History

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Figure 10:  The remains of downtown Troy after the Great Fire of 10 May 1862.  The round-end building at the right of the photograph was the first Union Railroad Depot.  The fire destroyed more than 507 buildings including the Troy City Bank, the Troy Orphan Asylum and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on the northeast corner of State and Sixth Streets.  Troy University, a Methodist college that would graduate its first and only class just two months after the fire, is the multi-spired edifice at the peak of the hill.  The fire and its forced exodus were major catalysts for the growth of upper Congress Street (Courtesy of the Troy Public Library, Special Collections).

Figure 11:  Detail of an 1881 City Engineer’s Map of Troy by G. M. Hopkins.  The map depicts upper Congress Street from Fifteenth Street to its junction with Pawling Avenue.  Yellow buildings were wooden-framed; pink buildings were brick.  This area of the city had the highest ratio of wood to brick buildings in 1881—almost three-to-one.  Fire insurance maps indicate that the Church of the Ascension was the only stone structure in the area (Courtesy of the Troy Public Library).

 

 

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