About Us and Our Project:
Historic Albany Foundation needs to raise $10,000 for immediate repairs to the roof of the Van Ostrande-Radliff House at 48 Hudson Avenue. Historic Albany recently acquired the Van Ostrande-Radliff House at 48 Hudson Avenue in Albany, New York. Built in 1728, it is documented to be the oldest surviving building in the city. It has been vacant since the 1990’s and is in immediate need of roof repairs. Water is cascading through the east wall through a leak in the roof and is causing substantial damage to this precious resource. Historic Albany must repair the roof so that the building will continue to stand while a plan to restore the building is developed.
Historic Albany Foundation is a private, not-for-profit membership organization established in 1974. The Foundation was formed by a small group of concerned neighbors and citizens after New York State Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller began one of the largest urban renewal projects: the South Mall/Empire State Plaza, that wiped out over 1,500 buildings and displaced hundreds of families.
HAF fulfills its mandate through public education, promotion and membership, provision of design and technical assistance, community projects, advocacy for endangered buildings, publications, tours, lectures and operation of an architectural parts warehouse.
Our mission is to preserve and protect buildings that have architectural, historic or civic value, by providing technical assistance, education, and advocacy.
How You're Helping & the "Perks" You'll Receive:
With each level of giving, our supporters (you!) will receive a different perk! Each level of higher giving, adds another perk onto what you will already be receiving.
All of the funds raised from this campaign will go towards the repairs of the roof for the Van Ostrande-Radliff House. Sadly, if we don't reach our goal, we will still put all of your generous donations towards this project.
The Impact & A Bit of History:
The Van Ostrande-Radliff House is one of only a handful of North American urban Dutch houses to survive into the twenty-first century, but even greater rarities exist within its construction. The modified anchor beam framing for the side jambless fireplace is the only surviving example of this construction type in the United States, and represents a type of construction that was common in both New York City and Albany throughout most of the period of Dutch cultural dominance. In addition, the molded anchor beam that adorns the front of the building is one of only two in this country to survive in situ. Additional material of particular importance and extreme rarity include the original un-tapered weather board siding, which exists on the west side of the building, and survives in much the same condition as it did when the neighboring structure was built in the early years of the nineteenth century.
The Van Ostrande-Radliff House was built in 1728 during Albany’s culturally Dutch period beginning in 1624 that extended long after the official end of Dutch rule in the region in 1664. The house’s date of construction has been ascertained through documentary sources and corroborated by tree ring dating, or dendrochronology, performed on its framing members. Careful inspection of the building, coupled with its canted front wall, built to conform to Albany’s meandering post-medieval street pattern, leave little doubt that the Van Ostrande-Radliff House was originally built on its current site outside of the stockade as it then existed.
While it is not known exactly how the Van Ostrande-Radliff House appeared during the Dutch cultural period, it is known that the first substantial alteration to the exterior of the house was an enlargement that occurred after the Revolution around 1790. These modifications coincided, as is typical, with the marriage of one of its occupants.
It was at a time of great change in the region, that Albanian Jared Holt purchased the then 100-year-old Van Ostrande-Radliff House and moved his residence there in 1835. Two years later, Holt moved his wax-making business there from another location nearby, and enlarged his new building around 1838 with a masonry wing for his manufacturing process added to the south. This company, which lasted into the 1990s, specialized early on, in making stitching wax to sell to shoe makers in the immediate vicinity. The company left the Van Ostrande-Radliff House in 1892 to another location just outside the core of the city.
In 1848, a substantial area of the Albany riverfront was wiped out in a fire, but 48 Hudson was spared. After the departure of Holt’s company in 1892, a variety of commercial establishments were housed in this building, and in 1935, the building was sold to members of the Saul family, who operated a restaurant supply store in the building until the 1990s, at which time it became vacant. Historic Albany Foundation acquired the building in June 2013.
Please help Historic Albany Foundation make crucial repairs to the Van Ostrande-Radliff House. Your support, in any amount, is key to the survival of this important piece of America’s Dutch history and a rare and tangible link to one of the country’s earliest urban settlements.
Other Ways You Can Help:
If you are unable to donate funds or just want to help out further, please help us spread the word about our project and campaign! Don't forget to use the Indiegogo share tools.
Also, you can follow Historic Albany Foundation on Facebook and Twitter!
A special thank you to Jeremy Boyce for his musical talents!