New Look for Albany’s Riverfront

Men at Work

MEN AT WORK – Trucks carrying earth to fill in the old yacht basin have worn themselves a clear road from the mainland to the Albany Yacht Club island, as seen in this view from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad building. In foreground are the Maiden Lane railroad bridge and part of the Yacht Club Bridge soon to be torn down.

One last look at the old Albany waterfront. On July 3, 1955, the Times-Union touted a new look for the riverfront, with an article sub-headlined “Highway Job Alters Area.”

“The shoreline of the city has been drastically streamlined in the Maiden Lane region, and you almost wouldn’t recognize the spot that used to be one of old Albany’s favorite Sunday afternoon strolls.
Any day now, the wreckers’ crowbars will go to work on the trim and graceful masonry bridge that spans the perhaps 250 feet from the shore to the old Albany Yacht Club building, and another familiar city landmark will vanish.
Already the scene looks unfamiliar to the oldtimer. The Hudson River still slaps at the bottom steps of the landing stage in the inlet, but no pleasure craft bob leisurely in the once-crowded backwater.
Most of the inlet has been filled in, and a good broad jumper could probably leap across the comparative trickle of water that still remains.”

The work was the beginning of the riverfront arterial, two lanes of concrete each 24 feet wide, separated by a grassy center mall, expected to relieve congestion on Broadway and North Pearl St. Once complete the only landmark remaining on the riverfront would be the former Albany Yacht Club building, then in use as a Naval Reserve center. The Naval Reserve would be there for another year, while waiting for a new center at Washington and North Main to open.

“As for the Albany Yacht Club itself, its members are not looking backward to any great extent. The old spot saw many happy times, and there’s a possibility the Club may request one of the stones from the old bridge as a souvenir to be displayed at its new locations.”

Steamboat Square

STEAMBOAT SQUARE – The old ticket office and waiting room of the Albany Night Boat, in the right background, seem strangely incongruous in their high and dry setting, with the obvious signs of construction work for the new arterial highway littering the foreground.

The Yacht Club Bridge

ONE WILL REMAIN – The old Yacht Club bridge, at right, will soon be demolished to make way for the new arterial highway, which will pass under the Maiden Lane railroad bridge. In this view from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad building, clearance appears limited, but the fill in the inlet is now 10 feet higher than it will be when the highway is surfaced

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *