New York - Albany - Points of Interest
The PARKER DUNN MEMORIAL BRIDGE, Broadway and Madison Ave., opened in 1933, the only toll-free bridge across the Hudson River between New York City and Troy, was named in honor of Parker F. Dunn ( 1890-1918), Albany war hero and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The elevating center span is the heaviest ever installed in this country.
The DELAWARE & HUDSON BUILDING, at the Plaza, Broadway at the foot of State St., a large granite structure designed in the Flemish Gothic style by Marcus T. Reynolds, has steep slate roofs and many ornamented dormer windows. Completed in 1918, it is four stories high with a 13-story central tower surmounted by a large bronze weather vane modeled after Hudson's Half Moon. A one-story vaulted arcade runs across the entire front of the building.
The FEDERAL BUILDING (POST OFFICE), SE. corner of Broad way and Maiden Lane, completed in 1936, is a five-story building of modern design with slight Greek influence, built of white Vermont marble on a white granite base. The simplicity of its design is relieved by the vertical setbacks around the doors and windows and a carved frieze depicting the story of the United States mail. A feature of the interior decoration is a series of nine indirectly illuminated ceiling maps which portray the nations of the world. The architects were Gander, Gander, and Gander.
The JOHN V.L. PRUYN LIBRARY, SE. corner of N.Pearl St. and Clinton Ave., is of modified Dutch Renaissance architecture, with brick and stone walls, carvings, high stepped gables, steep roofs, tower, iron work, narrow mullioned windows, and richly decorated interior. Its imported fireplace tiles are Holland Dutch of 1580, and several pieces in the children's room are from churches and chateaux in France. The building was designed by Marcus T. Reynolds and constructed in 1901 on the site of the birthplace of John V. L. Pruyn ( 1811-77), lawyer, congressman, and Chancellor of the University of the State of New York.
The FIRST DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH (the North Dutch Church), SW. corner of N. Pearl and Orange Sts., begun in 1797, is the fourth building of the congregation, organized in 1642 and therefore the second oldest Protestant church body in America that has had a continuous existence. Philip Hooker not only furnished the design for the structure but also acted with Elisha Putnam as 'undertaker' (contractor). Hooker's original design, based on the Hollis Street Church in Boston by Charles Bulfinch, called for a fine pedimented portico with four brick Roman Doric columns, the whole flanked by twin baroque towers. The interior was severely plain. In 1858 the building underwent extensive alterations: the entrance portico was replaced by a projecting Romanesque block, and the steeples were covered with slate; within, the flat ceiling was masked by plaster groined vaults, windows received stained glass, and the walls were covered with medieval ornament.
The unusually wide central aisle is due to the retention of a seventeenthcentury Communion service in which the whole congregation is seated at a long table placed in the aisle. The oaken pulpit was carved in Holland in 1656. The box pew used by Theodore Roosevelt while governor of the State is marked with a bronze tablet.
ST.JOSEPH'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, Ten Broeck St. between First and Second Sts., completed in 1860, except for the spire which was added about 1910, is in a parklike setting. It is constructed of blue stone in a modified Gothic Revival style; the trim was originally of French Caen stone, which, because it disintegrated in the severe climate, was replaced by Indiana buff limestone. The plan is cruciform, with high clerestory, nave, and transepts, and wide side aisles. The arched main entrance is through a square, buttressed, four-story tower surmounted by a high, dormered spire.
The TEN BROECK MANSION (private), 9 Ten Broeck Place, a solid, well-preserved brick building in the post-Colonial style, is two-and-onehalf-stories high, with two prominent chimneys on each end. The ornamental hand-wrought iron beam anchors form the initials E and ATB, and the date 1798. The house was built by Abraham Ten Broeck ( 1734-1810), Revolutionary patriot, member of the Albany Committee of Safety, 1775-7, member of the convention that framed the first State constitution, brigadier general in the Revolution, and mayor of Albany.
ST.PETER'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NW. corner of State and Lodge Sts., Gothic Revival in style, was designed in the French medieval tradition in 1859 by Richard Upjohn, the architect of Trinity Church in New York City. The square memorial tower, terminating in four pinnacles, the outside one higher than the rest and supporting an ornamented cross, was designed by Upjohn's son, Richard M. Upjohn, in 1876. The second rear east window was designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and made under his supervision by the William Morris Company, London, in 1880. The pulpit was designed by Robert W. Gibson in 1886; the figures in the reredos were sculptured by Louis Saint-Gaudens in the studio of his brother Augustus. The church body was organized in 1716. The grave of George Augustus, Lord Howe, killed in the attack on Ticonderoga in 1758, is believed to be beneath the vestibule floor.
