Albany, NY - Twelve years ago, the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence was a wreck of a house; today, thanks to the love and dedication of a community, it's a national landmark, and recently, the subject of a state sponsored film series.
This year, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation launched, "We Are NY," a series of films to document and celebrate the historic sites in the midst of our communities. The latest film in the series, "We Are New York - Albany," focuses on the Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, and its rescue of the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence in Albany. The film traces the home's transformation and the importance it has to the Albany community and to the world at large.
The new film will be officially released June 22, but you can watch the film on YouTube here.
"This film displays the passion for history inspired by the Myers Residence and the story of the Underground Railroad, and how igniting that passion has engaged an entire community. People young and old are connecting to these stories of the past and working to shape the future - this film will serve to motivate others to do the same," says Mary Liz and Paul Stewart, Co-founders of The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region.
In 2004, when Mary Liz and Paul Stewart discovered the existence of this long forgotten historic site and took this project on, the Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence was in disrepair. The three-story Greek Revival home on Livingston Avenue, that was once the meeting site for local abolitionists, and an important stop on the Underground Railroad, was full of debris and years of neglect had taken a toll on the building's interior and exterior. Today, the home welcomes tourists, local residents and scholars eager to learn more about this home's unique place in history.
"Thanks to the Underground Railroad History Project and Myers Residence restoration, the untold stories of Albany's courageous freedom seekers have been brought forward in a very powerful way-to educate and engage us. The video highlights the dedication and enthusiasm of this compelling effort, connecting us to the history of that momentous time and inspiring us to create our own acts of service within our communities," says U.S. Congressman Paul D. Tonko.
"Stories such as the one of the Underground Railroad are a critical part of our local, state and national history. As one who represents the home of the Underground Railroad and supports it as well, I could not be more proud of the great work this organization does and the important story they tell. The video captures the spirit of this inspiring project," says New York State Assemblymember John T. McDonald III.
"The video helps us, in a very personal and meaningful way, to experience the energy and excitement of the Underground Railroad History Project as well as the transformation of the Myers House into a place of discovery, education and community pride," says City of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
About the ACCVB
The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. ACCVB currently represents more than 300 member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. ACCVB also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center. For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit www.albany.org.