Friday, February 19, 2010

From Maiden Lane to Corning Place

The little stretch of street running up from the Crown Plaza Hotel, past the imposing bulk of the Masonic Temple, and along the south side of City Hall is now called Corning Place as a tribute to the late Mayor Erastus Corning who is also memorialized in a tiny park, a riverfront preserve, and a soaring tower.

Previously, this was part of Maiden Lane. The Lane is one of Albany's older streets, being one of the originals inside the 17th-century stockade. Today, it runs from the modern Corning Preserve uphill, through what is now the Crown Plaza, and alongside City Hall to Eagle Street.

Parts of lower Maiden Lane - below North Pearl - are narrow, paved with stone, and still populated with small businesses, mostly eateries.

Years ago, the whole of Maiden Lane was a mix of businesses and residences. This lovely brick building with its old-fashioned storefront now housing some sort of office stands opposite Corning Park and gives a hint of what the Lane might have looked like in the past.

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