A Roosevelt in Albany

People are all a-twitter over the discovery that there were once Roosevelts (!) in Albany (!). Not having cable (and not even sure if I have broadcast), I haven’t seen the latest effort from Ken Burns, though I’m sure it’s excellent. He’s a good man, and thorough.

Some time ago I set aside a number of photographs of Franklin D. Roosevelt, all of which came from the National Archives and Records Administration and had been posted at Wikipedia or somewhere similar. They all were tagged as having been in Albany, and I wanted to figure out when and why. I never got around to it, but let’s look at the pictures anyway. All of these are likely from between 1929 and 1932, when FDR was Governor of New York.

Franklin_D._Roosevelt_and_others_in_Albany,_New_York_-_NARA_-_195616.jpgThis one is simply titled “Franklin D. Roosevelt and others in Albany New York.” Someone with a better recollection of the Executive Chamber than I have could probably tell us if this is the Red Room or somewhere else on the second floor of the Capitol. Often when I’m watching old movies, I wonder when the three-quarter length tie craze will come back.

Franklin_D._Roosevelt_in_Albany,_New_York_-_NARA_-_196723.jpgHere’s FDR giving an address in the Assembly Chamber. State of the State? Presumably it was wire, not wind, that kept the flags up that way.


This is simply labeled “Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John R. in Albany, New York.” Decades after the fact, it’s hard to miss all the clues to FDR’s physical limitations, even as carefully hidden as they were. There won’t be a photo where he isn’t seated or clinging to a dais. If he’s in a group, his arm will be firmly gripping another. In this picture, and I haven’t a clue where it is, there’s a plywood ramp under their feet. The boy is likely their last son, John Aspinwall Roosevelt, was born in 1916.

3 thoughts on “A Roosevelt in Albany

  1. nassaulocalhistory

    Third picture could be the rear of the Governor’s Mansion. I worked there for several years and the brick work, stone window sills all fit.

  2. Carl

    Thanks. I suspected it was likely the Executive Mansion, but haven’t seen it up close in some time and didn’t have any recollection of any of the side or rear entrances.

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