1844, Spencer Stafford, a prominent merchant, public servant and well-known citizen of Albany, died.15 His last will .and testament left Stephen B. Gregory as executor of his estate. Stafford requested "that my store in Market Street be sold last of all".16 The property was not sold until 1851 when Robert P. Wiles of Albany, purchased it for $1 1,000. The transaction was subject to a lease by Roswell Steele which was to expire in May, 1851.17 Robert P. Wiles was a real estate and stock brocker.18 It was during his ownership that the building underwent extensive renovation (1851-1855). 19 While the property remained as part of the Wiles estate until 1899, Wiles did not occupy the building, but rented it to various firms. Roswell Steele operated his coach and saddlery business at #420 Broadway from 1846-1864.20 From 1865-1894, the building was rented to Taylor, Wendell & Company, dealers in saddlery hardware;21 they were succeeded by Joseph E. Taylor & Company, saddlery hardware (18951897).22 In 1863, Robert P. Wiles died, leaving his son Thomas executor of his estate.23 Wiles retained the property until 1899, when he deeded it to Edward DeLancey Palmer,24 a real estate and insurance broker. Palmer, in 1907, sold the property to Mr. & Mrs. John C. Andrews for $15,165.26 John C. Andrews moved his boot and shoe manufacturing business from #416 Broadway to #420 Broadway in 1909.27 He operated this business at this address until 1924,28 although he no longer owned the property. In 1921, Andrews sold his land and building to Levi E. WeitlaUf.29 On the same day, December 20, 1921, Weitlauf sold the property to William H. Stoneman of Albany.30 In August, 1924, Stoneman deeded the property to the Stoneman Corporation.31 Ten years later, the Corporation deeded the land back to William H. Stoneman.32 Stoneman was affiliated with M.G. Stoneman and Son, ship chandlers located at #416-418 Broadway.33 420 Broadway was vacant in 1924-1925.34 It was rented by William J. Brayeau, a hairdresser,from 1926-1928 and by Leo A. Merchind, a barber, from 1926-1945.36 On May 3, 1944, William H. Stoneman sold #420 Broadway to William J. Coulson,37 a news dealer at #34 State Street.38 Coulson relocated his business to #420 Broadway in 1945-1946; this firm is now owned by the William J. Coulson Company, Inc.40


.
1. Rolls, 1819-1986                         20 L.G. Hoffman, Albany Directory 
2. Deeds Book 16 pp.84-86                      pub L.G. Hoffman, 1846 P.283 
3. Assessors, city of Albany Assessment        Adams, Sampson&Co.and Joel
   Rolls 1819-1986                             Munsell, Albany Directory pub.
4. J.J. Munsell, Collections on the            J. Munsell, 1863 P.137.           
   History of Albany.Vol.III, J.            21.Adams, Sampson&Co., Albany 
   Munsell;Albany 1870 p.447                   Directory pub. Van Benthuyen
5. Deeds Book 24 @.347                         1865 p.142; Sampson, Murdock
6. Deeds Book 24 p.345                         &co. Albany Directory, Van 
7. Deeds Book 24 p.475                         Benthuysen pub., 1895 p.392          
8. Deeds Book 26 p.415                      22.Sampson, Murdock&Co. Albany
9. J.J. Munsell, Collections on the            Directory pub. Van Benthuyen
   History of Albany Vol.III.J.	23.            1899 p.392; 1897 p.366. 
   Munsell; Albany, 1870 p.446-449	    23.Book of Wills #19 p.37 
10.lbid	                                    24.Deeds. Book 569 p.316-317
11.lbid                                     25.Sampson, Murdock &Co. Albany,
12.I.W. Scott, Albany, Directory-, pub.        Directory pub. Van Benthuysen 
   J. B. Van Steinberg. 1831 p.50; L.G.        P.566           
   Hoffman, Albany Directory. pub.          26.Deeds Book 316-17            
   L.G. Hoffman, 1837 p.60                  27.Sampson, Murdock&Co. Albany
13.L.G. Hoffman.  Albany Directory             Directory, pub. Weed, Parsons
   pub. L.G. Hoffman, 1837 p. I 10;	       & 1907 p.107.
   1844 p. 1 78	29.                         28.Ibid. 1924 p.812 
14.lbid 1844 p. 102; 1845 p. 1 14	    29.Deeds Book 711 p.229 
15.J.J. Munsell, Collections on the	    30.Deeds Book 711 p.228
   History of Albany, Vol. Ill. J.	    31.Deeds Book 746 p.210 
   Munsell; Albany, 1870 p.450	            32.Deeds Book 872 p.76
16.Deeds of Wills #12 p.144-145             33.Sampson, Murdock&Co., Albany 
17.Deeds Book 11 2 p. 1 12-113.                Directory 1922 p.459.
18.Adams, Sampson & Co.. Albany             34.Ibid. 1924 p.860; 1925p.911
   Directory, pub. Munsell and	            35.Ibid. 1926 p.1007, 1929 p.987
   Rowland; 1860 p.139	                    36.Ibid. 1926 p.1007, 1944 p.529 
19.Assessors, City, of Albany, Assess-	    37.Deeds Book 962 p.383
   ment Rolls, 1851-1855 Ward 4             38.R.L. Polk's Albany. pub R.L.  
	                                       Polk &Co., Boston 1944 p.103 
                                            39.Ibid 1946. p.774.
			                    40.Assessors, City of Albany 
                                               Assessment Rolls, 1986 Ward 3
                                               p.6

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Gathering the Research Data, Part I

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CITY OF ALBANY ASSESSMENT ROLLS

Description

 
	The Assessment Rolls are the basic primary source used in the 
research of a building's history. These records have been compiled annually 
since 1813 for city property tax purposes.  Albany County Hall of Records 
has a complete set of Assessment Rolls from 1846 to 1976; some of the 
volumes for the years 1813-1845 are missing and assessment information for 
several wards is not available prior to 1840.  Assessments for the years 
1813-1818 contain only the names of property owners and the amount of tax 
each was charged, making them less useful to the building researcher. 
 
