As I’ve ranted before, banks were once truly the backbone of the community, and every growing city was proud of its lending institutions. They regularly reported their assets and how much they had invested in the community. In 1844, the busy city of Albany had eight banks, all conveniently located in pretty much the same place, down at the end of State Street.
If you know any Albany history, the names of some of those bank presidents should look very familiar. The Ten Eycks and Olcotts were among the oldest families in Albany. Railroad tycoon Erastus Corning did more than a little banking (and mayoring, though not as much as as his great grandson did). And we have Rufus King to thank for the Moses Fountain in Washington Park.