Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bleecker Flats

This plaque on a lower Madison Avenue building (just east of Grand Street) identifies it as the Bleecker Flats apartments.  The name of the building, as well as Bleecker Park (just up the hill) recalls the fact that nearby Bleecker Place was once the southern boundary of property owned by the Bleecker family whose history in Albany dates back to the arrival of Jan Janse Bleecker in 1658.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

F.W. Brown

A closer look at this facade along James Street reveals a bit more detail:  F.W. BROWN ARCHITECT No. 14 N. P ST

Assuming this refers to Frederick Brown, his best known local work was the wooden lakehouse which predates the current one in Washington Park.  14 North Pearl Street no longer exists, but would've been near present Ten Eyck Plaza.

The cast iron facade has been painted since the last time I blogged about this building, but it is otherwise in a sad state.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Portraits From The Past

The entrance to the former Home Savings Bank on North Pearl Street is surrounded by these faces; they're meant to represent figures out of Albany's past.  The building is incredibly rich with details like this, as well as a whimsical squirrel on one of the windows.

Monday, February 25, 2013

North Pearl Sticker

Found on a North Pearl Street doorway; looks like it's Rocky, the gangster from Looney Tunes

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fountain Figure

Someone has mounted a comical figurine with outstretched arms atop the Civil War-era fountain in tiny Bleecker Park at Madison Avenue and Eagle Street.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fairytale Hearse

This gorgeous display in the lobby of the New York State Museum is a part of this weekend's New York In Bloom flower show at the State Museum.  It incorporates several familiar fairytale themes; Rapunzel's spinning wheel transforming straw into gold, Cinderella's ballgown and glass slippers, and Snow White's apple.  Standing in as Snow White's glass casket and serving as the centerpiece of the display is a 19th-century hearse from the Museum's collections.  Given my interest in cemetery history, it's no surprise I made a special trip over to the Museum just to see this hearse; it's a stunning one with draped and flaming urns and polychrome angel angels bearing floral swags. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Gnome

A patient-looking gnome with a lantern stands in the snow outside the Iron Gate Cafe on Washington Avenue.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Union Station Clock

A closer look at the impressive clock atop Union Station on Broadway.  The large clock is framed by a heavy wreath, crowned by an eagle, and flanked by the figures of Liberty and Justice (though it's rather interesting to note that this Lady Justice is not depicted with a blindfold as is usual).  A banner below has the State's motto, Excelsior.  

This clock is among the many ornate details on the former train station, now also called Kiernan Plaza.  All Over Albany has a nice set of recent photos of the grand interior.

Gawking At Kiernan Plaza @AOA

Previous posts:  Old Station Metalwork and Forgotten Fountain

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Half Moon In The Wind

I've lived in Albany for my entire life and spent a good amount of time downtown.  So the fantastic weather vane atop SUNY Plaza is a very familiar sight.  But I had never seen it actually pivot in the wind.  Until yesterday when I looked up and finally saw it move.  The large weather vane is, of course, a replica of Henry Hudson's Haelve Maen and was included in the design of the building because local legend says he dropped anchor at almost this exact spot.