Exploring Albany

JUST SPENT TWO DAYS in Albany, N.Y., underrated capital of the Empire State, enjoying its fanciful row house architecture and the unexpected beauty of Washington Park. I was there to visit my cousin Susan, who’s just moved there for a job. Her new apartment is huge and sunny, in a pre-war building right on that park. We spent a good part of our time together painting an Art Deco bar/bookcase whose brownness was depressing. Now it’s an infinitely more pleasing robin’s egg blue (the bottom photo shows it before its final coat and new gray trim).

The late 19th century Washington Park, an 81-acre landscape in the romantic style of Frederick Law Olmsted, is considered one of the finest urban parks in the country. It’s meticulously maintained, with Victorian-style bedding plants in abundance, and an extraordinary Mediterranean Revival lake house. The footbridge over the 5-acre lake, below, dates from 1875.

The 1929 brick and terracotta lake house faces the lake on one side and a 900-seat outdoor amphitheater on the other.

It replaced the original stick-style structure below.

Of the numerous statues in the park, the 1893 bronze figure of Moses on Mt. Horeb, below, is the most surprising, at least to me.

And the display of annual flowers, below, is the most extravagant I’ve seen in a public place outside of Paris or London.

There’s enormous variety in the cornices, lintels, and other woodwork on Albany’s row houses. I barely scratched the surface in my documentation. These are on Lark Street, a row of cafes, restaurants, and shops, in the Washington Park Historic District.

We managed to spend a little time hitting up antique stores. There aren’t many (most area dealers have removed themselves to Hudson, N.Y.), but they seem to have potential.

A lot remains for future visits: more antiquing, historic house museums, whole other neighborhoods (not to mention nearby Troy, a whole other city).

About cara

I blog for fun at https://casacara.wordpress.com, and write about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites. My recently published posts and articles can be found here: https://casacara.wordpress.com/recent-articles/
This entry was posted in CATSKILLS, HUDSON VALLEY, TRAVEL and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Exploring Albany

  1. Wow. Albany – – who knew!!!
    Beautiful brownstones.
    Love the painted dresser.

  2. stacie sinder says:

    Wow! you make Albany look like the place to be! Love the landscape photos –it looks bucolic!

  3. BSPANTON@aol.com says:

    really fabulous pictures……..Aunt Ruth’s bookcase look marvelous…you are the most talented…with an incredible eye…..

  4. Cher Vick says:

    Great photo tour. So many similarities to Newburgh. I’d love to spend some time up in Albany.

  5. priscilla says:

    So while you were upstate I was down in the Springs!
    I enjoyed your lovely neighborhood.
    Your pictures of Albany are great.

  6. BrooklynGreene@yahoo.com says:

    Albany has great architecture all the way back to the Dutch period. There’s tons of wonderful things to see in Albany and Schenectady. Thank you for featuring some nice things around Lark Street and the park. State Street is gorgeous too. It’s all very interesting, what with the kind of futuristic (i.e. Retro) Empire State Plaza sitting there, the “French” chateau of a state capitol building, the Alfred E. Smith Building and the long colonnade of what was once (and maybe still is) the State Dept of Education.

Got something to say? Please say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s