South End Albany History

A Tribute to the Historic South End of Albany New York

The history of the South End goes back to the 17th Century. It consists of a 26-block area south of the Mansion and Pastures neighborhoods with a mix of residential and commercial properties. In 1984 it was recognized as a historic district and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The Dutch briefly regained Albany in August 1673 and renamed the city Willemstadt; the English took permanent possession with the Treaty of Westminster (1674). On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was split into counties, with Albany County being the largest. At that time the county included all of present New York State north of Dutchess and Ulster Counties in addition to present-day Bennington CountyVermont, theoretically stretching west to the Pacific Ocean; the city of Albany became the county seat. Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by provincial Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686.

For much of Albany’s early years, from its colonial beginnings to well past independence, the South End was part of the city only politically, its only development being the rough road to the south that went through it. General Philip Schuyler‘s mid-18th century decision to build a mansion on his lands there was the first development of any kind. Later, after his death, the Erie Canal and its related industrial development brought so many immigrants to the area that the city had to expand its boundaries, making the South End an End in name only.

When Dutch colonists first established their colonial capital in the mid-17th century, it was clustered around Fort Orange. A stockade enclosed the small village of Beverwijck that grew up around it, delineating the area roughly corresponding to what is today downtown Albany. When the area passed into British control following the Second Anglo-Dutch War, it was renamed Albany. In 1686 the stockaded settlement became a city with the granting of the Dongan Charter, the oldest city charter in continuous use in North America. It fixed Albany’s initial municipal boundaries, establishing the southern city limit at the northern tip of what is today Castle Island, corresponding roughly to Gansevoort Street on today’s map.

*Information provided by Wikipedia. HERE

A Tribute to the Historic South End of Albany New York