The historic Ten Broeck Triangle (“TBT”) neighborhood features many beautifully restored townhouses along with the Ten Broeck Mansion, home of the Albany County Historical Association.
A Personal Note From The Owners
Most of our meetings have been at the Ten Broeck Mansion, but we have also met in the homes of various neighbors, in St. Joseph’s Park, and in neighborhood buildings undergoing restoration. Attendance varies, but 10 to 20 people is about average. An Albany Police neighborhood liaison or beat officer usually comes, and there’s often someone from the Mansion, Historic Albany Foundation, the city of Albany, etc. We met monthly in earlier years, when there were a number of pressing neighborhood issues at once. Many of those battles have been fought and won, and meetings are intermittent now. There is good core of committed neighbors who are always willing to write letters, testify at zoning hearings, etc., when any issues do arise. (The Albany Police Department now has community police officers assigned not only as liaisons, but active walking patrols in the neighborhood – old fashion beat cops. This is a recent practice that was implemented citywide – read more here.)
The most visible work by the neighborhood association has been on beautification. There’s a long tradition of working closely with the city gardener to plant annual flowers and tulips in St. Joseph’s Park. Flowers are provided by the city, and “neighbor labor” handles much of the planting and watering. (The city recently cut the flower budget, but we just met with the new city gardener on a plan to re-organize the several flower beds and plant more perennials that won’t require as much annual work.) Neighbors also sponsor holiday lights in the park every year, and the mayor has come to flip the switch on several occasions. (We had an electrical panel and multiple outlets installed, and the city pays for the electricity.) Other beautification /improvement efforts have included new street lights in historic style; TBT neighborhood banners on the light poles; replacement of a number of street trees; restoration of the brick portions of the sidewalks, new cross walks and added stop signs; and new playground equipment in Van Rensselaer Park.
On other fronts, the neighborhood association has been a strong advocate for maintaining the historic residential character of the TB Triangle. We were active in the effort to save and stabilize St. Joseph’s Church, and we continue to support an adaptive re-use that is right for the building and the neighborhood. We helped save the facade at 41 Ten Broeck Street, have successfully advocated for in-fill housing and home ownership over concentrated development, and were active participants in the neighborhood revitalization plan. We helped secure a new public library branch, and lobbied for re-development on North Swan Street. including the ambitious effort to transform St. Joe’s Academy into live-work loft space for artists. Among many other issues we worked on were regular neighborhood cleanups; the branding of the Triangle as a distinct downtown neighborhood; vigorous code enforcement and an overall focus on quality-of-life.