A peek at history in downtown Albany

We obviously love ourselves some local history here at Howard Hall. The Hudson Valley is one of those historical hotspots in the country where a lot has happened: so many important national and even international historical figures have called it home, and many historically significant buildings still stand here. The banks of the Hudson River are dotted with everything from humble Dutch dwellings to looming stone mansions. If we’re lucky, the importance of these homes and buildings has been recognized and actions have been taken to preserve them, in addition to making them open to the public.


A postcard of the Masonic Temple in Albany

Some of these places, however, aren’t open to the public. Sometimes you’re only able to admire them from afar, and maybe, if you’re feeling especially daring (and you’re wearing your running shoes, just in case) you even dare to press your face up to a well-positioned window and sneak a peek.

For those of you who aren’t quite that daring (and are local), you’re in luck! The Historic Albany Foundation can help sate your curiosity in a totally legal way. Every month, they hold house tours of downtown Albany’s most awe-inspiring historical landmarks. The thrill of being able to nose around in a normally off-limits building is enough to get me interested! Their latest tour, happening next Tuesday, the 29th, will be of the historic Albany Masonic Temple. Construction on the original temple began in 1768! From the lodge’s website:

The Albany Temple is built on the same site, where, on May 12th, 1768, the cornerstone was laid for the first lodge house built and owned by a Masonic lodge (Master’s Lodge No.5) in North America.

Since that time, this property has remained continuously vested in the hands of the Masonic Fraternity, the oldest such property known to exist in the world.

Absolutely incredible! See? We just get lucky here when it comes to historically AWESOME people, places and things. And we’re even luckier that the Historic Albany Foundation makes it possible to see more than what you would just passing these buildings on the street!

To find out more about the work the the Historic Albany Foundation does, upcoming house tours, and upcoming workshops, check out their website and be sure to like them on Facebook (and like us, too!)

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