McKownville Improvement Association
- McKownville houses - the older development, the oldest houses on each street: (I) North side of Western Avenue

Many of the houses in the older parts of McKownville were built over 90 to more than 100 years ago. While some of them have been modified by additions, most are recognizably not far removed from the original designs, and are located in their original varied neighborhood streetscape. This page presents the earliest one or two houses on each street, or segment of Western Avenue, to give an idea of the variety of these oldest houses and the time when building started in this area of the hamlet. It also gives a summary of when most of the other houses were constructed in the particular street, or segment of Western Avenue.
For specific information on an individual house:
Lists of the town assessors build dates for each of the houses in these streets included in this compilation of yearly city directory principal occupants 1931-1961:
(.ods) open document format spreadsheet file.
Listings of the principal occupant for each house in these streets compiled from the various census returns 1915-1940 and the 1931, 1940 city directory street lists:
(.ods) open document format spreadsheet file.

Western Avenue, north side, between the City of Albany-Town of Guilderland boundary and Knowles Terrace
This part of Western Avenue contains the two oldest houses still standing in McKownville; most of the others in this segment were built in 1922-26 on lots sold by Charles A Gimlick, who lived in the old house at 1245 Western up to 1921.
        Western Ave thumbnail 1245 Western Avenue, the oldest existing house in McKownville, built in 1849 by Eli Warford, a brick Federal-style farmhouse.
Knowles house
        1261 Western Ave tmbnail 1261 Western Avenue, a frame house built by Andrew and Henry Drumm in 1879; home of William and Caroline Knowles 1895-1926.

Knowles Terrace
The 3 acres of land on which the houses of Knowles Terrace were built was bought by William Knowles in 1894-5, along with the house at 1261 Western.
Subdivision was made in 1916, and all but one of the houses built from 1917-1924.
19 Knowles Terrace
        thumbnail image 19 Knowles Terrace, built in 1917.

Western Avenue, north side, between Knowles Terrace and Waverly Place
This contains the house (1421 Western Avenue) of William H Witbeck, the original developer of "Country Club Highlands", the area on this side of Western Avenue extending from here to Fuller Road, and up to the old "Corporation" boundary line, which he bought from William McKown in 1907. All but one of the other houses in this section of Western Avenue were built by 1920.
1421 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image  1421 Western Avenue, built in 1910, home of William H Witbeck to 1935, and his son and his wife Arthur W and Mary V Witbeck until 1957.

Waverly Place
This side street is the only one in the Witbeck's Country Club Highlands development that retains its original composition, without post-1930's extension and development to the north. Most of the houses on Waverly were built by 1923.
1 Waverly Place
        thumbnail image 1 Waverly Place, built in 1913.

Western Avenue, north side, between Waverly Place and Norwood Street
The five houses in this section were all built by 1922.
1437 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1437 Western Avenue, built in 1913.  

Norwood Street
This side street is one of only two appearing on William H Witbeck's original subdivision map. He sold several lots on Norwood Street before the end of 1912 when the revised subdivision made by his son Benjamin F Witbeck and partner Arthur F Pitkin was filed. The revised plan retained Norwood and Elmwood Streets, but added the other side streets, and the lot layout for all the unsold areas was completely changed. Houses on the lower part of Norwood Street were built by the end of 1925, with one added later, in 1942.
4 Norwood Street
        thumbnail image 4 Norwood Street, built in 1911.   5 Norwood Street
        thumbnail image 5 Norwood Street, built 1913.

Western Avenue, north side, between Norwood and Glenwood Streets
There are three houses in this section, one constructed 1914, one 1929; the other is on a set of lots that were sold by William H Witbeck early in 1912, but sold back to the Witbeck's in 1915, and after that left unsold and unfilled until 1959.
1443 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1443 Western Avenue, built in 1914. Home of Benjamin F Witbeck until his death in 1944, and of his widow Caroline L Witbeck until 1960.

Glenwood Street
Most of the houses on lower Glenwood Street were built between 1925-1930, and most of those in 1926-28. Despite the short interval for the building, there is still a pleasing variety of architecture on this lower part of the street. There are two houses (1, and 3 Glenwood) built earlier on the east side.
3 Glenwood Street
        thumbnail image 3 Glenwood Street, built 1916.

Western Avenue, north side, between Glenwood and Parkwood Streets
Five houses in this section include two built quite early in the development, and the others in the later 1920's.
1445 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1445 Western Avenue, built in 1925.   1451 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1451 Western Avenue, built in 1915.

Parkwood Street
There are two houses built on Parkwood Street early in the development, and some others built in the second half of the 1920's but, unlike Glenwood Street, on lower Parkwood there were a number of lots still unfilled until the later 1940's and early 1950's.
10 Parkwood Street
        thumbnail image 10 Parkwood Street, built 1914.  3 Parkwood Street
        thumbnail image 3 Parkwood Street, built 1912 (or perhaps 1915).

Western Avenue, north side, between Parkwood and Elmwood Streets
The four houses in this section were all built in the 1926-28 interval.
1457 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1457 Western Avenue, built in 1926. A large extension has been added to the original house.

Elmwood Street
One house far up the original street was all that was built on Elmwood until the later 1920's, when the rest of the lots on the west side between 16 and Western Avenue were filled. Houses on the east side up to 19 were, all but one, built in the 1930's. The street originally had only limited access to Fuller Road, but the north end was opened and houses built on it in the 1940's and early 1950's.
16 Elmwood Street
        thumbnail image 16 Elmwood Street, built in 1914. 6 Elmwood Street
        thumbnail image 6 Elmwood Street, the next house to be built, 1928.

Fuller Road
Houses on Fuller Road are not easy to identify in pre-1915 census records (because the street itself is not identified), and it is uncertain how far back any of the existing structures were present. The oldest record in the present list of the town assessor is 1924 for 318 Fuller Road, but from census listings this and the adjacent house at 316 Fuller could be earlier, 1910 or perhaps before. The house at 328 Fuller the town lists as built in 1936, but if this is correctly identified as the house occupied up to 1938 by the Trick family, there is a census data trail for that family occupying this house to before 1915. Research on the old deeds would be needed to find anything definite.

Older houses north of the Corporation line
Two pre-1930's houses exist, and a third did until very recently, north of the area of the Country Club Highlands development.
Barnes Lodge, built in 1909 north of Waverly Place, destroyed by fire in 1985.
Nicholas Lane house, probably built about 1903, destroyed by the University in 2017.
21 Norwood Street, built about 1912
30W Parkwood, lot sold to Charles Hoag 1914, but the house may not have been built until after 1920.

return to history page