	The Assessment Rolls contain such information about a parcel of 
property as the owner, occupant or usage, lot dimensions, structures on the 
lot, surrounding properties and the assessed value.  When this information 
is collected for each year of the building's existence and arranged in 
chronological order, the researcher will have an outline of the history of 
the building that includes the date of construction, owners'names, dates of 
alterations, etc. 
 
	The Assessment Rolls for an individual year may encompass one or 
more volumes.  The city of Albany has been subdivided into as many as 
nineteen wards (at present there are fifteen), or as few as four wards 
(1813).  At the beginning of each ward is a listing of all of the streets 
located within it and corresponding page numbers.  Each street is assessed 
by blocks in all but the very early books.  Assessments for Lancaster 
Street, for example, will be divided into the following sections: north side 
between Swan and Dove Streets, north side between Dove and Lark Streets, 
etc., south side between Swan and Dove Streets, south side between Dove and 
Lark Streets, etc. Under these sections the separate lots are designated by 
number, with the following information included for each: 
 
1.Owner: The owner's name may be followed by such abbreviations as "et.al." 
(and others), "Est. of" (Estate of),etc.  The name might also be accompanied 
by informative designations, such as "heirs of" or "trustee". 
 
2.Occupant or Usage: This column will list either the tenant(s) in the 
building or the purpose for which the building is used, such as "dwlg." 
(dwelling), "mer." (mercantile), "rel." (religious), etc... The information 
found under this heading will vary according to year, with no information 
for the years 1870-1920. 
 
3. Dimensions: These are the dimensions of the lot on which a building 
stands, not of the building itself.  The frontage and depth of the lot will 
always be included in this column.  Sometimes dimensions for all sides of 
the lot will be included with each boundary designated according to 
direction, (i.e. N.30, E.57, S.30, W.57). 
 
Names of streets and/ property owners whose lots form boundaries of the 
property being researched may also appear in this column.  The manner in 
which the lot dimensions are recorded varies from year to year. 
 
4. Description: This column will include a brief description of any 
structures on the lot, indicating the number of stories and building 
material.  In the earlier Assessments (prior to 1840) the information is 
more detailed, sometimes indicating the condition of the buildings and their 
present (and sometimes past) uses. 
 
The word "rear" in a description indicates that an extension has been built 
onto the back of the original structure.  For example, "3 brick with 2 brick 
rear" indicates that the two story structure is attached to the three-story 
structure, or in rare instances, it indicates a separate building on the 
back of a lot. 
 
5. Assessed Value: This is the amount upon which the owner pays property 
taxes; it rarely indicates the true market-value of the property.  The 
column may be headed "real property", "personal property", or"value of land 
exclusive of buildings thereon". 
 
When "Ex." appears in this column, a tax-exempt property is indicated.  
The sum listed in the "Amount of Exemption" column is comparable to the 
real property value. 
 

	Other categories of information found in the Assessment Rolls 
(such as "Military No." or "map line number') do not pertain to the building 
survey and will not be discussed. 

Procedure

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	The researcher should copy the entire side of the block.  In order 
to locate Assessment data it is necessary to know in which ward the block is 
located.  If this information is not provided, it can be obtained from the 
City Treasurer's Office. 
 
Collecting the Data 
 
1. The researcher should first consult the most current volume of the 
Assessment Rolls. 
 
2. Once the block has been located, the street number, owner, occupant, 
dimensions, description and real property value should be copied for all 
properties.  See example #1 on page 16. 
 
3. The year,ward and page number should be noted for all years for which 
the Assessment Rolls are consulted,even those years for which no data is 
copied. 
 
4. After the current tax assessment data has been copied, the researcher 
should work backwards through the volumes until he meets one of the 
following situations.: 
   a. The lot on the street is described as vacant. (No building is on the 
      site). 
   b. The property is no longer assessed, usually indicating that either all 
      lots were vacant, the property was not within the city limits at this 
      time, or that the street had not yet been officially opened. 
   c. There are no available volumes for the ward in which the property is 
      located; this will usually occur in 1813, 1823, 1835 or 1840. 
 
5. Although the researcher should check every year, it is not necessary to 
copy the information if it remains the same as in the last volume to be 
consulted.  He may simply note the year, ward and page number on which 
the information is found and indicate that the data had not changed, 
(See example #2, p. 17) If, on a block of five or more buildings, only one 
change occurs, the researcher should note the change and indicate that the 
data for the other properties remained constant (example #I. page 16). 
After several such changes occur all information for the block should be 
copied in order to avoid confusion later. 
 
Ward Changes 
	When the researcher finds that a block is no longer listed under a 
particular ward, he should check the indices for the other wards to see if 
the block had been "lost" as the result of a ward change and included in 
another ward.  Most ward changes occurred in the following years: 1834-1835, 
1840-1841, 18691870, 1871-1872, 1894-1895, 1915-1916, 1965-1966. 
 
Handwriting and Spelling Discrepancies 
	The Assessment Rolls from 1813-1916 are handwritten.  When the 
writing is illegible the researcher should write down what he thinks it says 
and note that there is some question about it. Also, the Assessments will 
often list several different spellings for a single owner's name; when this 
happens the researcher should note all of the spellings. 
 
Organizing the Data 
Once the appropriate Assessment data has been compiled it must be arranged 
into chronological order.  This should be done for the individual structure 
as illustrated in example #2 on page 17,showing all changes which have 
occurred throughout the property's history.  It is important to note changes 
in house numbers and significant changes in lot dimensions in order to avoid 
confusing one building for another.  It is understood that if a year is not	
listed, there had been no changes in the character or ownership of the 
property. 
 

IMPORTANT:

The researcher should note that while the assessment data is gathered from the present years backwards, the assessment breakdowns begin with a vacant lot and proceed forward to the present year. This can be confusing so it is important to note the correct year of change when compiling the individual structure outline.

