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.
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
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
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 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
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:
- Observe the structure
- Check architectural guidebooks for date of style
- Collect tax assessment data
- Gather necessary deed work
- Compile data from city directories
- Check maps
- 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
- Assessors, City of Albany, Assessment Rolls 1889-1986
- Sampson, Murdock, & Company, Directory 1890 p.243
- Deeds Book 394 p.308
- Deeds Book 91 p.252
- Deeds Book 101 p.392
- Deeds Book 202 p.198
- Deeds Book 262 p.100
- Deeds Book 394 p.308
- Deeds Book 831 p.130; Assessors, City of Albany Assessment Rolls 1986 Ward 5 p.59
- Deed Book 408 p.275; Book 831 p. 130
- Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany Director.1, 1890 p.243;1930 p.792
- Deeds Book 831 p.130
- Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany Directory 1930 p.792; 1937 p.569 1953 p.509
- Deeds Book 1311 p.531
- Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany Directory 1952 p.56; 1968 p.33
- Deeds Book 1935 p.103
- Deeds Book 1935 p.87
- R.L.Polk & Co. Polk's Albany 1971 p.501
- lbid 1969 p.133
- lbid 1969 p.133; 1970 p.129
- Ibid 1970 p.129
- lbid 1972 p.136; 1973 p.136
- Ibid 1974 p.641
- Assessors, City of Albany Assessment Rolls 1986 Ward 5 p.59
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.8 Stafford 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).13 Boyd 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 stockbroker.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
- Rolls, 1819-1986
- Deeds Book 16 pp.84-86
- Assessors, City of Albany Assessment Rolls 1819-1986
- J.J. Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany. Vol.III, J. Munsell; Albany 1870 p.447
- Deeds Book 24 @.347
- Deeds Book 24 p.345
- Deeds Book 24 p.475
- Deeds Book 26 p.415
- J.J. Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany Vol.III.J. 23. Munsell; Albany, 1870 p.446-449
- I.W. Scott, Albany, Directory-, pub. J. B. Van Steinberg. 1831 p.50; L.G.Hoffman, Albany Directory. pub. L.G. Hoffman, 1837 p.60
- L.G. Hoffman. Albany Directory Directory pub. L.G. Hoffman, 1837 p. I 10; 1844 p. 1 78 29.
- lbid 1844 p. 102; 1845 p. 1 14
- J.J. Munsell, Collections on the History of Albany, Vol. Ill. Munsell; Albany, 1870 p.450
- Deeds of Wills #12 p.144-145
- Deeds Book 11 2 p. 1 12-113.
- Adams, Sampson & Co. Albany Directory, pub. Munsell and Rowland; 1860 p.139
- Assessors, City, of Albany, Assessment Rolls, 1851-1855 Ward 4
- L.G. Hoffman, Albany Directory pub L.G. Hoffman, 1846 P.283 Adams, Sampson & Co. and Joel Munsell,
- Adams, Sampson & Co., Albany Directory pub. Van Benthuyen 1865 p.142; Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany Directory, Van Benthuysen pub., 1895 p.392
- Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany Directory pub. Van Benthuyen 1899 p.392; 1897 p.366.
- Book of Wills #19 p.37
- Deeds. Book 569 p.316-317
- Sampson, Murdock &Co. Albany, Directory pub. Van Benthuysen P.566
- Deeds Book 316-17
- Sampson, Murdock & Co. Albany, pub. Weed, Parsons & 1907 p.107.
- Ibid. 1924 p.812
- Deeds Book 711 p.229
- Deeds Book 711 p.228
- Deeds Book 746 p.210
- Deeds Book 872 p.76
- Sampson, Murdock & Co., Albany Directory 1922 p.459
- Ibid. 1924 p.860; 1925p.911
- Ibid. 1926 p.1007, 1929 p.987
- Ibid. 1926 p.1007, 1944 p.529
- Deeds Book 962 p.383
- R.L. Polk's Albany. pub R.L. Polk &Co., Boston 1944 p.103
- Ibid 1946. p.774.
- Assessors, City of Albany Assessment Rolls, 1986 Ward 3 p.6
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 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:
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- The researcher should first consult the most current volume of the Assessment Rolls.
- 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.
- 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.
