Daily Archives: January 20, 2017

The End of the Albany Basin

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This shows the remains of the Albany basin at the time the Albany Yacht Club was in operation. The northern portion of the basin had been filled in and used for the railroads. In this view, the basin opening to the old Erie and Champlain canals can still be seen, just beyond the Livingston Avenue Bridge at the top of the photo. That area is now completely filled in and forms the Corning Preserve Boat Launch parking lot. The old Day Line shed can be seen at the lower right on the waterfront. This is a Fairchild aerial survey of the Albany waterfront, from the Albany Public Library Pruyn Collection, shown at the AlbanyGroupArchive Flickr site.

Somewhere around 1949, the Albany Yacht Club buildings were sold for use as a Naval Reserve Center, and the club started its move across the river to Rensselaer, with a temporary stop in the old Day Line facilities. In 1954, the old basin would finally be filled in as work began on the riverfront arterial highway – I-787. On Nov. 9, 1954, workers started “with the preliminary task of tearing down the old Hudson River Day Line shed, an Albany landmark since the late 19th Century. Between now and next November, when the job is scheduled for completion, the contractor will fill in the old Albany Yacht Club basin for a 1,000-car municipal parking lot and build a ¾ mile stretch of four-lane concrete roadway from a point near the old Day Line landing north to the Livingston Ave. railroad bridge.”

As with all things Albany, the inconvenience for parking was a concern:

“The demolition and construction work will be a source of woe for scores of riverfront parkers, who will have to find somewhere else to leave their cars. Some of the cars that had been left near the Day Line shed today had to be moved by police for safety when the wreckers attacked the ancient ironwork with acetylene torches.”

The construction would involve razing buildings and building a stone dike in the river to straighten the shoreline from “the Quay st. bulge at Steamboat Sq. to the old Yacht Club pier, now occupied by the U.S. Navy as a Naval Reserve training center. The section between the present shoreline and the dike will be filled with stone and graded for parking space. At the same time the contractor will extend three city sewers, whose outfalls will have to be moved toward the middle of the river before grading for the roadway can begin.”

Those included the Columbia St. sewer, “which carries much of Albany’s rainstorm runoff from the downtown section,” and the Quackenbush sewer, near the north end of the project.

From the AlbanyGroupArchive on Flickr: the final filling-in of the Albany basin behind the old Albany Yacht Club buildings. The bridges are the Maiden Lane railroad bridge and the State Street pier bridge. Circa 1954-55. (Gerber collection. Contributed by Nancy Gallagher.)

Former Yacht Club Site on the Wterfront

One of the state inspectors who documented properties being demolished. From the Flickr AlbanyGroupArchive, contributed by Ann Pfau, believed to be about 1964. The Maiden Lane bridge is still standing in the picture.

All these pictures are thanks to the great work done by the AlbanyGroupArchive on Flickr.