CITY OF ALBANY WATER RENTS

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Description

	Like the Assessment Rolls, Water Rents are compiled for city tax 
purposes and are very similar in both form and content.  However, there are 
several important differences which make the Water Rents useful as a 
"back-up" source to resolve the confusion which sometimes arises from 
Assessment data. 
 
	Water Rents for the City of Albany are available from 1851 to the 
present.  With a few exceptions, they are divided into wards, blocks and 
street addresses in the same manner as the Assessment Rolls, The Water Rents 
list the following information: 
 

1). Owner of the property. 
 
2). Occupants of the building, although not consistently. 
 
3). Various categories of Water Rents and when these were paid. 

4). Building usage. 
 
5). Front dimension of the building. 

6). Number of stories. 
 
7). Dimensions of lot. 
 
8). "Remarks" column which often notes that a building is under construction 
or alteration; or it may elaborate on the description of a tax-exempt 
property when the Assessments do not.  This column may also include 
additional information about outbuildings. 
 

Procedure

The Water Rents should be consulted when the Assessment data has been compiled and there is some confusion over whether the designation "in progress" indicates new construction or an alteration to an existing structure. (Observation of the building may immediately solve the problem; however, it may still be wise to consult the Water Rents as an additional source of written evidence.) Example: In 1864 the Assessments describe a building as a 2 story brick valued at $3000. The next year the description changed to "2 Brick in Progress", but the assessment value remains $3000; in 1866 a 3 story brick building valued at $3500 is listed. Here it is unclear whether a new 3-story brick building was erected or whether a story was added to the 2-story brick. In this case the researcher should turn to the Water Rents, checking the data found in the Assessment Rolls against that found in the Water Rents for the years 1863-1867 (the two sources often have a discrepancy of one year in their information, probably because the data was collected at different times of the year). The Water Rents may clear up questions that arise from consulting the Assessment Rolls by indicating that either: 1. the building is undergoing alteration, sometimes specifying the nature of the alteration, such as the addition of a story. 2. the front dimension of the building has changed. 3. that a new building is under construction. If both the front dimension and the number of stories changed, a new building probably is indicated; however, if the dimension remains unchanged and the number of stories increases, it may indicate only an alteration, as a new building might not have the same front dimension as the old (except in the case of attached row houses). Again, personal observation may be the most valuable source of information. Information found in the Water Rents should be noted with the year, ward and page number of the volumes used. Data should then be copied, as in the assessment rolls, including: owner, occupant (if any), lot and building dimensions, use of building, description of building, and any appropriate remarks.

CITY OF ALBANY BUILDING PERMITS

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Description

 
	Building Permits for the City of Albany are issued to a property 
owner who wishes to alter his property and/ or building in some way.  In 
Albany, they exist from about 1904 and are still issued today.  The permits 
were originally issued by the City's Fire Department; since 1909, they have 
been issued by the Building Department.  Unfortunately, many of the permits 
dating prior to 1916 are missing; those distributed by the Fire Department 
are in poor condition and many are illegible. 
 
	Building Permits will generally be used only when a researcher is 
certain that there has been an alteration to his building (determined by 
observation) and finds evidence in the Tax Assessment Rolls or another 
source that the change occurred after 1904.  They are very useful when 
trying to date an alteration made to a structure, demolition of a building 
or, less often, to determine a date of construction. 
 
	The standard Building Permit will have a number, the date it was 
issued, to whom it was issued,the type of work to be done, the contractor 
and the estimated cost of the work. 
 

Procedure

To locate a Building Permit, it is necessary to first check the indices; there is a separate index for each year from 1909 to 1986 inclusive. Within each index, the streets are arranged alphabetically by first letter only; there is no order within each letter. (For example, permits issued for State, South Pearl and Steuben Streets will all be listed on the same page; order on the page is determined by the date issued, not alphabetically.) The researcher should know approximately in which year the alteration(s) occurred. Once the desired permit is located, the researcher should copy down the permit number and any other available information, which usually includes the owner, contractor and some indication of the work to be done. The researcher should next locate the appropriate volume of Building Permits (arranged numerically), then turn to the .original permit and copy all information listed on the permit. The number and date of issue should be noted.

DEEDS

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Description

 
	Deeds are the most accurate means of discovering the exact date that 
a property transaction occurred and the names of all parties involved.  
Although deeds are sometimes not recorded until several years after a 
property transaction has taken place, they always include the date of 
transaction as well as the date that the deed was recorded.  Deeds also 
include the location of the property, its dimensions, and the name of the 
city or town in which each party involved lives at the time of the sale.  
Usually a deed will indicate that the property being sold is either a vacant 
lot or includes a building or buildings; this fact may be useful in 
determining construction dates, particularly when a description' of the 
building is included.  Occasionally a deed will be accompanied by a map, 
blueprint or photograph of the property that is changing hands. 
 
Grantee-Grantor Books (index to Deeds) 
 
	In order to consult a deed it is necessary to first check the 
Grantee or the Grantor books (part of the Index to the Public Records of 
the County of Albany,) for the page number and volume in which the deed is 
located. 
 
	The grantee is the party purchasing the property, The grantor is the 
party selling the property.  The name of at least one of these parties must 
be known in order to locate the deed.  The names in these books are listed 
in alphabetical order and there are several volumes of each type of book 
(Grantee or Grantor).  The following information is found in both sets of 
books: 1) the names of both the grantee and the grantor; 2) a description of 
the property, indicatingthelotandorthedistance6ftheproperty,from a given 
location;3) the book and page number of the Deedv book in which the deed is
located; 4) the date of transaction and 5) the date that the deed was 
recorded. 
 

