Friday, October 23, 2009

Past Life

Certainly most people who live in Albany - along with a good many people who just pass through on 787 - are familiar with the U-Haul Self-Storage Building at 139 Broadway. It's hard to miss a building with a full-sized moving truck slowly rotating on the roof!

But probably far fewer people see the ornate evidence of the building's previous incarnation. If one ventures down to this otherwise gloomy-looking southern stretch of Broadway, one finds this beautifully ornamented entrance on the building's western facade, a side that would have once faced a very busy thoroughfare.

The original sign above the door announces that this was once the Albany Hardware & Iron Company, a business that actually had its origins in the 18th century and supplied items ranging from axe heads and bird cages to scales and food choppers to firearms.

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