Albany Business College Albany N.Y.

The Albany Business College was a private, for profit  educational insitution and  was a maintain of the city for over a century.  It was established in 1857  as a subsidiary of Bryant and Stratton in 1857 by C.E. Prentice, John Carnell and Benton Hoit.   In later years it severed its affiliation with Bryant and Stratton and was privately owned.

It was originally located at 51-53 North Pearl St.  In 1889 it moved into a grand building, designed by Edward Ogden at  the corner of North Pearl and Columbia Streets in downtown Albany.  

The College moved  twice more in the 2oth century; first to Washington Ave,. 19 133 and then to Central Ave outside the City limits,  to an old Vallee’s restaurant site in the 1970s.  It closed in 1988, and was purchased by Bryant and Stratton, coming full circle.

ABC, as it as known, was sort of a family tradition. A great grandfather from Cohoes attended in the 1880s, a great uncle graduated in 1890, a great aunt in 1918 and another  uncle in 1956.


c 1915
C, 1895
c. 1910
c. 1910
c 1920


c. 1905
abcl 1909 - 3221 collge tailor
c. 1910
c. 1910
Employment Desk 1912
c 1895

abc 1927 - 6667 1

abc1936 - 3073 1

abc 1967 - 0008

If you are on Facebook, consider joining “Albany.. the way it was.”, a FB Group devoted to memories of Albany, NY.  Here’s the link.

Echoes of Pine Hills/Madison Ave Albany NY

Corner of Madison and Partridge c 1973
Dutch Oven Bakery   1938
Dutch Oven Bakery 1938
Lake and Madison c 1920s


School 4 Madison and Ontario
c. 1953
Madison looking east near Ontario, Vincentian on right and School 4 on left



Steamer 10
c. 1955
early 1950s
Mike Flanagan.. second owner of Petit Paris Restaurant mid 1960s and musician extraordinaire.
The Westerly Apts.. S. Main Ave.  Constructed in the early 1900s
The Westerly Apts.. S. Main Ave. Constructed in the early 1900s
The Betty Schuyler Restaurant
The Betty Schuyler Restaurant 1940s


Joe's Maitre'D
Joe’s Maitre’D
c 1959
Madison between Quail and Ontario, north side c 1973

Service station/Garage corner of W.Lawrence and Madison 1930s


Walter's  c. 1958
Walter’s c. 1958







The Old NYS Museum Albany NY


The old NYS Museum in the wonderfully iconic State Education Building was a garden of earthly delights. Tens of thousands of  NYS school children visited  the museum during its 60 some odd years, until it closed when the “new” Museum in the Cultural Center in  the Empire State Plaza opened in the 1970s.

9353424451_b4ce44d14f_zBut for the children of Albany, especially the baby boomer kids of  the ’50s and ’60s,  the Museum was special. It was a source of infinite wonder; it was our own very, very  cool playground.   The Museum was on bus lines; it  was located within walking distance of  two ethnically diverse neighborhoods, Arbor Hill and the South End,; both teeming with children.  And it was free.   When kids in Albany sighed, “I’m bored”,  many an Albany mother replied, “Go to the Museum”.  That was  the big deal about the old Museum.. it was kid friendly.

Rotunda NYS Education Building
Rotunda NYS Education Building

The Museum was on the 5th floor; to get there you passed though the grandeur of the State Ed Building.   The exterior of the building is magnificent and imposing with its massive 36  Corinthian column colonnade.  But it’s even more  gorgeous inside.  The scale is part of it; but it’s also a stunning example early 20th century Beaux-Arts architecture. The central rotunda with a barrel vault ceiling and stupendous chandelier are awe-inspiring. It never failed to take my breath away.  Even the rowdiest kids calmed down, lowered their voices and stopped fidgeting,  sensing they were in the presence of something special. 960x540 (1)

When you reached the Museum floor, the first thing  you saw was a replica of the Gilboa prehistoric forest, filled with ancient fossilized tree stumps and  wonder of wonders, a waterfall.  I don’t know about other kids, but for me, it was so peaceful, it was the equivalent of a Zen garden.

