Monday, May 11, 2009
This forlorn little house is located on Madison Avenue, just east of Lark Street. It was built in 1845, a time when this neighborhood above the old Gallows Hill and the newly-constructed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was still almost rural.
The house was built for one Edmond Ellis, described as a boatman. This may have been the same Edmond Ellis - or his son - who is listed as a deputy in an old Property Seizure list posted by The Albany Register in the early 19th-century.
Growing up across the street from this little cottage among townhouses and apartment buildings, I recall two stories about it. At some point, the house was supposedly home to a church of some sort. Maybe sometime I'll peek at the old city directories and see about that. And that a stream runs beneath this and other properties along the south side of Madison Avenue. That makes senses since Albany has a number of streams which, over the centuries, were diverted underground or built over.
The house always had a shabby, air of neglect about it, but it has really decayed in recent years.