Center Square Association, Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association and Historic Albany Foundation are proud to present the 2018 Hidden City House & Garden Tour on Thursday, June 21 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Every year since 1975, this much anticipated event brings the neighborhoods to life, as homeowners open their doors and gardens to the public for this night only. Guests are able to visit, at their leisure, the beautiful and historic homes and hidden gardens that make up the Center Square, Hudson/Park and Washington Park neighborhoods.
The main highlight of this year’s tour is one of the most unique homes to ever be built in the city of Albany; “The Castle”. The majestic Queen Anne style mansion, built in 1891 by noted local architect Ernest Hoffman, towers over Washington Park Lake at 10 Thurlow Terrace (see image). It was the winter home to the prolific inventor, Charles La Dow, and his family, and features original, unique flooring in every room, beautiful interior hardware, and oddities only an inventor would truly appreciate, among many other things.
While this extravagant home may have been built for the La Dow family, the building’s history extends well beyond the original owners. Albany Archives’ Matt Malette will be on hand in the mansion giving informal tours throughout the evening. Generally closed to the public, this once-in-a-lifetime experience to finally see what the 8,500 square foot La Dow Mansion has been hiding on its four floors for almost 130 years is what you’ve been waiting for.
Included in the tour again this year is the delightful Hudson-Jay Park, where guests will find creatively designed floral, vegetable and herb pots being raffled off to support park beautification. Ben & Jerry’s will be scooping ice cream to celebrate the first day of summer!
Neighborhood restaurants, offering a great range of cuisines, along with charming shops, are part of the fun spirit that makes for a full evening in this unique locale. They offer specials and discounts to tour participants upon presentation of their ticket. A full listing and map is contained within the evening’s program/ticket.
This rain-or-shine tour is a self-guided, go-at-your-own-pace, whatever-order-you-desire type format. Most of the homes are within walking distance of one another. Although tickets may be picked up beginning at 4 p.m. that day, the houses and gardens do not open until 5 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online at Center Square Association’s website: https://centersquarealbany.com/hgt/
and at Historic Albany Foundation’s office and parts warehouse, 89 Lexington Avenue, 12206 (Tues-Fri 9-5 – office, Wed-Fri 11-5, Sat 9-5, warehouse), or by calling 518-465-0876 ext.10.
The day of the tour, they can be purchased from 4-7 p.m. in front of Trinity Church, 235 Lark Street, or inside Capital Wine & Liquor, 348 State Street. Pre-paid tickets must be picked up at Trinity Church. Tickets cost $20.00 until June 15. Beginning on June 16, the price is $25.
Image: Empire State Images