© 2013 Bob Anderson | www.artgeekstudio.com
The Backdrop of Sculpture in the Streets 368-370 Broadway | Meginniss Electrical Supply Inc. Building HISTORY: After the 1848 fire that ravaged over 200 acres in downtown Albany, property owner, Harmanus Bleecker, Jr., began rebuilding 368 – 370 Broadway into a 4-story brick building. The building has always had commercial tenants in the ground floor space, including: watchmaker, S. M. Magnus, tobacconist, Isaac Sommers, Esco Electrical Supply, U.S. Tire Company, Morton Havens Jr. Inc. Electrical Supply and what it is known for today – Meginniss Electrical Supply. During the building’s history, ownership changed several times eventually being owned by F. Regester Meginniss in 1927. Meginniss Electrical Supply operated out of the space until 1974 or 1976. PRESENT: In 2012, the Irish American Heritage Museum opened on the first floor. Adding to the residential growth in Downtown, the upper floors were recently renovated into six up-scale apartments.
376-378 Broadway | John Eagan Blacksmith Building HISTORY: Built in 1849, the John Eagan Blacksmith Building is a 4-story brick structure with a pair of retail windows and entrances on the ground floor. The John Eagan Blacksmith shop was located at the back of this building. The shop was separate from the Broadway side having its own entrance at 8 Liberty Street. Historically, the ground floor housed a long list of single or double occupancy retailers including: C. W. Tacey & Co. (patent oil and camphene), W. H. Watson (dry goods), Smith & Eichenbroner (fancy dry goods), Cushman & Co. (liquor), Albany Pharmaceutical Co., Forest City Paint & Varnish, The Glidden Co., Heath & Mulligan Mfg. Co., H. S. Braun (auto supplies), Marvin D. Weel Company (office supplies), Broadway Wine & Liquor, James Condura Restaurant, James Paulo’s Restaurant, Chef’s Restaurant, Fleur-Lite Co. (fluorescent fixtures), Home Improvement Co., Rapid Photo Reproduction Inc., Capital Employment Agency, Witt Tax Centers Inc., and Kay’s Tax Service.
PRESENT: The building was purchased 15 years ago by Neil McGreevy and is home to McGreevy ProLab Inc., specialists in all photography services including: film, scanning, printing, mounting, custom albums, artwork/copy and restoration.
384-386 Broadway | R. B. Wing & Son Building HISTORY: Designed by architect, Walter Hunter Van Guysling, the building was constructed in 1914. Reminiscent of early Dutch scale and usage, the structure is a 3-story Flemish Revival, constructed of wood and stucco. Between the third floor window pairs is the iconic polychrome rendering of a sailing ship and two dolphins, symbolizing the marine trade. The sign was fabricated by James McKinney & Son in 1916. R. B. Wing & Son moved their business from the original Quay Street location to 384-386 Broadway in 1916. At the turn of the century when railroads began replacing the shipping business R. B. Wing & Son shifted gears from the ship quarry business and began supplying hardware, milling supplies, and machinery to the growing construction industry. The Wing family stayed in the hardware business until 1996. PRESENT: John G. Waite Associates purchased the R. B. Wing & Son Building from the Wing family in 1997. Currently, the awardwinning architectural firm’s offices are on the third floor, with the Albany Convention Center Authority occupying the ground floor.
120 Madison Avenue | Capital City Lodge No. 78 | Masonic Temple HISTORY: Designed by architect D. Stuart Douglass, who office was at 100 State Street, the building was constructed in 1912 as a brick store for Mr. E. S. VanLoon at 116, 118, 120 Madison Avenue. The building was used as one of Albany’s “Little Italy’s” social and cultural centers from 1924 to 1970. PRESENT: The meeting place for the Capital City Lodge, No. 78, Shiners, Order of the Eastern Star, as well as many other organizations, the building is still used as an event hall, available for rent.
“This year’s program shows great creativity in combining public art, historic preservation, and downtown revitalization. As a firm that specializes in historic preservation, we are happy that the BID is promoting the preservation and enhancement of culturally significant buildings by utilizing the talents of local artists. We believe that the sign program is important in maintaining the City’s history. Similar to stamps on a passport, the painted text on the bricks illustrates where we have been as a community. Now that history will be preserved for years to come.” – John G. Waite, FAIA | John G. Waite Associates and Building Owner 5