Inside/Outside: Finding a Sense of Place
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.
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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.
Albany County Archivist
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
Robert W. Arnold III
Albany County Hall of Records
Director of Public Records,
City of Albany
Albany County Historian
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
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
Barbara A. Ruch
Albany County Archivist
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Writing the Building Report
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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
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
The finished written history should include the following
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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Gathering the Research Data, Part I
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CITY OF ALBANY ASSESSMENT ROLLS
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
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.
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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
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
4. After the current tax assessment data has been copied, the researcher
should work backwards through the volumes until he meets one of the
a. The lot on the street is described as vacant. (No building is on the
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.
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
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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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
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.
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
CITY OF ALBANY BUILDING PERMITS
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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.
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
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.
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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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
ALBANY CITY DIRECTORIES
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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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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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
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.
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
The researcher should copy all necessary information for the address;
census year, city, ward number, election district and page number should be
REGISTRATION OR ENROLLMENT OF VOTERS VOLUMES
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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.
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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
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
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
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
PHOTOGRAPHS, PRINTS AND ARTISTIC RENDERINGS
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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
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
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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
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.
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
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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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
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.
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
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
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
(From Department of Urban Redevelopment, City of Albany, Historic Resources
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
PRESENT NAME FORMER NAME DATE OF CHANGE
Albany Street Albany Avenue Feb.13,1871
Arch Street Beaver Lane
Ashgrove Place(from Trinity
Place to Grand St.) Westerlo Street 1869
Bleecker Street Bass Street
Broad Street Jonkers Street
Broadway Handelaers 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
Turnpike July 15, 1867
Chapel Street Barrack 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
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
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
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
a) S. Pearl to Lodge St. Nail St. or Nail Alley
Hudson Avenue Quidor or Quiter Street Sept. 11, 1790
Hudson Street March 4, 1872
a) east of Broadway Spanish Street
James Street Middle Lane
PRESENT NAME FORMER NAME DATE OF CHANGE
Jefferson Street Herkimer 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
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
McPherson Terrace Clinton Ave.(west of
Mohawk Street Hudson River Avenue Feb.13, 1871
Monroe Street Van Schaick Street
Montgomery Street(from Marsh Street Jan.22,1827
Mulberry Street Spruce Lane
PRESENT NAME FORMER NAME DATE OF CHANGE
Myrtle Avenue Mink Street
West Ferry Street
Upper Ferry 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
Ontario Street Sparrow Street
Orange Street Wall Street Sept.11,1790
Park Avenue Monckton Street Sept.11,1790
Park Place (north of Capitol Street
Park Street (State to Capitol Street
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
Second Avenue Whitehall Road Jan.20,1873
Second Street Elizabeth Street
Sheridan Avenue Howe Street Sept.11,1790
PRESENT NAME FORMER NAME DATE OF CHANGE
Sherman Street Sand Street
South Pearl Street Cow Lane
a) south of Gansevoort St. Albany-Bethlehem Turnpike June 16, 1877
State Street Yonkers 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
Van Woert Street(west of Lawrence Street
Washington Avenue Lion Street Sept. 11, 1790
King Street Sept. 11, 1790
Water Street (Orange to Dock Street
Columbia St.) River Street
West Street DeWitt Street June 1, 1868
Westerio Street Kane Street
Western Avenue Great Western Turnpike June 27, 1865
City of Albany Fort Orange
The following are former villages or neighborhoods that have been
incorporated into the City of Albany:
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