Picture-23-600x364But then the fun began.  The old  Museum was really a museum of natural history. Just up the street was the Albany Institute of History and Art. It had an excellent collection of old Dutch paintings, china, furniture and artifacts, and 2 Egyptian mummies!  But other than the mummies, the Institute held little attraction for most of us kids.  So when I think about the old Museum,  it’s impossible not to think of the movie, Night at The Museum.

Where you went next depended on your mood.. did you want to go visit the Iroquois Indian diorama exhibits?  I remember the first time I saw them; I swear it was if the pages of a National Geographic had come alive. There were Native American artifacts… huge pots and best of all, arrow points and arrowheads. Arrowheads were part of our Akbany childhood. Between digging in back yards and playing in the residential, commercial and public constructions sites that dotted the city for 2 decades, kids were always finding, them.  They were a staple of school “show and tell”.  But the Museum placed them in context.. you  understood that cool thing you found dated back thousands of years.  And then you looked back at the Iroquois exhibits and began to have a better understanding of the people who used them.









You could visit the huge Cohoes mastodon; one of three on display. or maybe a stroll through the  taxidermy  animal collection (which I found sort of creepy.)  The paleontology collection was amazing.. rows upon row of cabinets of miilion year old fossils,  There were botany and biology exhibits; beautiful illustrations of the birds, flora and flowers we saw in our yards and park, and those funky mushrooms we saw growing in the woods.




The fossilized sea life and shells were pretty nifty. I  still love a curvaceous wentletrap or a nautilus.



G-11366Every time I visited, there seemed to be something new.. or something I’d missed. I first fell in love with


sedimentary rocks; fascinated by the layers and strata in limestone and shale.  But there were so many choices.. the sparkling Herkimer Diamond, the “man made diamond”, iridescent quartz of all hues, meteorites, minerals and rocks that shimmered like gold or looked like coral.

The was a tall (maybe 4′)  pillar of rock salt that showed the tongue depressions of decades of New York school children who had licked it.  And we licked it too, just like our parents and aunts and uncles had done before, (I always called it Lot’s Wife.)

There was a bunch of rocks that glowed in the dark in a small room.  Recently someone said that the State Museum was the perfect “group date” for young teen kids in Albany.  You could go into the little dark nook and steal a first kiss.  The Museum had it all.



A friend’s father was the building superintendent of the State Ed Building; I’m still jealous.

If you are on Facebook,  you might want to join the  Facebook Group, “Albany …the way  it was”, to share  your memories of Albany, NY with others. Here’s the link.

The Altamont Fair – Albany Agricultural Society

The first Fair was sponsored by the Albany Agricultural Society in 1813.

From then until 1892, fairs were held in Albany and other surrounding towns, including Bethlehem Center and Slingerlands.

The Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association was incorporated on May 20, 1893. The Board of Directors voted to establish a grandstand (which would be the first permanent structure on the fairgrounds) and also instructed him to draw up plans for a front gate.

Within a month the Board of Directors also approved the purchase 24.5 acres of land in Altamont originally owned by George Severson now held in trust by Isaac Reamer to be known as the “Altamont Fair Grounds.” This is the site of the present fairgrounds.

The first fair to be held at the Altamont location was from September 12 through 15, 1893. Admission was 25 cents for adults, and the net receipts for the four days was $884.13. A racetrack was built in front of the Grandstand, and horse racing was held at the first fair and continued at the Altamont Fair until the mid 1990’s.

In 1896 the Board of Directors appointed a committee to travel to the Cobleskill Fairgrounds to obtain plans and cost estimates of duplicating Cobleskill’s two story Fair Building to be used at Altamont for the “exhibition of Domestic, Manufacture Art and Fancy Work and Fruits and Vegetables.” On August 26, 1896 the Board examined the completed Exhibition Hall and voted to approve and accept the structure, which thy felt had been built with “superior workmanship.” This building is now known as the Flower & Fine Arts a Building and has recently been named to the State and National Register of Historic Sites.