The CITY HALL, Eagle St. between Maiden Lane and Pine St., erected in 1882, was designed by Henry H. Richardson in his characteristic modified French Romanesque style. The pyramidal-roofed tower houses the city carillon of 60 bells, the largest of which weighs 11,200 pounds. In the mayor's office is a portrait of the first mayor, Peter Schuyler, painted in London in 1710 by Sir Godfrey Kneller.
The NEW YORK STATE COURT OF APPEALS BUILDING, Eagle St. between Pine and Columbia Sts., constructed of white Sing Sing marble in 1835-42, Henry Rector architect, is Greek Revival in design, with a six-columned Ionic portico. Since it was originally built to house State offices, no expense was spared to make this building as fire-resistant as possible; therefore all the floors are composed of heavy masonry vaults. The thick rectangular mass has a central rotunda decorated with excellently executed superposed Greek orders and lighted from a skylighted dome. The two principal floors have 22-foot ceilings.
The stair to the left of the entrance is a notable example of self-supporting masonry. In a rear addition has been installed the Appellate Courtroom designed by H.H.Richardson in 1881. The room is paneled in light brown oak. Richardson's luxuriant Byzantinesque ornament is seen around the inglenook of the fireplace, which is faced with Siena marble and Mexican onyx, and in the old clockcase close by.
The ALBANY COUNTY COURTHOUSE, Eagle St. between Pine and Columbia Sts., erected in 1916, is a granite and limestone building in the neoclassic style, with engaged Ionic columns at the upper stories. The interior contains an open court from the roof to below the second floor ceiling, where it is covered by a large vaulted ceiling light. The lower court is striking with its columns and cream-colored Caen-stone walls.
The SCHUYLER MONUMENT, standing on a circular plot in front of the city hall, is the work of J.Massey Rhind. Philip Schuyler ( 17331804), born in Albany, supported the Revolutionary cause. He commanded the defenses of the northern frontier from 1775 until he was replaced by General Horatio Gates just before the Battle of Saratoga. Burgoyne and ranking British officers were his guests at the Schuyler Mansion for a week after the surrender. He played an important part in the earliest efforts to make the State's waterways navigable between the Hudson and the Great Lakes and in the chartering of Union College. Daniel Webster said Schuyler 'was second only to Washington in the services he performed for his country.'
LAFAYETTE PARK and ACADEMY PARK comprise a single stretch of greensward bounded by Washington Ave., and Hawk, Eagle, and Elk Sts. The western part is named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, who lived in Albany in 1778. The eastern part takes its name from the old Albany Academy building, erected in 1815, now called the Joseph Henry Memorial and occupied by the Albany Department of Education. The interior was remodeled in 1935 as a PWA project with Marcus T. Reynolds as architect. The two-story structure, designed by Philip Hooker and considered his masterpiece, is of formal post-Colonial architecture, constructed of brownstone, with Ionic pilasters, balustraded parapet, and a tall and graceful classical cupola. It was in this building that Joseph Henry ( 1797-1878), a quarter-century before Morse's telegraph, succeeded in ringing a bell over a circuit of wire strung around one of the rooms. A statue of Henry stands in front of the building.
The STATE CAPITOL, in Capitol Park, bounded by Eagle, State, and Swan Sts. and Washington Ave., is an imposing, massive granite building crowning the hill. The exterior suggests a giant French chateau, with pyramidal red the corner roofs and long, connecting gray slate roofs, high dormers, chimneys, and balustrades, and monumental eastern staircase extending 166 feet from the building.
The New York State legislature has met in Albany since 1797. Work was started on the present building in 1867. When it was formally occupied by the legislature in 1879, it was not yet complete; and even in 1898 Governor Black was able to say only that the building was 'practically completed.'