Procedure

Grantee-Grantor Books 1630-1894: If the deed was recorded betweeen 1630 and 1894, the researcher must look up the name of either the grantee or the grantor in the appropriate volume; these are arranged alphabetically. When the same person is listed as a party in numerous transactions. check the "Date" column for the year in which the transfer is believed to have taken place, and then the”Note" column for a description of the property. The "Recorded" column includes the book and page number in which the deed is to be found. 1895-Present:If the deed was recorded between 1895 and the present, the same procedure as outlined above may be followed with the exception of the first step. The names of the grantees and grantors for these years are not listed in strict alphabetical order, but according to the first two or three letters of the last name. For example, all deeds involving someone by the name of "Anderson" would be indexed on the same page number as those deeds involving someone named "Andrews", but the two names might appear anywhere on the pages designed for the names starting with'An" rather than all transactions involving people by the name of Anderson appearing in one place and all transactions involving people named Andrews in another. At the beginning of each volume of the Grantee-Grantor books for 1895-1986 is a table of contents indicating the page number on which transactions are listed. It is important to know that there might be several pages of transactions involving people whose names start with the same sequence of letters but that all of these pages will have the same number. Locating Corporation Deeds: 1630-1894: If the party buying or selling the property is a corporation, the transaction will be listed under the Corporation Deeds section of the "C" volume of the Grantee-Grantor books. Any transactions involving a company, a religious, educational or governmental institution, etc., will be indexed in this section. In the front of the section entitled "Corporation Deeds" is a table of contents listing the pages on which the various categories of corporations are indexed. 1895-1939: Corporation Deeds for these years are indexed in the back of individual volumes according to the first initial of the corporation's title. See the table of contents in the front of each volume for the page numbers. 1940-Present: The later sets of Grantee-Grantor books contain separate volumes for Corporation Deeds.

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Gathering the Research Data, Part II

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WILLS

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Description

	Wills are legal documents which designate the heirs of a person's 
estate.  They are recorded after a death and are in effect from that date.  
In Albany, wills are available from 1787 to the present. 
 
	A will lists the name of the deceased person, the date of recording, 
the designated heirs and the contents of the estate.  Familial relationships 
often become clear through statements such as "to my wife, Mary" or "to my 
son, Mark". 
 
	The indices to wills are divided into varying time spans, with a 
single volume covering recorded wills from 1787 to 1895. these list the date 
of recording, the name of the deceased, the volume and the page number of 
the Books of Wills in which a copy of the document can be found.  See 
example #3 on page 25. 
 

Procedure

Wills are generally consulted only when it appears that a parcel of property was not transferred by a deed. When this occurs, the researcher should first refer to the index to wills for the appropriate time period and attempt to locate the desired name. (It should be kept in mind that not everyone leaves a will. Instead a letter of administration will be filed which serves the same purpose. These are located with the wills and procedure for their use is similar to that of the wills.) If the name is found, the researcher should turn to the volume and page number of the Book of Wills listed. It is usually unnecessary to copy the entire document; notes on the information needed for the building report should be sufficient. Again, the volume and page number of the book(s) employed should be copied.

ALBANY CITY DIRECTORIES

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Description

 
	The Albany Directory is an annual publication listing the addresses 
and occupations of the inhabitants of the city as well as businesses and 
various institutions operating within the city during a given year.  The 
directory however, is only a partial list of Albany residents and should by 
no means be considered a complete source.  Among those excluded from the 
directory are children and slaves and, in the early years,wive's names were 
rarely included.  Each directory also contains an assortment of information 
and statistics on the population, government and institutions of Albany.  
The first city directory for Albany was published in 1813 and was followed, 
with an updated directory for each subsequent year, with the exception of 
1836. 
 
	There are three years for which two directories were published by 
competing companies: 1831,1834 and 838.  It is important for these years 
that both directories be consulted as the information varies slightly 
and a name that is excluded from one may be included in the other. 
 

Structure of Directory

The following is a description of the major sections of the directory which will be of value to the researcher: TABLE OF CONTENTS: Located in the front, the table of contents outlines the information found in the directory. Each contains information regarding city government, officials, streets and landmarks as well as listing residents, businesses and other institutions. ABBREVIATIONS:At the top of the first page of the section entitled "Directory", is an explanation of the abbreviations that occur throughout the book. ADDENDUM:Immediately following the DI R ECTORY some of the earlier volumes contain a list of additional names not included in the main section. The ADDENDUM should be consulted when a name is not listed in the DIRECTORY. BUSINESS DIRECTORY: This list, sometimes entitled the "Business Finder', is found in all directories from 1857 to the present. The list is arranged alphabetically according to the nature of the business. Professional, institutional and occupational listings are included in this section. Not all businesses are listed however, so it may sometimes be necessary to consult the main section of the directory. STREET GUIDE: Sometimes designated "House Directory", this section is found in directories for 1895, 1896 and from 1914 to the present. This section is set up alphabetically according to street name and lists occupants of all buildings in the city of Albany. If a building is vacant this fact will be noted in the STREET GUIDE. This section is a valuable source for discovering the names of the occupants of the building being researched. ADVERTISEMENTS: Most advertisements are located in the back of the directories but some occur at random throughout the book and on the front and back covers. Consult the ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ADVERTISERS.Located in the front of each directory immediately following the TABLE OF CONTENTS, if looking for a specific advertisement. All businesses did not run advertisements however, so this list by no means includes all businesses listed in the directory. Advertisements may occasionally be helpful in dating a building by including a picture of what the building looked like at a particular time.

Procedure

Using the information compiled from the Deeds, Assessment Rolls, and Water Rents the researcher should consult the directory for the following information which will be noted according to the format outlined. See example #4 on page 29. 1. OWNER'S ADDRESS, OCCUPATION and PLACE OF BUSINESS, noting all changes. 2. TENANT'S OCCUPATION and PLACE OF BUSINESS, again noting all changes. All tenants should be listed (except in the case of large apartment buildings). 3. BUSINESS known to have been located in the building should also be noted; if the nature of the business is unclear it should be traced in the business directory. 4. STREET GUIDES should be consulted in order to discover the names and occupations of tenants not listed in other sources. Names listed in the Street Guide should be traced in the main section of the directory to determine the occupations of the tenants. See below for procedure to be followed for using Street Guides 5. DATES OF DEATH, or moved to another city, when listed, should be noted.

