Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Save Former Home of Women's Rights Advocate!" says HAF

Contact: Susan Holland, Executive Director, Historic Albany Foundation
(518) 465-0876 ext. 11/cell (518) 466-6015


Albany, NY—At today’s press conference, Historic Albany Foundation announced the discovery of documentation that the historically important and significant women’s right’s advocate, Beulah Bailey Thull, lived at 118 Washington Avenue, one of the buildings the Fort Orange Club seeks to demolish to add three parking spots. Mrs. Thull lived at 118 Washington Avenue from 1926 to 1937 when she was instrumental in the formation of the present day CSEA (then called the New York State Association of Civil Service Employees), the New York State League of Women Voters and when she was a speechwriter for then-Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She served from 1934 to 1935, as the only female president ever of CSEA. She has been much celebrated by CSEA on their 100-year anniversary.

“With the new information about Beulah Bailey Thull, saving the buildings and getting the Lower Washington Avenue historic district recommended by the City of Albany’s Historic Resource Commission and approved by the Common Council, becomes more critical than ever. This story now becomes about saving our rich and diverse history such as women’s rights and women’s right to vote, and not just white man’s history” said Susan Holland, Executive Director of Historic Albany Foundation.

118 Washington Avenue’s renovations were completed in 1925 which is the incarnation we see today and as it was when Beulah Bailey Thull was a resident in the newly renovated Ripin Duguid Building.

Mrs. Thull has an illustrious and decorated history. When few women were able to seek higher education, she obtained degrees from Cornell University (1912) and State Library School (1916). In the 1920’s, the position of research assistant to the New York State Tax Commission was created for her. She would use her position with the Tax Commission to educate and advocate with the New York State League of Women Voters, Rensselaer County League of Women Voters, and New York State Association of Civil Service Employees. She would eventually rise to the position of Chief of the research staff of the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. At the height of her career (1929-1937), Mrs. Thull worked with Governors Roosevelt and Lehman for the betterment of State employees. For more biographical information, please see the attachment.

Historic Albany Foundation nominated the Lower Washington Avenue Historic District to the City of Albany’s Historic Resource Commission on March 9, 2010 with the National Register of Historic Places nomination with the State Historic Preservation Office filed on March 19, 2010. Albany’s Department of Development and Planning have not yet put the local district nomination on the Historic Resource Commission meeting calendar. Despite inquiries from Historic Albany on the status of the nomination, no explanation has been given for the delay. Historic Albany continues to work to move the nomination forward.

A grant from Preservation League of New York State with funds from New York State Council on the Arts paid for the nomination and survey of the district.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

News Conference - Thursday 4/29


Contact: Susan Holland, Executive Director
Historic Albany Foundation
(518) 465-0876 ext. 11/cell (518) 466-6015


Albany, NY—Historic Albany Foundation will make an important announcement to the members of the press and public regarding 118-120 Washington Avenue, the buildings that the Fort Orange Club wants demolished for three parking spots.

The press conference takes place on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 12 PM in front of 118-120 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY. Press releases with full information will be given out at that time.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Parker, Florida Today

Fort Orange Club bullied by Albany

I just wonder how Mr. Albany Conservative would feel if the private property owner next to him wanted to open a slaughterhouse, or a pig farm, or an auto body shop...

Letter to the editor
Thursday, March 4, 2010

My congratulations go to the Fort Orange Club in its fight to tear down two buildings for parking spaces. This issue has been going on for far too long and the city has been bullying the club for years.

Nobody has the right to tell the club what it should do with its private property.

If the Historic Albany Foundation wanted the buildings, it should have bought them.

This is a constitutional issue of property rights. Why should the club be forced to keep buildings it has no use for?
I am a firm believer in individual rights.

Albany's recent moratorium and new demolition rules are just the city's way of legitimizing its idea of what Albany should be.

There are plenty of preserved buildings in Albany. How many more do we need, and why should property owners be forced to pay for these buildings if they do not want to?

Michael Brown

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Support needed for Lower Washington Ave. Historic District

Albany's Historic Resource Commission will hold a public hearing on the nomination of the Lower Washington Avenue Historic District on Wednesday, March 3rd at 5:15 pm in the Common Council chamber at City Hall.

The district will include the south side of Washington Avenue from South Swan Street to Lark Street. Please let the City of Albany's Historic Resource Commission know you support the Lower Washington Avenue Historic District by attending the public hearing on March 3rd and speaking in favor the designation, and/or mailing or emailing a support letter to:

Norman Rice, Chair
Historic Resource Commission
c/o Richard Nicholson
City of Albany
Department of Development and Planning
200 Henry Johnson Boulevard
Albany, NY 12206

Historic Albany Foundation can provide a sample support letter for you to tailor with your own observations. Please email Cara Macri at HAF to receive a copy.

Also, the historic district nomination will need to be ratified by the Common Council at a later date. Please cc: HAF and your Councilmember on your correspondence to ensure your support is recorded in their files.

Supporting Lower Washington Avenue historic district

Lower Wash Hist Dist Support

Board ignored new ordinance

TIMES UNION - Letter to the Editor
First published: Friday, February 19, 2010

As a resident and elected official who represents downtown Albany, I am deeply disappointed by the Fort Orange Club's decision to demolish two buildings to make way for additional parking. What is even more disturbing than these proposed plans however, is the Albany Planning Board's recent vote allowing the project to go forward.

The board's approval completely ignores Albany's recently enacted demolition review ordinance. Indeed, many of the factors the ordinance requires the board to weigh in reviewing demolitions were blatantly ignored, along with the testimony of nearly two dozen citizens, architects and historians who showed up in person to oppose this plan.

Demolition of structurally sound buildings to make way for parking does not fit into Albany's comprehensive plan, nor is it good urban planning or policy. One can only hope that in reviewing future applications, the planning board actually looks at our new ordinance and doesn't simply ignore what it was meant to protect, namely meaningless demolitions that destroy the fabric of our city.

Albany County Legislator
6th District