on facebook
Guide to Albany
11/29/2015 :: Albany, NY :: Albany Jobs :: Contests :: Blogs :: Advertising :: Deals :: My Account :: My Planner :: Sitemap :: Pay Bill

Discover the History of Albany, New York

Settled in the early 1600s, the city of Albany combines its historical roots with visionary thinking, empowered by hundreds of years as the governmental seat of New York.

Albany History & Heritage

Albany Tulip Festival In Washington ParkAlbany, New York (then known as Fort Orange) was settled by the Dutch in the early 1600s after being discovered by Henry Hudson. Prior to the Dutch settlers, the Tri-City area was inhabited by Algonquian Indian tribes the Mohican and the Iroquois. Looking for a faster trade route in 1609, Hudson explored the River, later named for him, northward from Manhattan. By 1664, nearly 10,000 Dutch were settled in Fort Orange when the English captured the fort and renamed it in honor of the Duke of Albany. Though technically part of Britain's crown until the Revolution, Dutch merchants continued to influence the City, and under Dutch guidance, Albany played an important role in maintaining communication between the French, the British and the Iroquois. Albany's Annual Tulip Festival in historic Washington Park honors this Dutch heritage each spring. Thousands view nature's spectacular color show while enjoying the music, art and food of this popular event. Albany became the official capital of New York State in January 1797.

In 1807, Robert Fulton initiated a steamboat line from Manhattan to Albany, making it the first successful enterprise of ist kind. By 1825, the Erie Canal was completed between Albany and Lake Erie forming a continous water route that enabled the shipment of local resources and strengthened trade and business.

Prior to the Civil War abolitionists were active in the Albay area. Stephen Myers was on the forefront of the movement and acted as the “conductor” of the Albany stop on the Underground Railroad. With the outbreak of Civil War, Albany again served as a major supply center, providing men for battle through the 25th regiment, Burgesses Corps, Albany Zouaves, the 3rd, 10th, 43rd, and 91st regiments.


Capitol Architecture

New York State Capital BuildingVisitors to Albany are delighted by the many architectural styles found throughout the city. The New York State Capitol building, located on State Street, was completed in 1899 and inspired by the Hôtel de Ville in Paris.

The Capitol features an eclectic blend of Gothic Revival, Romanesque and Moorish influences due in part to the five different architects who played a role in its construction over a 25 year period. Notable details in Albany's Capitol building are three massive staircases that are works of art in their own right, and the Senate Chamber complete with 23-carat gold leaf, Italian marble, and massive fireplaces. Free guided tours are offered daily.

Albany's Cultural Scene

Empire State Plaza ArtContinue your tour with a walk through the ultra-modern complex of the Empire State Plaza which holds one of the finest collections of modern art you'll find outside of a museum. The Plaza was completed in 1978 and designed by Wallace Harrison, the chief architect of New York City's Rockefeller Center.

Take the elevator to the top of the Corning Tower and view the Green Mountains from the 42nd floor observation deck. Visit "The Egg" - a stylistic building of curved lines that houses two theatres and often hosts concerts and other special events.

Throughout the summer and fall enjoy musical entertainment and family events on the Plaza grounds, and any time of year, visit the New York State Museum for a cultural exploration of Albany, the state, and the nation.

See our Fast Facts page for general information and demographics.


Albany Lodging
All Lodging
Albany Hotels
Book A Room
Lodging Near Albany Airport
Extended Stay
Lodging Specials
Pet Friendly

Albany Real Estate
All Listings
Architects / Builders
Homes for Sale
Home Staging
Modular Homes
Mortgages & Loans
New Developments
Open Houses
Realtors - Commercial
Realtors - Residential
Retirement Housing

About Albany
The College of Saint Rose
Living in Albany
Travel Guide
Union Graduate College
Albany Events
View Calendar
+Add An Event

Things To Do
All Things to Do
Annual Fairs & Festivals
Art Galleries
Bowling & Billiards
Day Trips
Fall Fun
Fitness & Sports
Historic Sites
Hot Spots
Mini Golf
Museums, Nature Centers & Planetariums
Music Venues
Parks & Recreation
Party & Event Planning
Performing Arts
Rifle Training / Rifle Ranges
Roller Skating
Spas & Beauty
Sports & Fitness
Sports Teams
Summer & Day Camps
Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries
Worth the Drive

Albany Coupons
Lodging Discounts
Albany Weddings
All Wedding Businesses
Beauty & Wellness
Bridal Boutiques
Cakes & Caterers
Chapels & Ceremony Sites
Guest Accommodations
Gifts, Tents & Supplies
Entertainers / Music
Rentals / Supplies
Group Hotel Bookings
Limo / Transportation
Photographers / Video
Reception Venues
Rehearsals / Showers
Tuxedos & Formal Wear
Wedding Favors
Wedding Planners
Albany Wedding Blog

Albany Business Guide
Businesses & Services
Health & Wellness
Home & Garden
Party & Event Planning
Press Releases & Media
Search / Sitemap
Tours & Transportation
Yellow Pages
All Albany Restaurants
Albany Bars & Clubs
Gay Friendly Bars
Asian: Japanese, Pan-Asian & Thai
Bakeries &Desserts
Bands & Musicians
Coffee Shops, Cafes & Diners
Downtown Albany Restaurants
Middle Eastern
Patio Dining
Pub Fare
Sandwiches & Subs

FREE Promotion
Submit an Event