In the early 1800’s Albany’s open air public market was located at the intersection of State and Market Street (now Broadway).
Over time the market are moved north, as real estate in the City center became more costly. By the early 1880s it was held once a week and located at the top of the State St. hill, just below Eagle St. and the State Capitol.
By the late 1880’s it was re- located near the base of the Madison Ave . In the early 1890s, over some opposition who wanted located closer to the Hudson River and railroad lines, it was relocated to the Lyons Block. This was a large open area below the Lyon’s Printing Company Building. It was bounded by Grand, Hudson, Beaver and Daniel Streets. In the early 1930’s, there was again sentiment to move the market farther south,closer to the River. Those efforts were unsuccessful, and in the mid 1930’s the market was enlarged, through the demolition of buildings on Philip and Grand Streets. The market remained in that location for about 30 years. However, the Lyons Building was demolished in early 1964 to make way for construction of the Empire State Plaza, and the land around it appropriated for the same purpose.
I think my last visit to the Market was in 1963, when I went with my grandfather to buy flats of petunia to plant for my grandmother for Mother’s Day. I was about 12, and had no idea I would never see it again.
Here’s a reminiscence by Charlie Mooney, a columnist for the Albany Knickerbocker News, about the old Public Market.