The Schuyler House

The centerpiece of this interesting span of early Albany cityscape was located on the southeastern corner of State and South Pearl Streets. Originally, it was "The Schuyler House." Later it also was known as the "Staats House." It probably was built by Philip Pieterse Schuyler between 1659 and 1667.

Schuyler House

Several versions of this landmark view found their ways into collections of Americana a hundred years ago. The image shown above is from the "Augustus Pruyn Collection" at the New York State Library. It is derivative of those known to have been made by James Eights.

This was the Schuyler family's city home for almost a hundred years. Many of the most prominent Schuylers grew up in this building. During the first half of the eighteenth century, it was the home of Mayor Johannes Schuyler. The Schuyler family held the property until the era of the American Revolution when the buildings found their way into the hands of Henry and William Staats - merchants and shippers. After the war, the property at 86 State Street continued as a multi-use business/residence for Henry Staats's widow, and then, for his sons who were druggists. A map dated 1792, shows the location as that of Lewis's tavern. Did it share space with the landmark as the census of 1790, shows Staats and Lewis as State Street neighbors. The building was demolished in 1887 and the site became the Albany County Savings Bank.

In addition, a number of 19th century photographs further document the extended and rambling character of this multi-use city homestead. This photograph was taken more than a hundred years ago.

photo of Schuyler House

The Schuyler House was one of the landmark homes of early Albany. The built environment of early Albany is considered more broadly in an essay entitled Homes for the People.


Howell and Tenney's Bicentennial History of Albany - published in 1886, also included a drawing of what the authors called the "Old Staats House." The description read: "The Staats House, corner State and Pearl, is regarded as the oldest edifice in the city. It is one of two which stood there when South Pearl was a lane, entered by a gate. When the street was widened, the upper house known as Lewis's [Tavern] was taken away. There formerly ran across the front of these two houses, underneath the eaves in iron letters, the words Anno Domini, and below, over the upper story, the figures, also in iron, 1667. When the upper house was taken away[,] the word Anno was left on the house still standing, and is there yet." The building was razed the year following the publication.

This particular photograph has been found in a number of formal and informal "Collections!" It also has been published in several places including Morris Gerber's Old Albany: A Pictorial History of the City of Albany, volume I (1985 edition).

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