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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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Community

The Mansion Neighborhood, situated between Eagle Street and Trinity Place, was well outside the original Dutch settlement of Albany from 1624. For the first two hundred years of European settlement, the area was home to a few large estates, scattered farms, and surrounded by creeks that made their way to the Hudson River from the west. It was not developed into a residential neighborhood until after the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, causing Albany to grow by leaps and bounds and new areas to be settled. As the city continued to grow as a railroad and industrial center, the neighborhood developed as a mixed residential area of homes of merchants and industrialists as well as workers and the new middle class.
 
As massive numbers of European immigrants poured into Albany, many found their homes in the Mansion Neighborhood. First settled in the early-nineteenth century by people of English and Dutch descent, the neighborhood was later home to many of German and Irish extraction, followed by Jewish and Italian immigrants, and later, African-Americans. The diversity of residents is also reflected in its architecture, from the fashionable homes of Madison Place, Eagle and Elm streets, to the more modest houses on Bleecker Place, Philip Street, and Park Avenue.
 
Originally part of the vast area known as the “South End,” the neighborhood as exists today was defined by the South Mall, now the Empire State Plaza, when demolition and construction began north of Madison and west of Eagle in 1962. The most obvious reason the neighborhood is called “Mansion” is because of its proximity to the Governor’s Mansion, although there was another house called a mansion in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood may have taken its name from that building. In 1982, the neighborhood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district because of its architectural and historical significance.
 
Special thanks to Anthony Opalka of the Historic Albany Foundation for his help with this section

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