- After the current tax assessment data has been copied, the researcher
should work backwards through the volumes until he meets one of the
- The lot on the street is described as vacant. (No building is on the site).
- 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.
- There are no available volumes for the ward in which the property is located; this will usually occur in 1813, 1823, 1835 or 1840.
- 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 property.
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
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:
- Owner of the property.
- Occupants of the building, although not consistently.
- Various categories of Water Rents and when these were paid.
- Building usage.
- Front dimension of the building.
- Number of stories.
- Dimensions of lot.
- "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:
- The building is undergoing alteration, sometimes specifying the nature of the alteration, such as the addition of a story.
- The front dimension of the building has changed.
- 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
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 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 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:
- the names of both the grantee and the grantor;
- a description of the property, indicatingthelotandorthedistance6ftheproperty,from a given location;
- the book and page number of the Deedv book in which the deed is located;
- the date of transaction and
- the date that the deed was recorded.
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.
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.
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
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 directory 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.
- Owner's address, occupation and place of business, noting all changes.
- Tenant's occupation and place of business, again noting all changes. All tenants should be listed (except in the case of large apartment buildings).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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
- Sanborn Insurance Maps: 1972-1974
- Enrollment of Voters : 1941-1969
- Sanborn Insurance Maps: 1934
- New York State Census Rolls : 1925
- New York State Census Rolls: 1915
- Indices & Records to Building Permits: 1909-1925
- Sanborn Insurance Maps: 1908-1909
- Register of Voters : 1899-1966
- Sanborn Insurance Maps : 1892
- Atlas of Albany by G.M. Hopkins: 1876
- Beers Atlas of New York State: 1866
- Water Rents: 1851-1972
- Albany City Directories: 1830-1983
- Tax Assessment Rolls: 1813-1976
- Index to Wills and Letters of Administration: 1787-1895
- Street Openings
- Wills: 1691-1835
- Albany Common Council Minutes: 1686-pres.
- Deeds : 1656-pres.
- Mortgage Books: 1630-pres.
- Index to Deeds: 1630-1894
Note: All sources are non-circulating. Records are accessible to the public. ACHOR encourages the use of microfilm copies.
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.
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.
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).
- Joel Munsell,Collections on the History of Albany. Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell, 1870, Vol. 3, p.362.
- Common Council, City of Albany, Proceedings for the Year 1871. (Albany, N.Y.: Argus Co. Printers) p.214
- Ibid., p.5 17.
- Ibid., 1890. p.601.
- Albany County Clerk, Street Openings. Vol. 1, (Orange St.) 1874, p.48.
- Common Council, City of Albany, Proceedings for the Year 1871. (Albany, N.Y.: Argus Co. Printers, p.214. 1871) p.154.
- Ibid., 1870, p.213.
Some Changes in the Names of Albany Streets
Taken from the index to the public records of the County of Albany.
|Present Name||Former Name||Date of Change|
|Albany Street||Albany Avenue||02-13-1871|
|Arch Street||Beaver Lane||
|Ashgrove Place (from Trinity Place to Grand St.)||Westerlo Street||1869|
|Bleecker Street||Bass Street||
|Broad Street||Jonkers Street||
a) north of State St.
b) north of State St.
c) south of State St.
|South Market Street||
d) State to Gansevoort St.
e) at Patroon Creek
|Van Rensselaer Mill||
f) Columbia to Clinton Ave.
g) at North Pearl Street
h) from Van Rensselaers
|Extension of Troy Road||
|Capitol Park||Capitol Square||
|Chapel Street||Barrack Street||
|Charles Street||Johnson Street||03-19-1877|
|Clinton Street||Church Street||
|Clinton Avenue||Patroon Street||
|Columbia Street||New Street||
a) at North Pearl
|Congress Street||Spring Street||08-06-1860|
|Dean Street||Prince Street||
a) Steuben to Hudson
|Delaware Avenue||Delaware Turnpike||
|Division Street (from Hudson River to S. Pearl St.)||Bone Lane||
|Dove Street||Warren Street||09-11-1790|
|Dudley Avenue (west of N. Pearl St.)||North Ferry Street||
|Eagle Street||Duke Street||09-11-1790|
|Elk Street||Queen Street||
a) Clinton Ave.to Lark St.