In 1897, the Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association changed its name to the Albany County Agricultural Society and Exposition. Over the next 20 years, more property was acquired and more buildings were constructed, including the Poultry Building in 1899  and a Ladies’ Building (now the Vegetable Building )

In  addition to the the  agricultural, animal  and domestic arts competitions and  exhibitions, the Fair has, through the years, incorporated other attractions. Auto racung was started in 1915 and continued through the 1990s.  Other feature events included wrestling, boxing, a rodeo, a fall out shelter exhibit in the 1960,  dramatic  readings  and plays, an Atlas Missile exhibit in 1962 and, in 1964, a raffle for a house.  Of course, Fair queens have been crowned. Here’s smattering of Fair ads from the 1920’s through the 1960s.

Altamont Fair 1927
Altamont Fair 1937
Altamont fair 1950
Altamont Fair 1951
Altamont Fair 1959
Altamont Fair Fallout Shelter Display 1960
Altamont Fair 1962
Altamont Fair Home Giveaway 1964
Altamont Fair 1965
altamont1968 - 8105
Miss Altamont Fair 1968


If you are on Facebook,  you might want to join the  Facebook Group, “Albany …the way  it was”, to share  your memories of Albany, NY with others. Here’s the link.


The Albany Billiard Ball Company

The Billiard Ball factory was in my neighborhood when I was growing up.  It was located on Delaware Ave. just south of Whitehall Rd.  There’s a strip mall today.  It was a fixture of my childhood, belching smoke  (God only knows what was in it.)


John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920) was the inventor of the celluloid billiard ball. Celluloid, besides being the base of photographic film, was a substitute for ivory, long the prime substance in billiard ball manufacture. The Hyatt “composition” ball, with a celluloid base, dominated the sport until the 1960s.

It went out of business in the mid  1980’s.

Early Photo of Factory


Women inspecting and packing billiard balls in the 1930’s.


Marker Identifying site of factory. 


The Billiard Ball Factory c 1985  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.)
The Billiard Ball Factory c 1985 (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.)
Billiad Ball Co  factory workers late 1970s  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co factory workers late 1970s (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co  factory workers late 1970s  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co factory workers late 1970s (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Special U.S.  Bicentennial Billiard Ball (Courtesy of Joseph Caruso, whose mother workedin the factory at That time.)
Special U.S. Bicentennial Billiard Ball (Courtesy of Joseph Caruso, whose mother worked in the factory at that time.)

The Colonie Summer Theater

The Colonie Summer Theater was THE place for summer entertainment in the Albany area in the 1960’s.  It went by many names over the years: the Colonie Musical Theater,  the Colonie Summer  Theater, the Colonie Colosseum,   and the Starlite Theater, but to locals, it was always “The Tent”.  It was the  place many baby boomer kids saw their first theater production or professional musical act.   It was theater in the round .. there was a sense of intimacy.   When it opened, there were only about 2,000 seats. It was summer theater at its best.

Some nights it was hot and steamy and still,  but there always seemed to be a slight breeze blowing through the flaps of the brightly striped orange and green iconic tent. Other nights, the excitement of the show vied for attention with the crashing and booming of  thunder and flashes of lightning.

tent 1958   colonie


My family went  to the Tent at least 3 or 4 times each summer. The memory of the sights and smells of The Tent are right up there with Coppertone, swimming pool chlorine and orange Popsicles when I think of summer.

I was raised in a family with a love for  theater, especially musical theater.My brother and I were weaned on Rogers and Hammerstein LPs and gorgeous Technicolor movie musicals.  But nothing prepared me for the my first real musical theater at The Tent.  It was  thrilling and exciting,,, there was a sense of immediacy that was wonderful.  The actors and actresses entered down the aisles… right next to where you were sitting. In that small venue, it was almost like they were performing just for me.  The sound of the pit band was bright and clear.

The Tent was started by Eddie Rich, a New York City producer, in 1958.  He created  a venue that brought headliners and somewhat colibniw 1958past their prime headliners from all over, and from all aspects of show business; actors, singers, dancers, musicians.  The first production was Damn Yankees.  We went. I remember being gob smacked, and wandering around the neighborhood for at least a week singing “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets, and little man, Lola wants you” at the t0p of my lungs, anywhere and everywhere.

