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These images show views of the city of Albany, New York, circa 1805. All watercolors shown here were painted by James Eights, from memory, around 1850. Clicking on the thumbnail of the painting will take you to larger images of the watercolors.

The matching photograph shows the same site after 200 years of urban development. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version. All photographs were taken June 8, 2005.

(left) State Street in Albany as it appeared in 1805.

(right) The same view. State Street, unsurprisingly, leads uphill from the Hudson to the State Capitol, which is behind the photographer.

(left) The Richman's Dwelling (South side of State Street above Pearl Street) as it appeared in 1805.

(right) The same block now. The large building at center left is the National Savings Bank building, which seems appropriate.

(left) Pearl Street near Maiden Lane in Albany, by Eights.

(right) Same block, although we're not sure it's the right side of the street. The view here is from the east side of Pearl Street, with Maiden Lane immediately to the photographer's right.

(left) Corner of State Street and Broadway (from Court Street looking north) as it appeared in 1805.

(right) And in 2005. The large building at the right is the late 19th century D&H Building, formerly Albany's train station.

(left) St. Peter's (or Old English) Church, near the intersection of State and Chapel Streets in Albany, as it appeared in 1800.

(right) State and Chapel no longer intersect; the last block of Chapel is now underneath the parking garage of the Crown Plaza Hotel. Here's as close as we could get. The photo is dominated by the rear side of St. Mary's, a 19th century Roman Catholic church.

(left) The East Side of Market Street (Now Broadway between Maiden Lane and State Street looking south) as it appeared in 1805.

(right) The area is now dominated by the early 20th century federal court house (left) and the 19th century D&H Building (in the center background).

(left) North Pearl Street as it appeared in 1805.

(right) Nice to know some things don't change! That's the same church (the Dutch Reformed), with an enclosed portico that postdates Eights' painting.

 


The images presented here are part of the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art [125 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12201. Phone: (518) 463-4478].