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Old Photos of Schenectady NY

- Franny Wentzel - Saturday, July 18th, 2009 : goo

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Found a collection old photos at my favourite used bookstore...

much of the buildings are already gone today in these pictures from 40/50 years ago....

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Overview of downtown

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Industrial side of town - viewing GE plant and...

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1930s WGY radio station - stood at the foot of...

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Erie Boulevard - was once a canal

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1910 railway station

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Shopping district 1930s

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Shopping district 1960s

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Main drag 1960s

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Proctors Theater block 1960s

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1960s Detroit iron on Jay Street

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Crescent Park & Courthouse 1960s

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Foot of Crescent Park looking westward

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Modern Diner 1950s - top of Crescent Park hill

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Modern Diner - was next to court house - torn down in 1959 to build court house annex

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Ultra-modern High School - 1960s editions of the World Book Encyclopedia have pictures of a model of this school in their article on architecture

This article has been viewed 58734 times in the last 7 years

CartLegger: 19th Jul 2009 - 00:17 GMT

oooh! fun images! I'm going there on my pilgrimage west along the old erie canal, and I'll make sure to walk that road that was once a canal--the Erie Canal may i presume?.

Shawno: Excellent set. Thanks for sharing.

livia: I just loved this post !!

Franny Wentzel: 19th Jul 2009 - 07:29 GMT

Yes the Erie Canal - there's been talk of rehydrating it as part of a downtown revival plan.

image 34353

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Found this interesting colour photo of downtown back when people used to go there...

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Incidentally, Syracuse, NY also has an Erie Boulevard and it too used to be the path of the Erie canal in that city.

image 34351

image 34352

Robert: 19th Oct 2009 - 15:09 GMT

Great post! Don't remember having been in Schenectady, but it really looks very familiar, as if I had walked and known those streets thoroughly. Believe me, it's like a true Dj Vu...

TedA: 9th Mar 2010 - 17:42 GMT

Thanks for posting these great photos. They brought back a ton of fond memories of Schenectady. I'll always remember Christmas shopping with my parents at Wallace's, Carl Co., Woolworth's, and Rudnick's down on Erie Blvd. Went to lots of movies at Proctor's and the State Theater (guess that's gone). I've been away since 1973, so I know things have changed to make it mostly unrecognizable.

In 1973, Mohawk Mall was only three years old, and the SPAC, where I graduated from Niskayuna High School, was only six years old and was the coolest thing to happen to the area in a long time. Glad the SPAC is still around as well as Central Park, where I spent many, many joyful days all year 'round. Devil's Hill, anyone?

Franny Wentzel: 9th Mar 2010 - 19:30 GMT

Here is a look through a portion of the newly rebuilt part of downtown.

Dorothy Bast: 12th Nov 2010 - 03:51 GMT

Love these ! thanks for sharing !

Caitlyn Elizabeth P.: 22nd Nov 2010 - 04:47 GMT

I have to say that schenectady has definaitly been doing a good job at reviving downtown and other areas. My father always told me how nice it was growing here as a kid. People could leave their doors unlocked, going to see a moving was 20 cents, it was actually clean and not run down. I've always looked down on schenectady because they just let it go but after learning about the history here I'm actually starting to appreciate it more. These pictures are great!

Laura Bull, St. Petersburg, FL: 13th Apr 2011 - 21:16 GMT

Found your site while trying to find the name of the night spot on lower Erie Blvd probably in the late 1960's. I believe it was owned by Rocky Palmer. Enjoyed seeing all the pictures which brought back memories.

Margaret Miller: 1st Dec 2011 - 22:35 GMT

These are fantastic photos - I've been looking for some just like these to give to my daughter for Xmas. Are these available, or can someone tell me where to find them?

Franny Wentzel: 1st Dec 2011 - 23:12 GMT

Try the City History Center as Schenectady City Hall. They have wonky hours but one time I was able to poke a nose through their photo files.

Margaret Miller: 4th Dec 2011 - 02:56 GMT

Can you tell me the name of the Used Book Store you found these in?
Thanks for responding.

Franny Wentzel: 4th Dec 2011 - 05:03 GMT

The one on Union near the college. I forget the name.

Ken Waddell: 11th Feb 2012 - 18:13 GMT

You are probably thinking of the Open Door Bookstore on Jay Street, I have purchased many historical books there.

Franny Wentzel: 11th Feb 2012 - 20:58 GMT

No. There's used bookstore on Union a few blocks uptown from Union College. Owner lets his cats frolic amongst the selections.

Gary cohn jr: 12th Apr 2012 - 14:47 GMT

Found ur great site loplimg for pictures of what schenectady use to look like in the 1950's thank you

Hateraid: 12th Apr 2012 - 15:08 GMT

I see you've been loplimg for pictures. I loplimg for pictures every day. Especially loplimg for pictures of what Schenectady use to look like. I like loplimg. I can't help that I am such a fan of loplimg!

anon ( 27th Apr 2012 - 08:28 GMT

I am desperately looking for pictures of St. Luke's Catholic Church State Street Schenectady before it's being remodeled for a 50th anniversary present for my husband. We met there and were married there.