My most vivid memory is a performance of Brigadoon, the Lerner ad Lowe  musical about a small village in Scotland that appears magically, once every 100 years, and then vanishes again.   There is a chase  scene in Act II.  When it began in the Tent… the performers used very inch  of the theater, running up and down the aisles; we became part of the performance.  It was if there was no distance between us.. we, the entire audience and the  actors were one. For an 11 year old, it was one of the most thrilling experiences, something only avilable in such an intimate setting.  

colonie 1958


Rich died in 1968, but the theater continued. Joe Futia took over operations and built a new, permanent structure in 1969 that replaced the old tent, but it was still theater in the round.  Even in the new building.. the farthest seat was  just over 50″ from the stage. The actual “theater’ events became  fewer over time,- but I recall seeing Gypsy and The Solid Gold Cadillac with Martha Raye in the 1970s.   Futia was terrific at booking the hottest bands and comedians of the time, at the peak of their celebrity.. Blood, Sweat and Tears, Eddie Murphy, Iron Butterfly  in one night gigs, but there were also Las Vegas style acts, like Wayne Newton, Tom Jones and Jerry Vale,  with week-long runs.

In the late 1970s, a revolving stage was constructed.  The acts started to change – a lot of country/western; there were boxing matches.  There were no more week-long productions. I think the headliners were getting ‘bigger” and didn’t want to play a smaller venue.

And then abruptly in the late 1980’s The Tent closed its doors.. mid-season.  The operators at the time canceled all remaining shows – leaving angry ticket holders. It re-opened for the 1988 season.. under the aegis of Northeast Concerts.  The first act was a double bill – Three Dog Night and America.  The Tent was now the Starlite Theater.

But the next decade was a struggle – there were several owners and it never managed to become financially  feasible again.  The halcyon years of the 1960’s and even the 1970’s were gone.  The baby boomers were occupied elsewhere.. with children and mortgages, and there were other options fro summer entertainment throughout the Capital Region and the Berkshires.

The last season was 1997; the Starlite never re-opened. It fell in to sad disrepair and was finally demolished in November 2012.

Notices and memorablia from some of the Tent performances:  1958- 1971.



colonie 1958 (2)colonie  1959  oklahomacolonie  bells 1959colonie  1959 jamaica

colonie rusell 1959

1958 1

1959  4


1959N 3

CAN CAN 1958merry widow 1959



colinie 1962 wildactecolonie 19601960  1colony 1962

Albany NY Knickerbocker News 1961 - 7485

Line at “The Music Man”  1962

music man 1962

colonie 1962

colonie 1962 (4)

colonie 1960 3

colonie 1961

colonie 1962 (2)


Schenectady NY Gazette 1960 Grayscale - 2039

1963 -1966

Troy NY Times Record 1963 - 4543

colonie 1965


colonie 1966 (2)


colnie 1966

Albany NY Knickerbocker News 1966 - 7113

colonie 1966

Albany NY Knickerbocker News 1966 - 5712

Schenectady NY Gazette 1966 Grayscale - 7055


colonie 1967 (3)

colisum dave clark five

Albany NY Knickerbocker News 1967 - 2330


Albany NY Knickerbocker News 1968 - 6389

colonie 1968

Troy NY Times Record 1968 - 7401

Troy NY Times Record 1968 - 7304


Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 9351

Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 6965

Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 7383

Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 7845

Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 8300Schenectady NY Gazette 1969 Grayscale - 8679


Troy NY Times Record 1971 - 5108

Muhlfelder’s Albany NY

Muhlfelder’s was a woman’s clothing store on North Pearl Street in downtown Albany. It was established in the early 1900’s, and closed the early 1970’s. It was  known  for good quality, moderate to expensive clothing.  It was one of the few clothing stores that had an extensive cosmetics department, as well as excellent costume jewelry and hats.

