Friday, June 24, 2011

North River Steamboat

Above the side entrance to the beautiful old Albany Trust Building, there is a relief of the North River Steamboat.

Better known as Clermont (after the Robert Livingston estate where it made a stop on its maiden voyage), Robert Fulton's vessel was the first commercially successful steamboat and made its inaugural voyage up the Hudson River from New York City on August 17, 1807.

Steamboats would become a vital part of Albany in the coming years and, while they no longer travel the Hudson, they're not entirely forgotten. A McDonald's at the foot of Madison Avenue and Broadway stands near an area once called Steamboat Square and is shaped like a steamboat. A plaque at SUNY Plaza also commemorates the Clermont's first landing.

Located at the northwest corner of Broadway and State Street, the former Albany Trust Building is one of downtown's handsomest buildings. Designed by Marcus Reynolds and built in 1902, it features a rounded corner topped by a stunning eagle-crowned dome. The stone work on the ground floor - included the Clermont relief which overlooks Broadway - were part of later additions.

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