Street Guides

The Street Guides are arranged alphabetically according to street name and, within that category, according to house number. The researcher should always note any changes in house numbers from the Assessment Rolls so as to avoid confusion when doing directory work. By tracing the names that appear in the 1895, 1896 and 1914 Street Guides in those directories that do not include Street Guides, the researcher may obtain information which had been missing. The Street Guides should be used in the following manner: 1895-Trace names back until no longer listed. 1896-Trace names forward until no longer listed. 1915-Trace names back until no longer listed. 1914-Present- Check for tenants' names and trace these in main section of directory for occupations.

CENSUS RECORDS

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Description

	Census Records contain detailed information on the entire population 
of the area surveyed as well as on individual families.  Those censuses 
which will be most valuable to the researcher of buildings will be the 
Federal Census of 1880 and the New York State Censuses of 1905, 1915 and 
1925.  Each is arranged according to state (federal), county, municipality; 
each municipality is subdivided into wards and election districts. 
 
	Some of the types of information to be found in each of these four 
census years are: 
 
Federal Census of 1880: Address, names; relationship to head of family; 
sex; race; age; marital status; born within the year; married within the 
year; profession, occupation or trade; number of months unemployed during 
census year; whether person is sick or temporarily disabled so as to be 
unable to attend to ordinary business or duties; if so, what is the sickness 
or disability; whether blind, deaf and dumb, idiotic, insane, maimed, 
crippled or bedridden; attended school within the year; ability to read and 
write; place of birth of person, father and mother. 
 
New York State Census of 1905: Residence, street and number; names of all 
individuals in a given household; relationship to head of household; color; 
sex; age; nativity, U.S. or foreign country; number of years in U.S.; 
citizen or alien; occupation, trade or profession; class, employer or 
employee; for inmates of institutions only,residence at time of admission. 
 
New York State Census of 1915: as 1905; includes infants under one year of 
age. 
 
New York State Census of 1925: Residence, street and number; names of all 
individuals in household; relationship to head of household; color; sex; 
age; nativity, U.S. or foreign country; number of years in U.S.; 
citizen or alien; place of naturalization; class; inmates of institutions; 
infants under one year of age. 
 

Procedure

The census records should always be checked when researching buildings. They often provide names of occupants, especially women and children, that will not be found in the city directories; socioeconomic status may be determined by the inclusion of servants' names. The researcher must know the ward number of the block for each census year; he should then scan the ward (disregarding election districts) until the address is located. Addresses will usually proceed in order, although one building may sometimes be enumerated on an entirely different page. It is therefore important to check the entire election district if an address appears as to be "missing". (Occasionally a building is not listed; this should not be assumed until the entire election district has been checked.) The researcher should copy all necessary information for the address; census year, city, ward number, election district and page number should be noted.

REGISTRATION OR ENROLLMENT OF VOTERS VOLUMES

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Description

 
	As was noted in the section on City Directories, it is sometimes 
difficult to trace all of the tenants in the building for the years 
1897-1913, the period before street directories became standard.  The 
Registration or Enrollment of Voters volumes should be checked (in addition 
to the Census Rolls) for names of occupants for these years. 
 
	The Enrollment of Voters volumes cover the period 1897-1985.  Each 
year is contained in a single volume; each volume is subdivided into wards 
and election districts.  Every street within a district is listed 
(alphabetically) and broken down by street address.  A registered voter's 
name (men only prior to 1920) will appear next to each address and, in later 
years, the party affiliation, if any, is also listed. 
 
 
 
	The researcher should determine the ward in which his building lies 
for the years 1897-1913,then turn to the proper ward in the Enrollment or 
Registration of Voters volume and locate the street and address.  The 
name(s) opposite the address should be noted along with the year and 
page number of the volume.  The researcher should then check the general 
directory section of the Albany City Directory for the corresponding year, 
looking for the name found in the voters' rolls. All pertinent information 
should then be copied according to the procedure outlined in the section 
on City Directories. 

MAPS

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Description

 
	Maps and atlases chronologically arranged can provide a visual 
history of a city.  They often indicate original and subsequent settlement 
patterns, changes in boundaries, former names of streets and parks; the 
property dimensions of individual lots may also be shown, along with 
property ownership, former street addresses, structures on the lot, 
construction materials, number of stories, even whether or not a building 
had a cornice.  Dates of construction for structures may also be narrowed 
down. 
 
	There is a large collection of maps available for the City of Albany, 
ranging in date from the 1600s to the present containing diverse types of 
information.  Several individual maps that will be the most helpful and 
most frequently used by the building researcher are briefly described 
below: 
 
1850, Map of Albany by J.C. Sidney.  This map indicates building placement 
along the streets of Albany.  Some individual buildings, usually in the 
outlying areas, are clearly defined; in the more densely build-up areas, 
the blocks are filled in, indicating dense construction but not individual 
configurations of buildings. 
 
1857, Map of Albany by E.M. Dripps.  This map shows individual buildings, 
their configuration and placement on the lot and building construction 
materials (brick or wood). 
 
1866, Beers Atlas of New York State.  This atlas has only one map pertaining 
to the City of Albany but it contains information similar to that of the 
1850 map referred to above. 
 
1876, City of Albany, N.Y. Atlas by C.E. Hopkins.  This collection contains 
a single map of the entire city,followed by more detailed maps of smaller 
sections of it.  The maps indicate street addresses, property ownership, 
individual configuration of buildings and lot placement, outbuildings and 
construction materials (either brick or wood). 
 