(Ads from the Albany Evening Journal and the Albany Knickerbocker News via


1 easter mulffleders 1914



1 a 1muhlfelders 1916


1.a muhlo 1918


2 muhl 1919 (1)

1930 4 muhl 930

5 muhl 1930 (2)

6 muhl 1930

7 muhl 1930 2


7.a muhl 1932


8 1937 Muhlfelders

9 muh 1937


10 muhl q1940


10 c Troy NY Times Record 1943 - 1847


11 a muhl 1945

11 easter muh 1945


12 amuhl 1948   4

12 cmuhldelfers 1948

12 d muhl 1948 3

12 easterrmuhl 1948

12 emuhl 1948 2

12b mul 1948 4


14 a MUHL 1950

14 MUHL  1 1950

15 MUHL 3 1950


16 mugl 195217 muhl 1952 2

18 muhl 1952 3


19 a string gloves Mulfelder 1955

19 muhfelders 19551

20 muhfelders 1955 2

21 muhfelder 1955


21 a muhlfelfer 1957


22 easter1958 - 2740


22 a muhl 1960 2

22 d muhl  1960 3

23 muh 1960


24 a muhl  hat 1962


25 mugl 1963

26 muhl 1963


26 a muhfldeders 1966


27 muhl 1967 2

28 muhl 1967 3

29 muhl 1967

30 muglfelders

Easter Bonnets/Hats Albany NY

David’s 1948

2.2 davids 1948

Whitney’s 1951

1easter 1951

David’s 1953


McQuades 1922

Albany NY Evening Journal 1922 - 4696

Chic Hat Shop 1966

chic hat 1966

Grace Merrit  1936

easter  Evening News 1936 - 0724

Montgomery Wards  1943

easter  wards 1943

Nussbaum and Livingston 1920

easter 1 1921 - 0907

Spurburg’s  1936

easter Journal 1936 - 0889

Muhlfelder’s 1945

easter muh 1945

Nussbaum and Livingston 1921

easter 1921 2

Muhlfelder’s 1914

easter mulffleders 1914

Myer’s 1967

easter myers 967

Honigsbaum’s 1940

easter stetson 1940

Muhlfelder’s  1958

easter1958 - 2740

Muhlfelder’s 1948

easterrmuhl 1948

Myer’s 1951

easters 1951 - 1296

Flah’s 1958

f;lahs 1956 hat

Muhlfelder’s  1914

easterurnal 1914 - 0890

Grace Merrit  1927

eater merit 1927

Myer’s 1961

hats myers 1961

JoBelle  1941

hat 1941

JoBelle  1939

Jo belle 1939

Flah’s 1961

las 1961

Muhlfelder’s 1960

muh 1960

Myer’s 1967 

myers 1967

Muhlfelder’s 1962

muhl  hat 1962

Muhlfelder’s 1961

muhl 1961

Honigsbaum’s 1962

honigsbaums 1962

Albany’s South Mall Part 2 The Ugly Truth

The first  week of January 1961 set in motion  the building of the South Mall.  Nelson Rockefeller proposed the creation of a new Temporary Commission on the Capital City (TCCC) and Mayor Corning countered with a 2  two year old study that called for major rehabilitation and/or demolition of huge areas of Albany.  The recommendations of the  study, which had never been made public, would if fully implemented, affect over 12,00 families and hundreds of business in Albany.

The rest of January was to be as lively as the first week.

January 6, 1961

jan 6 1961 1On January 6, the Mayor indicated that he was going to pick  an advisory council  for the City’s urban renewal program in North Albany “shortly”.  He made this announcement  in response to press inquiries about statements on a report to the federal government about the progress of the City’s urban renewal efforts funded  by the federal Housing and Home Finance Agency.  The progress report had been submitted in Fall, 1960.  One of the questions asked specifically about “progress of the citizen’s advisory subcommittee  established  to study minority group housing programs and for full opportunity in housing for all.”   No  advisory subcommittee,  or for that matter any committee had been established .  The City’s response  on the progress report was that it would be establishing a committee  in fiscal year starting November, 1960.

