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

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The app that takes you back

The Historic Albany Foundation recently announced the release of member Tim Varney’s new smartphone app “Albany: Then and Now.” Even the title alone sounds exciting! And now, after throwing a super fancy release the party, the app is officially available for download. So what exactly does “Albany: Then and Now” do, you ask?

The opening app screen (left) where you can navigate to the map (right). Each red arrow represents a location with an historical image associated with it.

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Nora’s tribute to Colorado in mural form

Our very good friend and partner Nora Johnson recently completed a stunning scenic mural of the Colorado landscape, and we can’t wait to show it to you! The 8′ x 50′ mural was presented at the 2012 Denver Home Show, but was then donated to Brent’s Place, which is a non-profit home for families with children with cancer in Aurora, Colorado. Such a beautiful mural, and an even more beautiful gesture. Oh Nora, how do we love you? Let me count the ways…
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Partners in Preservation announces grant winners!

As you can imagine, we here at HHF have been following the Partners in Preservation contest pretty closely. For those unaware of Partners in Preservation, it is a community-based initiative program that began in 2006. Each year they focus on a different city and select a list of local historic sites to receive grant money to fund restoration projects. And then this is where the fun begins: the list is handed over to the public who then votes for their favorite site to receive funding.

In 2012, 40 historic places throughout the five boroughs of New York City were chosen, the public voted for a month, and now we finally know who the winners are!

While I personally voted for the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx (because I’m creepy like that), I’m still pretty jazzed about this year’s winners:

Look at these amazing doors on the Brooklyn Public Library! (Source)

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