1876-1974, Sanborn Insurance Maps.  These maps were compiled for insurance 
purposes; there are either one or two volumes for each year in which the 
maps are available. each volume containing a general map of Albany followed 
by many detailed maps of smaller areas of the city.  Every volume contains 
an index and a key which is extremely important for the understanding of the 
maps.  Some of the types of information included are: building configuration, 
construction material, number of stories and height of the building, 
placement of windows and shutters, cornices and roofing material, party 
walls, chimneys, sky lights, fire walls and outbuildings.  The maps are 
available for the years 1876 revised to 1889, 1892 revised to 1895, 1908 
revised to 1918, 1909 revised to 1922, 1935 revised to 1961, 1972 and 1974.  
Revisions were made by pasting on corrections over those lots that changed 
between the time of publication and updating, a new index for each year of 
revisions was pasted onto the front cover of the volume; the map in use 
will therefore be current with the last year for which an additional index 
appears. 
 
 
 

Procedure

When the researcher finds that data gathered from written sources is unclear or confusing, he should turn to maps as a visual reference source. Having first decided what type(s) of information he is looking for, the researcher should then locate an appropriate map or maps. These should be studied, the researcher noting the kinds of information found. If necessary, the map(s) should be copied to be used for quick reference at a later date. It is important to always note the map title,map surveyor, publisher and year.

PHOTOGRAPHS, PRINTS AND ARTISTIC RENDERINGS

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Description

 
	Photographs, prints and artistic renderings of buildings can aid the 
researcher in documenting renovations, alterations or former commercial 
occupants of a structure.  In Albany such visual aids are available from the 
1600's through the present. they can be found in public and private 
photograph collections, in volumes such as Morris Gerber's Old Albany, in 
promotional publications, and in the city directories’ advertisement 
sections. 
 
 
 

Procedure

The researcher will generally use photographs, prints Or, renderings when he is having trouble documenting the date of a building alteration. Procedure for their use needs no explanation. However, when using prints or artistic renderings, the researcher should keep in mind that the artist may use some license and if so, that the picture may not be an accurate representation.

SECONDARY SOURCES

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A primary source is a record made at the time an event takes place. It is first hand information, or an original document, which can take the form of a government record, a diary, a photograph,etc.... A secondary source is not original but derived or resulting from something considered primary. It is an evaluation of facts or statements found in primary sources and may take the form of a report, a local history, etc.... There are two main reasons for consulting secondary sources when doing research for the building history: 1. When more information is required regarding a person connected with a building being researched. This would be necessary when an owner or tenant appears to be a prominent member of the community or in some respect an historical figure. 2. When more information is required about a building that is being researched. This would be necessary when a building appears architecturally or historically significant. There are several local histories which include information on these topics. The following is an annotated list of those which might prove most useful to the researcher: Howell, George R. and Tenney, Jonathan, History of the County of Albany from 1609 to 1886, New York: W.W.Munsell & Co., Publishers, 1886. A history of Albany, it also contains biographical sketches of prominent Albany citizens, descriptions of local industries, and information about outstanding buildings and local architects. Munsell, Joel, Annals of Albany (ten volumes), Albany, New York: Munsell & Rowland, Printers, 1850's. Collected writings about Albany from settlement to time of publication. Includes travelers' accounts, newspaper excerpts and Common Council proceedings. Indices for some volumes are more comprehensive than for others. Munsell, Joel, Collections on the History of A lban.v, (four volumes) Albany, New York: J. Munsell, published 1870's. Contains collected writings of similar nature as Annals of Albany; some family genealogies. Indexed. Parker, Amasa, J., Landmarks of Albany County, Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1897. A history of Albany County, its citizenry and institutions from 1609-1897, some mention of local buildings and architects. Indexed. Reynolds, Cuyler, Albany Chronicles: A History of the City Arranged Chronologically, Albany, New York: Lyon Company Printers, 1906. History of Albany from 1609-1906.

Relevant Documentary Sources at the Albany County Hall of Record

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 Title Dates Title Dates 
Tax Assessment Rolls   1813-1976   Index to Wills and Letters 
Water Rents	       1851-1972    of Administration	         1787-1895 
Albany City- 
Directories	       1830-1983   Wills	                 1691-1835 
Beers Atlas of		           New York State 
New York State	            1866    Census Rolls                      1915 
Atlas of Albany by		   New York State 
G.M. Hopkins	            1876    Census Rolls	              1925 
Sanborn Insurance Maps	    1892   Register of Voters	         1899-1966 
Sanborn Insurance Maps 1908-1909   Enrollment of Voters	         1941-1969 
Sanborn Insurance Maps 1934	   Indices & Records to 
Sanborn Insurance Maps 1972-1974    Building Permits	         1909-1925 
Index to Deeds	       1630-1894   Street Openings 
Deeds	               1656-pres.  Albany Common Council 
Mortgage Books         1630-pres.  Minutes                       1686-pres. 
 
NOTE: All sources are non-circulating.  Records are accessible to the 
public. ACHOR encourages the use of microfilm copies. 

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APPENDIX

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COMMON COUNCIL MINUTES

 
	The Common Council Minutes, available from 1686 to the present, may 
be useful to the researcher of the building survey as they include records 
of all ordinances, laws, petitions,resolutions, etc. passed in the city of 
Albany.  These records may relate to streets, section of the city, 
annexations and many other subjects relevant to the growth and character of 
the city. 
 
	Any matter which affects the city is likely to receive space in the 
Common Council Minutes. These matters include issues regarding the city's 
development (i.e. the building of bridges, ferry landings, the Albany Basin) 
as well as exterior forces which affect the city, such as fires, floods 
and epidemics.  The activities of individual citizens are also sometimes 
recorded in the Common Council Minutes. 
 

STREET OPENINGS

Included in the Street Openings are various documents relating to the opening of a street (or a section of a street), the widening of an already existing street, or the opening of a city park. The documents include maps, newspaper notices, New York State Supreme Court Proceedings, petitions, resolutions, laws, - and records pertaining to the awarding of damages to parties whose land is taken. The Street Openings are available from the early part of the 19th century. Street Opening records are not available for all streets in Albany.