The Mayor indicated to reporters that he had no idea about the size of the  council  or when he would make the appointments,   but did say that membership would include representatives from the Chamber of  Commerce, City Club, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Council of Community Services,  Albany Section of the Council of Jewish Women and the Albany Inter-Racial Council. 

The advisers for the North Albany project were named on January 14.  They included Jacob Herzog, a well known local attorney and deputy county superintendent for tax delinquencies; Ida Yarborough from the Inter-Racial Council; Robert  Young, Chamber of Commerce; Bill Kerrigan, Community Chest; Joe Cerutti , a local  labor trade union leader,  and David Bray, Albany Public Schools.

Other changes were already happening across the City.  Demolition of the Wander Building, an older  6 story commercial building that had anchored part of South  Pearl St. and Beaver St. was underway.  The building was compromised in a fire in Sept., 1960, and had sustained in excess of  $300k in damage. 

jan 21 1961

On the same day the City sold the Sheridan Ave. parking lot to the State for $173,500. The Common Council also  authorized $50,00o for unspecified rehabilitation and demolition activities. 

(I have to note that in that  Common Council meeting it  also authorized $4,000 for the “alignment of sewers” on the south end of Holmes Ct.  I gotta chuckle.   “Uncle” Dan O’Connell, the City’s legendary Democratic political boss,  lived  on the south end of Holmes Ct.  I grew up on Holmes Ct, and I’m guessing that if the sewers at that end were misaligned, the sewers at my end were also askew.  I have no recollection of sewer work at my end of the street that year or any year for that matter.)

And also January 6   an editorial in the Knickerbocker News  suggests that perhaps Governor Rockefeller will concentrate on being  governor (at least for now), and commends him for his  general interest in spiffing up Albany. All I can think of is the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Finally , in Mayor’s Corning’s annual address to the Common Council (Jan 6 as well), he outlined the changes  underway in the City:

  • the Washington Avenue extension;
  • a major portion of the  arterial highway program, (probably the river front section);
  • completion of “slum clearance: in North Albany (although no buyer for the land was identified);
  • partial completion of the South End elementary school (Giffen);
  • completion of the  Green St. projects;
  • proposed acquisition of land for a another 400 unit low income project in the South End/Lincoln Park area, and
  • continuation of  Hackett Blvd. from Edgecomb  St. to Manning Blvd.

January 6 1961

arterial  jan 6

On January 10  an interesting article appears in the Albany Knickerbocker News.  The New York State Homebuilders Association  opposes the State’s efforts to become involved in building middle class housing ( small,  but key pieces of both the Governor’s and Mayor’s plans for Albany) . The group also opposes many zoning ordinances under development for residential housing across the state.

In mid January, the Mayor  told the Menands Rotarians that the  river front arterial highway should be completed by 1965, He said that the highway would be a “ground level” and pass under the Livingston Avenue bridge   (Yeah, well part of that came true.)  When asked about parking in downtown Albany, the mayor said the ultimate solution was “buses”.  (LOL)

January 13, 1961 

jan 13  3

The first response to the Mayor’s plans came from the black community – the  black associate pastor of  Temple Baptist Church, the Rev. Dorman Avery.  (Since this is Smalbany,  his wife taught me 10th grade English 5 years later.) The Reverend proposed a churchman’s committee to to “disturb becalmed Christians” and break down racial barriers in Albany Churches.  He made this proposal when he spoke to laypersons in the Interchurchmen’s Fellowship luncheon at the First Reformed Church on January 10th.  The Reverend urged  the Committee to focus on housing discrimination and support of the proposed federal Metcalf-Baker bill that would outlaw housing discrimination in private housing.  

Reverend Avery made the argument that  making housing more accessible was a preferable means of church integration than having predominantly white churches in predominantly white neighborhoods invite black families to become parishioners    He cited his own experience.   The Temple Baptist Church. located on Clinton Ave. had made a conscious decision to remain  in its location.  As a result, the church was become increasingly integrated. (That part of the city became increasingly segregated, and within  a decade, the neighborhood was mostly black, as was the church membership.)

