Albany was once a bustling riverfront city, where sloops, schooners and steamboats plied the mighty Husdon, laden with goods from around the world. A mile-long strip of shoreline was enclosed by a wharf of warehouses, coal yards and dockage facilities. This lively scene is but a distant memory, kept alive by a small historical marker honoring what was then known as the Albany Basin.
The Albany Basin was eventually filled in, with the construction of Interstate 787 perhaps the final nail in the coffin of a once-thriving waterfront. For decades, the city’s downtown languished, with retail, restaurants and other businesses finding it tough to survive in an area mostly sustained by state employees and other daytime workers.