ANNEXATIONS 1815-1967

The City of Albany was officially incorporated in 1686. The boundaries at that time were described as follows: "East, the Hudson at low water mark; South, a line drawn from the southernmost end of the pasture at the North end of Martin Gerritsen's Island, and running back due Northwest sixteen miles into the woods, to a certain creek called Sandkill; North, a line parallel to the former about a mile distant; and, West, a straight line drawn from the Western extremities of the North and South lines."1 Northern and Southern boundaries remained intact until the "Colonie" was annexed in 1815. This village was a sparsely settled territory occupied mostly by farmers working leaseholds under the Patroons. The area held a separate corporate existence for several years prior to annexations.2 A description of the portion of the Colonie annexed to Albany appears below. "Beginning at the Southeast corner of the said town, and running northwardly along the East bounds of the County of Albany, until a course of North 48 degrees West, intersects or strikes a red cedar post with brick around it, standing on the West bank of Hudson's River, which post is distant 22 chains and 36 links from the Southeast corner of the storehouse of Steven VanRensselaer, on a course North, 40 degrees 20 minutes West,then 48 degrees West to the West bounds of said town,then along the West and South bounds thereof to the beginning."3 In 1870, part of Bethlehem and Watervliet were annexed to Albany, extending the City's boundaries in a Northerly and Southerly direction. Also, the area beginning West of Magazine Street was ceded to Watervliet and later to Guilderland.4 In 1910, portions of the ceded territory (1870) were reannexed to the City and the Western boundary of the City took its present form.5 By 1916, the Northern and Southern bounds of the City had taken their present form with the exception of those areas known as Westerlo Island and Karlsfeld.6 In 1967, Karlsfeld was annexed to Albany; this being the final change.7

(From Department of Urban Redevelopment, City of Albany, Historic Resources 
Inventory,June 1976). 
 
Footnotes 
 
1. Joel Munsell,Collections on the	5. Albany County Clerk, Street 
   History of Albany. Albany, N.Y.:	   Openings. Vol. 1, (Orange St.) 
   J. Munsell, 1870, Vol. 3, p.362.	   1874, p.48. 
2. Common Council, City of Albany,	6. Common Council, City of Albany, 
   Proceedings for the Year 1871.	   Proceedings for the Year 1871. 
   (Albany, N.Y.: Argus Co. Printers)      (Albany, N.Y.: Argus Co. Printers, 
   p.214.                       	   1871) p.154. 
3. Ibid., p.5 17.                	7. Ibid., 1870, p.213. 
4. Ibid., 1890. p.601. 
 

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SOME CHANGES IN THE NAMES OF ALBANY STREETS

TAKEN FROM THEIndex to the Public Records of the County of Albany
 (If Known) 
PRESENT	NAME	           FORMER NAME	                  DATE OF CHANGE 
Albany Street	             Albany Avenue	             Feb.13,1871 

Arch Street		     Beaver Lane 
                             Johnson Street 
 
Ashgrove Place(from Trinity 
Place to Grand St.)	     Westerlo Street	                    1869 
Bleecker Street              Bass Street 
		             Bass Lane 

Broad Street	             Jonkers Street 
		             Malcolm Street 

Broadway	             Handelaers Street 
		             Market Street 
a) north of State St.	     Brewer Street 
b) north of State St.	     North Market.Street 
c) south of State St.	     South Market Street 
d) State to Gansevoort St.   Court Street 
e) at Patroon Creek	     Van Rensselaer Mill 
f) Columbia to Clinton Ave.  Watervliet Street 
g) at North Pearl Street     Cow Street 
h) from Van Rensselaers	     Extension of Troy Road 

Capitol Park	             Capitol Square 

Central Avenue	             Bowery 
		             Albany-Schenectady 
		              Turnpike	                     July 15, 1867 
		             Schenectady Turnpike 

Chapel Street	             Barrack Street 
		             Barack Street 

Charles Street	             Johnson Street	             March 19, 1877 

Clinton Street	             Church Street 

Clinton Avenue	             Patroon Street 

Columbia Street              New Street 
a) at North Pearl	     Oak Street 

Congress Street              Spring Street	             August 6, 1860 

Dean Street	             Prince Street 
		             Water Street	             Nov. 6, 1826 
a) Steuben to Hudson	     Dock Street 

Delaware Avenue	             Delaware Turnpike 
 
			                               (If Known)
PRESENT NAME	             FORMER NAME	             DATE OF CHANGE 
Division Street(from Hudson 
River to S. Pearl St.)	     Bone Lane 

Dove Street	             Warren Street	             Sept. 11, 1790 

Dudley Avenue(west of 
N. Pearl St.)                North Ferry Street 

Eagle Street	             Duke Street	             Sept. 11, 1790 

Elk Street	             Queen Street 
a) Clinton Ave.to Lark St.   Spruce Street	             Sept. 11, 1790 

Elm Street	             Pitt Street 
	                     Otter Street 
	                     Westerlo Street 
Emmet Street	             Broadway Avenue	             Feb.13,1871 
	                     Laughlin Street	             Sept. 22, 1879 

Exchange Street	             Mark Lane 

Ferry Street	             Mink Street 

Fourth Avenue	             Nucelia Street	             Jan.20,1873 

Franklin Street	             Frelinghuysen Street	     March 30, 1828 
                             Vreelinghuysen Street 

Fulton Street	             Williams Street 

Gansevoort Street	     South Street 

Genessee Street	             Watervliet Avenue	             Feb.13,1871 

Grand Street	             Hallenbake Street 

Green Street	             Van Driesen Street 
a) south of Beaver Street    Esplanade or Plain Street 
b) north of Beaver Street    Voddewyf or Rag Market 
	                     or Cheap Side 