Because of the many years of building, 1867-98, the influences of prevailing and passing styles of architecture, political personalities, and individual architects all found expression in the building, leaving it a mixture of styles and tastes. The exterior of the lower three floors is designed in the manner of the French Second Empire with Doric and Corinthian columns, arched windows, and rusticated stone work. The fourth floor is Romanesque: the columns are stubby in comparison with those of the second floor, the windows have a noticeably lower arch, the stone carvings are of natural objects—birds, trees, and flowers. On the fifth floor the towers, cornices, and dormers suggest the style of Francis I, the windows lacking the arches of the lower floors. The pedestals and balustrades of the monumental front staircase and the many chimneys are French Renaissance; the chimneys are adorned with clustered columns, bases, and capitals. The plan, exterior decorations, and general massing of the building were the work of Thomas W. Fuller. The tower which he included in the original design and partly built was eliminated because the soil and the foundations would not safely carry it. The original plans were modified and added to by Leopold Eidlitz and H.H.Richardson in the prevailing styles of their day. To Isaac G. Perry as State Architect fell the duty of completing the designs of the other architects according to his own interpretation and subject to the needs of the State governmental departments. Eidlitz and Richardson were responsible for the Executive Chamber.and the Court of Claims room; Eidlitz designed the Assembly Chamber and Richardson the Senate Chamber. The great western staircase and the main, eastern approach, with its corbels and arches, were designed by Richardson. Much of the exterior and interior stone carving and marble and wood paneling and carving was done by Perry.
The front staircase leads into the memorial rooms on the second floor, which contain Civil, Spanish-American, and World War mementos. The frescoes on the ceiling of the inner room depict military conflicts from the time of the Indian wars to the World War. The Executive Chambers are on this floor; the walls of the main room are wainscoted with mahogany and hung with portraits of Lafayette, Washington, and former governors of the State.
On the third floor are the Senate and Assembly chambers and the legislative library. The walls of the Senate Chamber are of Knoxville marble; the ceiling has massive carved oak beams. Two enormous fireplaces stand at one side of the room, with andirons more than four feet high. The walls of the Assembly Chamber are of sandstone, covered with sound-absorbing material; the ceiling is supported by four huge columns of Tennessee marble.
The building contains three notable staircases. The Senate staircase in the southeast corner is in the Gothic style; the Assembly staircase in the northeast corner is of simpler Gothic; the famous western staircase, the most ornate, is constructed of brownstone and lighted by an immense glazed dome and many clusters of lights.
The Sheridan Statue, on the grounds E. of the Capitol, is a heroic equestrian statue of General Philip Sheridan ( 1831-88), native of Albany, cavalry commander under General U.S.Grant in the Civil War, and hero of Thomas B. Read's poem, Sheridan's Ride. The bronze monument on a base of polished granite was designed by J.Q.A.Ward and completed by his pupil, Daniel Chester French.
The NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION BUILDING, Washington Ave. between Hawk and Swan Sts., designed by Palmer, Hornbostel, and Jones, erected and dedicated in 1912, houses Chancellor's Hall, the State Library, the State Museum, and the offices of the State Education Department. The architecture is neoclassic, with modified Greek ornament. A colonnade of 36 Corinthian columns extends along the entire front.
Inside, to the right of the main entrance, is a broad staircase leading to the rotunda. Set in panels along the walls adjacent to the rotunda are 32 murals on the theme of education, designed and executed by Will H. Low.
On the second floor is the New York State Library (open 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. weekdays except holidays, Oct.-May; 8:30-6, June-Sept.), founded in 1818. It possesses outstanding collections in New York State history and rare early American books. The manuscript collection includes the original drafts of Washington's Farewell Address and Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The reading room is modeled on that of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
On the top floor is the New York State Museum (open 9-5 Mon.-Fri., 9-12 Sat. except holidays, Oct.-May; 9-5 weekdays, 10-5 Sun., June-Sept.), which houses one of the largest collections of invertebrate fossils in the country. One group exhibit restores the tree fossils found at Gilboa, New York. In the Hall of Vertebrates is a specimen of the American mastodon, flanked by a restoration executed in plaster and coarse grass. On the west mezzanine are six dioramas of Iroquois Indians, grouped in realistic attitudes, depicting the daily activities of the Six Nations.
The CATHEDRAL OF ALL SAINTS, SE. corner of Elk and Swan Sts., seat of the Episcopal diocese of Albany, an unfinished edifice designed in the English Gothic style by Robert W. Gibson, is overshadowed by the higher, classical Education Building, which partly surrounds it. The exterior of the east portion, with its flying buttresses, and the aisles are constructed of rock-cut brownstone. The front, nave, and both transepts are of common brick without the stone facings; and the towers and lantern of the original plan are lacking, though there is a small flêche over the crossing.