|Elm Street||Pitt Street||
|Emmet Street||Broadway Avenue||02-13-1871|
|Exchange Street||Mark Lane||
|Ferry Street||Mink Street||
|Fourth Avenue||Nucelia Street||01-20-1873|
|Franklin Street||Frelinghuysen Street||03-30-1828|
|Fulton Street||Williams Street||
|Gansevoort Street||South Street||
|Genessee Street||Watervliet Avenue||02-13-1871|
|Grand Street||Hallenbake Street||
|Green Street||Van Driesen Street||
a) south of Beaver Street
|Esplanade or Plain Street||
b) north of Beaver Street
or Rag Market
or Cheap Side
Hamilton Street New Street (east of Broadway)
|Hawk Street||Hawke Street||09-11-1790|
|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||09-11-1790|
a) east of Broadway
|James Street||Middle Lane||
|Jefferson Street||Herkimer Street||
|John Street||Sturgeon Street||c.1882|
|Judson Street||Second Street||
|Know Street||Gage Street||07-17-1809|
a)North of Clinton Ave
|LaFayette Street||Fayette Street||
|Lake Avenue||Perry Street||10-02-1882|
|A)south of Western Ave||Pigeon Street||
|Lancaster Street||Prideaux Street||09-11-1790|
|Lark Street||Johnson Street||09-11-1790|
|Leonard Place (from Delaware Ave. to Lark St.)||Warren Street||
|Lexington Ave.||Snipe Street||09-04-1876|
|Liberty Street||Cow Lane||
|Livingston Ave.||Lumber Street||04-21-1879|
|Madison Ave.||Wolf Street||
|Madison Place (Eagle St. to Philip St.)||Madison Ave.||07-01-1867|
|Maiden Lane||Rom Street||
|McPherson Terrace (west of Judson St.)||Clinton Ave.||
|Mohawk Street||Hudson River Avenue||02-03-1871|
|Monroe Street||Van Schaick Street||
|Montgomery Street (from Quackenbush St. to Livingston Ave.)||Marsh Street||01-22-1827|
|Mulberry Street||Spruce Lane||
|Myrtle Avenue||Mink Street||
|West Ferry Street|
|Upper Ferry Street|
|North Pearl Street||
a) Columbia to Pleasant St.
b) State to Columbia St.
c) n North Albany
|North Pearl Street||02-13-1871|
|Norton Street||Church Lane||
|Ontario Street||Sparrow Street||
|Orange Street||Wall Street||09-11-1790|
|Park Avenue||Monckton Street||09-11-1790|
|Park Place (north of State St.)||Capitol Street||
|Park Place (State to Lancaster St.)||Capitol Street||
|Park View Terrace (Lexington to Robin Street)||Madison Ave.||
|Plum Street||Plum Street||
|Pruyn Street||Denniston Street||06-16-1834|
|Quail Street||Turkey Street||
|Quay Street||Water Street||
|Second Avenue||Whitehall Road||01-20-1873|
|Second Street||Elizabeth Street||
|Sheridan Avenue||Howe Street||09-11-1790|
|Sherman Street||Sand Street||
|South Pearl Street||Cow Lane||
a) south of Gansevoort St.
|State Street||Yonkers Street||
a) west of Eagle St.
|Steuben Street||Stuben Street||
|Swan Street||Boscawen Street||09-11-1790|
|Swinton Street||Maple Street||03-01-1897|
|Ten Broeck Place (Ten Broeck St.to Swan St.)||Third Street||09-18-1876|
|Ten Broeck Street||High Street||07-1831|
|Third Avenue||Van Vechten Street||01-20-1873|
|Third Street||John Street||
|Trinity Place||Davidson Street||10-20-1862|
|Union Street||Cow Lane||
|Van Woert Street (west of Broadway)||Lawrence Street||
|Washington Avenue||Lion Street||09-11-1790|
|Water Street (Orange to Columbia St.)||Dock Street||
|West Street||DeWitt Street||06-01-1868|
|Westerio Street||Kane Street||
|Western Avenue||Great Western Turnpike||06-27-1865|
|City of Albany||Fort Orange||
The following are former villages or neighborhoods that have been incorporated into the City of Albany:
- Arbor Hill
- North Albany
- The Colonie
- Tivoli Hollow
- West Albany