Hamilton Street	New Street 
a) east of Broadway	     Kilby Lane 

Hawk Street	             Hawke Street	             Sept. 11, 1790 

Herkimer Street              Van Schee Street 

High Street	             South High Street 

Howard Street	             Luther Street 
	                     Lutheran Street 
a) S. Pearl to Lodge St.     Nail St. or Nail Alley 

Hudson Avenue	             Quidor or Quiter Street	     Sept. 11, 1790 
	                     Buffalo Street 
	                     Hudson Street	             March 4, 1872 
a) east of Broadway	     Spanish Street 

James Street	             Middle Lane 
	                     Middle Alley 

                                                       (If Known) 
PRESENT NAME                 FORMER NAME                   DATE OF CHANGE                        
                                                        
Jefferson Street             Herkimer Street
       			     Herkemer Street

John Street                  Sturgeon Street                       c.1882

Judson Street                Second Street

Know Street		     Gage Street                     July 17, 1809
                             Swallow Street 		     Sept.11, 1790
a)North of Clinton Ave	     First Street 	

LaFayette Street             Fayette Street
                             Sand Street                     April 25, 1825 

Lake Avenue                  Perry Street                    Oct.2, 1882
A)south of Western Ave       Pigeon Street

Lancaster Street             Prideaux Street                 Sept.11, 1790

Lark Street                  Johnson Street                  Sept.11, 1790 

Leonard Place (from          Warren Street
Delaware Ave. to Lark St.

Lexington Ave.               Snipe Street                    Sept.4, 1876
			     Schenectady Street 

Liberty Street               Cow Lane                        

Livingston Ave.		     Lumber Street                   April 21,1879

Madison Ave.                 Wolf Street            
                             Wolfe Street                    Sept.11, 1790
                             Lydius Street                   May 20, 1867

Madison Place(Eagle St.
to Philip St.)               Madison Ave.                    July 1, 1867

Maiden Lane                  Rom Street
                             Rum Street

McPherson Terrace            Clinton Ave.(west of 
                              Judson St.)

Mohawk Street                Hudson River Avenue              Feb.13, 1871

Monroe Street                Van Schaick Street

Montgomery Street(from       Marsh Street                     Jan.22,1827
Quackenbush St.to
Livingston Ave.)                               
                          
Mulberry Street              Spruce Lane


                                                     (If Known)     
PRESENT NAME                 FORMER NAME                  DATE OF CHANGE                         
            
Myrtle Avenue                Mink Street                                              
                             West Ferry Street
                             Ferry Street 
                             Upper Ferry Street
                             Monckton Street


North Pearl Street           
a)Columbia to Pleasant St.   Pearl Street   
b)State to Columbia St.      Orchard Street
c)in North Albany            North Pearl Street              Feb. 13, 1871          
 
Norton Street                Church Lane 
                             Store Lane

Ontario Street               Sparrow Street 
                             Fourth Street
                             Seneca Street                              

Orange Street                Wall Street                    Sept.11,1790               
                             Hare Street

Park Avenue                  Monckton Street                Sept.11,1790                  

Park Place (north of         Capitol Street
State St.) 
 
Park Street (State to        Capitol Street 
Lancaster St.) 
 
Park View Terrace            Madison Ave.(Lexington 
                             to Robin Street)

Plum Street                  Plum Street  

Pruyn Street                 Denniston Street               June 16, 1834 
                             Embargo Alley                  June 16, 1834

Quail Street                 Turkey Street                                    

Quay Street                  Water Street 
                             Dock Street
Robin Street 

Second Avenue                Whitehall Road                 Jan.20,1873 
                             Whitehall Avenue               

Second Street                Elizabeth Street 

Sheridan Avenue              Howe Street                    Sept.11,1790                     
                             Fox Street
                             Canal Street
                             Sand Street
 
			                              (If Known) 
PRESENT NAME	             FORMER NAME	           DATE OF CHANGE 
Sherman Street	             Sand Street 

South Pearl Street	     Cow Lane 
	                     Deklyne Street 
	                     Washington Street 
a) south of Gansevoort St.   Albany-Bethlehem Turnpike	    June 16, 1877 

State Street	             Yonkers Street 
	                     Jonkers Street 
	                     Deer Street 
	                     Broad Street 
a) west of Eagle St.	     Prince Street	            Sept. 11, 1790 

Steuben Street	             Stuben Street 

Swan Street	             Boscawen Street	            Sept. 11, 1790 

Swinton Street	             Maple Street	            Mar. 1, 1897 

Ten Broeck Place (Ten Broeck Third Street                   Sept. 18, 1876 
St.to Swan St.) 

Ten Broeck Street	     High Street	            July, 1831 
Third Avenue	             Van Vechten Street	            Jan.20,1873 

Third Street	             John Street 

Trinity Place	             Davidson Street	            Oct. 20, 1862 
	                     Broad Street	            June 14, 1869 

Union Street	             Cow Lane 
	                     Grass Lane 

Van Woert Street(west of     Lawrence Street 
Broadway) 
Washington Avenue	     Lion Street	            Sept. 11, 1790 
	                     King Street	            Sept. 11, 1790 
	                     Washington Street 

Water Street (Orange to	     Dock Street 
Columbia St.)	             River Street 

West Street	             DeWitt Street	            June 1, 1868 

Westerio Street	             Kane Street 
	                     Pitt Street 

Western Avenue	             Great Western Turnpike	    June 27, 1865 

City of Albany	             Fort Orange 
	                     Aurania 
	                     Oranienberg 
	                     Williamstadt 
	                     Beverwyck 
	                     The Fuyck 

 The following are former villages or neighborhoods that have been 
incorporated into the City of Albany: 

Arbor Hill Groesbeckville Karlsfield Kenwood Martinville Normansville North Albany Pageville Spencersville The Colonie Tivoli Hollow West Albany


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Hon. Bruce A. Hidley, Albany County Clerk

Hon. Bruce A. Hidley,
Albany County Clerk


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