1) The first location the map is Stephen and Harriet Myers House. This house is important because it held significant value during the time of the Underground Railroad. In the 1850s, Stephen Myers was a chairman of a group whom was charged with helping African slaves on their way to Canada. The second location is Lark street. Lark street leads to many other streets and avenue which makes a route easier to follow, it is also home to a great amount of the Albany night life. The third location is the Walter Merchant House. The style of this home stands out to me because it is of Italiante architecture which is a style that was prominent during the 19th century; although more noticed in the 19th century, it has its beginnings during the 16th century Italian Renaissance. This home is one of few in an urban setting and was owned buy one of Albany’s wealthy merchants. The fourth location is the New York State Executive Mansion. It was first built as a private residence but was later purchased by the state to become the state’s executive mansion. It became the first state owned building with the sole purpose of housing the governor. The last location is the Mansion Historic District. It was Albany’s first suburban district right below the governor’s mansion. This area housed many of Albany’s immigrants in the 19th century.
3)Places all over the world tell a story. Whether it is the deli around the corner or the park down the street, there is something significant about these places. The story that my tour tells is about a small town that many people over look but holds beautiful sights and buildings that have meant something to someone in the past. I chose homes that may have made an impact on the past people of Albany. All of these places relate to one another in the sense that at one point in time people sought refuge in these places. People either lived in these homes or passed by on their way to find a better place to be. The Stephen and Harriet Myers home was a place of temporary refuge for the salves that were escaping, and the Walter Merchant house with its exquisite style was a place of comfort and a show of wealth for one of Albany’s richest merchants; the New York State Executive Mansion was a place for a family to lay their head at night and find peace and comfort in the home and one another and then it became a place for the governor to do the same and the Mansion Historic District held homes for Albany’s immigrants. It was a place full of different cultures and became a melting pot over the years; the area was filled with people from all over hoping to find something in Albany that they felt they were missing back home.
The audience of my tour is school children, tourists and locals. The idea is to educate these groups of people on the significance of buildings in Albany. There are some homes and state buildings that are well known by almost everyone but then there are homes such as the Walter Merchant house or the Stephen and Harriet Myers home that people may not know about. I feel as though when you live, visit and even just pass by a place, you should learn something about it, especially the buildings you walk into while there. The big takeaway point the visitor will get from the tour is that, if something is there, it is there for a reason. One may not know why a particular church, house, or school is located where it is located but there is a reason and it should be of interest to find out what that reason is.
5) A. Have any of these buildings been turned into a museum or a place that people can visit?
B. What race of immigrants predominantly lived at the Mansion Historic District?
C. What are some other places along this route that seem to hold significance or tell a story about Albany?