Franny Wentzel: 27th Apr 2012 - 14:44 GMT

Try contacting the City History center...

Faye Reagan: 11th May 2012 - 16:02 GMT

Hi, I would like to know if your Detroit pictures are subjected to copyright. Thanks :)

David Thompson: 27th May 2012 - 21:00 GMT

Sorry that was Central Park in Schenectady

Don Trondsen: 2nd Dec 2012 - 05:22 GMT

I was born and raised in Schenectady. Loved the hot dogs with meat sauce at the Newest Restaurant on Albany St.Left there in 1967. Have wondseful memories.

sandi: 17th Dec 2012 - 22:38 GMT

I just had to see some pictures of Schenectady. I am from Olympia, Washington and when the story of Shirley Muldowny "Heart Like A Wheel" was filmed here (some of it) I just had to go downtown on my lunch hour to see the action. was very excited.
I had heard our town was chosen because of some of the similarities to Schenectady.
Upon seeing pictures of Schenectady, I can see a few areas that are similar. So, if you happen to catch the movie on reruns, you can see some of my hometown.
Pay attention to the building used for her wedding, that is our original courthouse
and,the scene @ the beginning of the movie where she's a child riding with her dad on a backroad, that road is on the westside of our town, and the blue restaurant where she worked, that is a tavern on our westside. Olympia's little moment of fame.

Franny Wentzel: 18th Dec 2012 - 12:45 GMT

Faye... I believe the 'Detroit iron' on Jay Street picture may be part of the John Papp collection amongst others with copyrights owned by said. Papp is/was? a local publisher of historical photo books.

Tom Butch: 20th Apr 2013 - 15:37 GMT

It's nice seeing pictures of the Old Schenectady. That I remember as a kid when you could go anywhere as a kid and have fun. Going to Apex records playing the latest hits was a fond memory. Then stopping at the peanut shop and getting peanuts and fudge. Going to Woolworth's, Grants and Kresceys Department Stores. Like to see some of the Hamilton Street area where I grew up. I grew up on Schenectady Street when everyone had there own little gardens and there were fruit trees and grape vines in just about everybody's yards.

Donna J. DuBoise-Moore. Sept. 14, 2014: 14th Sep 2014 - 17:02 GMT

I miss Apex music store. It used to be on the corner of Broadway & State St

Frank C. DeMasi: 10th Oct 2014 - 18:17 GMT

Franny: The bookstore on Union St. is "W. Somers, Bookseller."

christina rowe nolan: 16th Jan 2015 - 01:43 GMT

I have many a fond memory of growing up in Schenectady, being in the Christmas parade that would go around the square, shopping at the Lerner's Store, going to the Army Navy Store, taking the modeling class at Barney's Dept. Store, eating hundreds of times at the Silver Diner with my father, walking up and down Broadway with my girlfriends, toboganning. Life was good, I sure do miss those days! Times were much simpler!

Gail Loveland: Great photos

terry: 2nd May 2015 - 07:53 GMT

do you have any information on the standard furniture fire on broadway in the city?

Franny Wentzel: 3rd May 2015 - 00:18 GMT

image 52171

Here's an image of the fire, which started in May of 1959 in the Carl's Company warehouse. 30 years previously, The Boston Co. had burnt out on the same spot. Lot was used for Carl's Co. employee parking till the Canal Square was built in the late '70s. The Bow Tie Cinema currently occupies the space.

anon ( 21st Oct 2015 - 16:31 GMT

Not sure if this was ever answered. Believe the bookstore in question is related to the Schenectady Library. They use it as a fundraiser, selling old and donated books. It is in fact on Union St, back to back with the library.

Franny Wentzel: 21st Oct 2015 - 19:24 GMT

Actually the correct guess was "W. Somers, Bookseller".

Al Fazzone : 4th Nov 2015 - 16:53 GMT

Loved the photo's , they sure brought back some memories . I read the article on Shirley Muldowny about the movie she made. She and i worked at the Dutch Boy Restaurant in Colonie , New York , back in the 50's . A lot of memories there . The 50's were great yrs.

Al Fazzone : 4th Nov 2015 - 16:58 GMT

Loved the pictures and comments of 1950's Schenectady . They brought many memories of the 1950's . They were great years .

Sharlane Hodges McDermott: 12th Mar 2016 - 17:52 GMT

Thank you for this trip down Memory Lane with your wonderful photos. These were certainly gentler times for those of my generation..It was so sad to visit Schenectady a few years back and see so many areas in complete deterioration. The church (Sacred Heart) where we were married in 1965 was completely boarded up. Thank goodness for doughnuts from Kresge's store after a movie at Proctor's theatre..Fanny Farmer candy store across from there...Wallace's Dept.Store where we x-rayed our feet each time we went downtown..Nott Terrace High School...Mike's Sub Shop across from Sch'dy Savings Bank..& on & on.

Dick MacKinnon: 18th Mar 2016 - 02:51 GMT

You perform a real service .. much appreciated.

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