The interior has been sufficiently completed to provide a cathedrallike atmosphere. Two rows of stone piers and arches, flanking the nave, accentuate the spaciousness of the building and draw the eye to the high altar, reredos, and large window of the east end. A delicate iron and brass rood screen separates the nave from the chancel. The stalls, imported from a church in Bruges, Belgium, are of carved oak, the carving dating back to 1655. The chancel and the south transept have elaborate stone carvings. The large stained-glass window in the west end is by John La Farge; the rose window in the north transept is by Maitland Armstrong; most of the others, including the east window above the altar, are by British designers.
The building was begun under the Right Reverend William Croswell Doane , first Bishop of Albany and author of the well-known hymn, Ancient of Days, whose tomb is directly under the high altar. The cornerstone was laid in 1884. The last major construction was done in 1902-4.
The NEW YORK STATE OFFICE BUILDING, Swan St. between Washington Ave. and State St., 33 stories in height, was completed in 1930. The massive exterior, of limestone and granite, is of modern design, built in a series of setbacks; the two lower floors are designed in the neoclassic manner. The Tower (open weekdays all year; Sun. June-Sept.) affords a bird's-eye view of Albany and the surrounding countryside.
The ALBANY INSTITUTE OF HISTORY AND ART, 125 Washington Ave., a two-story gray brick building set back from the street, contains collections of American, English, and Dutch paintings, mostly of the nineteenth century, and period furniture. Special exhibits are held frequently.
The NEW YORK STATE COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS, Western Ave. between Robin St. and S.Lake Ave., consists of a group of red brick buildings in Georgian Colonial and neoclassic style. Draper Hall, the administration building, built in 1908, is connected by colonnades with Hawley Hall on the left and Huested Hall on the right. The college, with a registration of 1,000 students, men and women, prepares teachers for secondary schools.
BLEECKER STADIUM, Clinton Ave. between Swinburne Park and Ontario St., with a field house of Georgian Colonial design, was built by the WPA. It seats 10,000 and has two baseball fields, a football field, a quarter-mile track, jumping ann vaulting pits, and tennis courts.
The COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE is on Madison Ave. between Main Ave. and Partridge St. Of particular note are Saint Joseph Hall on Madison Avenue, a red brick building with limestone trim, in modified Georgian style with a Corinthian colonnade on the upper story; and Science Hall, facing Western Avenue, a three-story brick and limestone structure. Chartered in 1924, the college, under the direction of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, has a student body of 300 girls, and grants baccalaureate degrees in liberal arts, science, music, and nursing.
In the VINCENTIAN INSTITUTE BUILDING, N.E. corner of Ontario and Yates Sts., is the CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES, the sanctuary of which is designed in the manner of the Grotto of Lourdes, France. The stonework gives the appearance of a cave, an effect enhanced by a cascade, the murmur of which resounds throughout the chapel. The altar is embellished with colored marble mosaics. The cave is illuminated by hidden lights.
The BENDER HYGIENIC LABORATORY (private), 136 S.Lake Ave., is a narrow, three-story-and-basement neoclassic building constructed of brick on a stone foundation. The laboratory was founded by a group of public-minded citizens in 1895, when the building was presented by Nathan W. Bender in memory of his wife. It carries on bacteriological examinations for the hospitals of Albany and vicinity, conducts scientific research, and holds classes in pathology.
The DUDLEY OBSERVATORY, S.Lake Ave. N. of New Scotland Ave., founded in 1846, is part of Union University; the present building was erected in 1893. The refracting telescope is in the dome. A five-volume catalogue charting the movements of 33,000 stars, compiled by the observatory staff under the direction of Benjamin Boss, serves as a reference guide in all observatories. Visitors are allowed to look through the telescope when visibility is good.
The ALBANY ACADEMY, NW. corner of Academy Rd. and Hackett Blvd., a nonsectarian boys' preparatory school organized in 1813, is best known for the accomplishments of its distinguished professor, Joseph Henry. The present brick and marble building, completed in 1931, was designed in modified Georgian style by Marcus T. Reynolds.
The ALBANY COLLEGE OF PHARMACY, 106 New Scotland Ave., a three-story building of modified Georgian design, is constructed of tapestry brick and limestone. Established in 1881, the college is part of Union University. The reconstructed O.B.Troop drugstore, which flourished in Schoharie in 1800, is on permanent exhibition in the building.
The ALBANY LAW SCHOOL, SW. corner of New Scotland and Holland Aves., erected in 1928, is a seam-faced granite structure designed in the Tudor Gothic style. The school was founded as a branch of the University of Albany in 1851 through the efforts of Ira Harris, Amasa J. Parker, and Amos Dean. In 1873 the University united with Union College, Schenectady, to form Union University. William McKinley, President of the United States, 1898-1901, graduated from the Albany Law School in the class of 1867.
