Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living In An Old Brewery

A plaque on the wall gives a short history of the Knickerbocker Apartments on Dove and Jay Streets. This massive building was once one of Albany's many breweries and, like the former Hinckel Brewery near Lincoln Park, has found a new use as a residential building.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Titanic In Center Square

One thing I love about living here is that, almost every day, I come across a place or thing with a connection to history...or a supposed connection.

In this case, it's a peachy-pink brick house at 50 Dove Street.

Erected in 1865 by prominent builder John Bridgford (he was later in charge of the early stages of the Capitol's construction), this house supposedly the home of Arthur John Bright who survived the sinking of Titanic and died in Albany in 1921.

The exhaustive Encyclopedia Titanica, however, lists Bright as passing away in 1955. This house was indeed occupied by a man by that name who is now interred the St. George's Society lot at the Albany Rural Cemetery, but was he the same man who served as quartermaster on the ill-fated Titanic?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mechanics & Farmers

At the corner of State and James Streets, the former Mechanics & Farmers Bank has always been one of my favorite buildings downtown. A few details on the building's history and a close-up on a floral detail on the front are in a previous post here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Trick of The Light

I recently spent yet another day wandering the Albany Rural Cemetery. It's one of my favorite places to explore and I was doing some research for a book. This most recent trip took me back to one of my favorite sections, the old Church Grounds.

Of course, walking from one section to another always takes a long time because I am constantly veering off my intended path to examine some monument that catches my eye...and no matter how often I explore a given section, I always discover something new.

Walking back from the Church Grounds to the main Lodge, I noticed a few interesting headstones on the South Ridge...including this small Civil War monument. It's one of scores of such monuments that dot the Rural Cemetery and very typical with its sword, scabbard, and soldiers cap.

It was almost closing time so I just meant to take a quick photo, then quickly double back for a picture of the Van Rensselaer lot. To my eyes, there nothing odd about the light as I took the photo. But as I stepped away to the right after...out of the corner of my eye...I caught a brief glimpse of long, fine beams of sunlight slanting towards me. For a moment, I hesitated and considered taking a second picture. I wanted to capture those golden rays of light, but all the same, I knew that might not be possible. The chances of positioning my camera just at the perfect angle were slim and, to be honest, my humble little point-and-shoot camera isn't very good at capturing light effects. So I walked away and two more interesting old monuments distracted me.

It wasn't until I got home and uploaded all three hundred photos that I realized I had - by some chance - captured this glorious trick of the light after all!

(This monument marks the grave of Douglas Lodge, a Captain in the New York 43rd Infantry who was killed in May of 1863 at Salem Church, near Chancellorsville, Virginia. He was twenty years old.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Looking Up - 69 State Street

View of a building designed in 1927 by Henry Ives Cobb. There's a hint of Egyptian influence in the brownstone details of the upper stories. The lower story incorporates Philip Hooker's original Bank of New York facade with its 1803 cornerstone still visible.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting Ready

I'm not quite ready to hear Christmas music or browse aisles full of ornaments and Santa-shaped candies, but it did make me smile to see workers setting up the holiday tree on the Empire State Plaza on a gorgeously warm day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cold Marigolds

After last week's messy and early storm, a marigold peeks out of the snow by the Albany Institute of History and Art.