January 10, 1961

jan  10 1961

The issue of  racial  integration and urban renewal was raised 2 days later, again in a a church group.  In mid January(12th) a sociologist, Dr. Wheeler,  from the State College of Education told the Layman’s League of the First Unitarian Church that  fear of racial tension and problems was keeping  the people of the South End, both black and white, from applying to live in the new integrated  high rise housing projects.  Dr. Wheeler indicated that  while some South Enders would rather live in houses that were “ready fall down” than move into the integrated housing despite the fact that the apartments would be some of the “nicest in the city”.   He concluded, however, by saying that the City officials were resourceful and would not permit the  buildings to be unoccupied for long.

Hindsight is again 20/20.  The Green St. projects never were racially integrated to any appreciable degree.  They were, for the most part, occupied  by black  residents.  Most of  the  white residents of the  South End simply moved.

I have to think that  the report of this meeting sent a shock wave through Albany. It chronicled overt prejudice – in your face and unmistakable racism.  The genie was out of the bottle. For years racial issue had been buried or glossed over.    But for many decades  schools and even some churches has been integrated  and  if neighbors were not actually “neighborly”, there at least appeared to be a certain respect for each other. 

But the post World War II black migration to the North, increasing middle class  and westward expansion  in the City  began to change the demography of  Albany.  The population increased to its highest point in 1950.  The poorest sections of the City were dangerously overcrowded.  There were more absentee landlords purchasing investment properties.

Events in Albany would play out against the national backdrop of increasing racial tensions and the Civil Rights movement in the south.  Everyday newspapers, TV and radio reported the events in Georgia, Mississippi and other southern states.  Federal troops had been sent by Eisenhower and the Kennedy Administration would push desegregation with all its power. Powerful, eloquent and courageous black  leaders were emerging who were giving voice to the disenfranchised.The delicate balance was about to be upset in Albany, as it was throughout the country.

January 13, 1961

jan 13 2

More  of the community started to take notice of the Mayor’s plans.  In mid January a Citizens Committee comprised of  local community leaders was formed to address general City planning issues, with the intent to ask the Mayor to confer with the Advisory Council for the North Albany project.  Alas, none of the members had any direct relationship to the soon to be affected residential areas of the City, although the a representative of the Central Avenue Merchants Association was included.  As we might say today, “lily white”. 

jan 24 1961

Another group of 25 local business and professional men formed the Council of Community Relations to study, on an informal basis,  racial concerns connected  with Albany’s urban renewal plans. The group was established directly as a result  of the meeting at the Unitarian Church earlier in the month.  Yet again, none of the members were from the areas which would be directly affected.

Meanwhile the State Housing Commissioner, while speaking to the  Capital Area Council of Churches was urging its members to  sponsor middle income housing  for seniors.  He indicated there was $960 million available for state loans for private builders for such projects  He recommended they take there message City Hall and suggested that  if  “apathy” continued, many upstate cities “would die”.

The plot had begun to thicken.

David’s Clothing Store Albany NY

DAVID’S   was a major woman’s clothing store on North Pearl St. in downtown Albany established  in 1929. In the early 1960’s it opened a second location in Latham, NY.  A third location was opened in Colonie Center.  The Albany location  finally closed in the early 1970’s, as did the Latham  location.  The Colonie Center location closed in the early 1980’s. 


davids 1930


davuds 1937


1 davids 1939




2.1 davids 1948

2.2 davids 1948

2.3 davids 1948

2.4 davuds

24 davids


3 davids coats 1950

3,a davids suits 1950


19535,a davids 2 1953


5. a davids 1954



5.b  1954


19557 1955

6 1955 1

8 dav ids may 185510 davids 1955 3

11 davids 1955 2

12 Daviods 1955 4

13 david may 5 195514 davids may 19551

9 davids 1955


15 dabids chat 1958

16 davids 1958


17 davids 1959 coat


david 1960 1


18 1960


19 1961

20 davids 1961 1

21 davids 1961 2

22 davids 1961


davids 1965 1

davids 1965


davids 1967 (2)

dvaids boots 1966

davids 1967


davids 1969

daviuds 1969