The ALBANY HOSPITAL, New Scotland Ave. between Myrtle and S.Lake Aves., the oldest hospital in the city, was established in 1849. Its nurses' home is one of the largest in the State. The central building of brick with white stone trim was reconstructed in 1928.
Adjoining and connected with the hospital is the Albany Medical College, which occupies a four-story brick structure. The college, founded in 1838, is part of Union University.
The ACADEMY OF THE HOLY NAMES, 628 Madison Ave., a private Catholic preparatory school for girls, was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names in 1884. The present stone and brick building, erected in 1914, is English Collegiate Gothic in style, with projecting wings, bay windows, and porches. The curriculum includes elementary and college preparatory courses.
WASHINGTON PARK, bounded by State and Willett Sts. and S. Lake and Madison Aves., occupying go acres, dates from 1865 and is Albany's largest park. It contains five miles of elm- and maple-shaded drives bordered by lawns landscaped with flower beds, flowering shrubs, and larch groves.
Near the Madison Avenue side of the park, facing the lake, is the King Fountain, with figures in copper, by J.Massey Rhind, presented to the city in 1879 by Henry R. King in memory of his father. The figures represent Moses and his followers at the rock of Hebron.
East of the King Fountain stands the Robert Burns Statue, designed by Charles Calverly and erected in 1888. The seated figure is of bronze on a base of polished Scotch granite, set on a slightly elevated circular mound and overhung by maple and elm trees. At the northern end of the park, near the Northern Boulevard and State Street entrance, is the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, erected by the city in memory of its Civil War heroes.
The Roman Catholic CATHEDRAL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, SW. corner of Madison Ave. and Eagle St., was dedicated in 1852. The large Gothic Revival building of warm brownstone stands on the crest of a hill. The two graceful front spires suggest those of Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The impressive Gothic exterior admirably complements the somber and spacious interior, with its altars and elaborately carved oak pulpit. Many of the former bishops of the diocese are buried in the crypt under the sanctuary.
The STATE EXECUTIVE MANSION (private), SW. corner of Eagle and Elm Sts., a large red brick building of the Civil War period, stands well back in a landscaped setting. On the first floor are the governor's office, the breakfast room, a large state dining room and kitchens, and the reception and check room. The second floor contains the living quarters of the governor and his family.
LINCOLN PARK, bounded by Eagle St. and Park, Morton, and Delaware Aves., is the second largest park in the city. In the southwest corner is the James Hall Building, erected by James Hall, State Geologist, 1836-98. This building served for 50 years as his residence, office, and laboratory, and was an active center of geological science. It was renovated in 1936 as a fresh-air school for undernourished children.
The SCHUYLER MANSION, SW. corner of Clinton and Schuyler Sts., now a State-owned museum, was built by Philip Schuyler in 1762. The building, in its day called 'The Pastures,' is of Georgian Colonial architecture, with red brick walls, white trim, and a hipped gambrel roof set behind a delicate wood parapet railing and pierced by square chimneys and pedimented dormers. The octagonal vestibule is an early nineteenth-century addition. The interior is laid out in the typical Colonial plan with a wide center hall and central staircase and a fireplace in each room. In the room in the southeast corner of the first floor Elizabeth Schuyler was married to Alexander Hamilton. Much of the furniture now in the house belonged to the Schuyler family. Among the mementos in the second-floor collection are
General Burgoyne's shoe buckles, which the general gave to the Schuyler children on his visit after the defeat at Saratoga in 1777, and two pearlencrusted lockets, one with a lock of George Washington's hair, the other with a braided strand of the hair of Alexander Hamilton and his wife.
The PORT OF ALBANY (open), Hudson River, S. end of Church St., one of the largest inland seaports and ports of entry in the United States, was completed in 1932. The port occupies 217 acres, with a dock frontage of 4,400 feet, accommodating craft up to 27foot draft. It has the largest single-unit grain elevator in the world.
The NEW YORK STATE BANK BUILDING, NE. corner of State and Pearl Sts., is a 17-story red brick office structure with stores on the first floor. When the present building was built in 1927, with H.I.Cobb as architect, the original structure, erected in 1803 and designed by Philip Hooker, was removed, except for the State Street fagade, which now forms the main entrance. This portion is in the post-Colonial style, showing a strong Adam influence. The windows of the first story were originally doorways with small entrance stoops, and the present doorway was formerly a central window.