Old 79

Our thanks to Jennifer Lemak and Miriam Sumner for their help with this post. Beginning with missionary Charlotte (Neely) Resper’s 1927 revival meeting at Union Missionary Baptist Church, Albany’s First Church of God in Christ is rooted in Mississippi and the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans left the rural South for Northern cities….

Our Name Means Shoemaker

Our thanks to Angelo Kontis for his help with this post. Hudson Shoe Rebuilders was more than just a shoe repair store. It was also a variety store, selling inexpensive socks, shoes, shirts, and other sundries to residents of Albany’s rooming house district. At the back of the store, Greek immigrants could find cheese, olives,…

St. Paul’s and the City of Albany, Part II: Moving up the Hill

A guest post by Paul Nance The shape of Albany changed dramatically in the 1840’s. The State Street hill was graded, making the incline much less steep. But the most important change was the grading and filling of the Ruttenkill ravine. The gully, which had been fifty feet deep and three hundred feet across, was…

St. Paul’s and the City of Albany, Part I: South End and Downtown

A guest post by Paul Nance Readers of this blog may recall that St. Paul’s Episcopal was one of four churches appropriated by the State for the South Mall in 1962. As a result, St Paul’s congregation was forced to move to its current location on Hackett Boulevard. This was, however, far from the first…

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Its Changing Neighborhood

By the late 1950s, the parishioners of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church faced an existential decision. Should the congregation remain in their aging but elegant 78 Lancaster Street building, boasting stained glass by Tiffany and J. and R. Lamb studios—or relocate to a modern building outside the center city. The congregation had worshipped at 78 Lancaster…

The First St. Sophia

In 1923, the Greek Orthodox Community of Albany purchased and began holding services in a former Unitarian (before that, Presbyterian) church on 8 Lancaster Street. St. Sophia served congregants from across the city and as far away as Hudson, Catskill, and Little Falls. The new building doubled as a Greek language school for the members’…