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Thrills and Chills From the Albany Historic Resources Commission

Is there anything more exciting than watching as a bunch of plucky Albanian patriots discuss local ordinances regarding appropriate types of siding for historic buildings while struggling to make the Zoom work? No, no there is not, which is why your humble Albablogger was so happy to watch the October 7th Historic Resources Commission meeting for you. Here's what got done:

Two New Murals for Downtown

Albany Center Gallery and Redburn have teamed up to add two new murals to blank spaces on historic buildings downtown. Both murals were approved, albeit with some resistance voiced to one of them.

On the right here you can see a mock-up of mural #1, which will be visible from some spots on Pearl and when you're on Columbia Street facing toward Broadway. This was the mural that generated some pushback from the commission -- some members said that it was out of scale with the buildings on Columbia and/or that they objected to the art style.

Below, you can see the location of the second mural (which will be visible from Broadway near Orange/Van Tromp), along with a picture of the mural design. This one didn't generate as much controversy -- partially because everyone seemed to like how cute and cheerful this mural is, and partially because, as one board member pointed out, there's no historic value to the current giant blank expanse of aluminum.

And a Facelift For Lark

You've probably noticed 199 Lark if you've ever wandered down the Washington end of the Lark Street commercial district -- it's the one that's dilapidated enough to ruin the view from outside of The Daily Grind but too modern-looking and depressing to attract ghosts. Local real estate developer Zhechao ‘Ron’ Xiong presented a plan to do a gut rehab that would include fixing up the exterior, with the goal of turning the place into a restaurant (run by Nick Warchol of Post) with apartments above. Here's a picture of the building next to a rendering of the proposed new exterior:

The board decided that Ron will have to do more research to determine the historical accuracy of his siding and window choices before he's allowed to make any changes to a building that undead real estate agents struggle to sell to ghost home-buyers because it's too much of a fixer-upper. Godspeed, Ron! One can only hope that you manage to rehab the place before a handy poltergeist with a can-do spirit decides to take it on instead.


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