McKownville Improvement Association
- McKownville houses - times of development, the oldest houses on each street: (II) South 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 (except for parts of the south side of Western Avenue) 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 compiled from the various census returns 1915-1940 and the 1931, 1940 city directory street lists:
(.ods) open document format spreadsheet file.

Western Avenue, south side, between the City of Albany-Town of Guilderland boundary and Brookwood Avenue
Most of the houses and small shops that existed in this section suffered demolition in the late-1950's to mid-1960's, and replacement by utilitarian commercial buildings and deserts of parking lot. For example the Helme house, formerly at 1230 Western, was one of the first to go. Two structures from pre-1950 times still exist, one (at 1204 Western) converted from residential to small commercial use, the other (1222/1224 Western) still rented accommodation.
1222/24 Western
        Avenue thumbnail image 1222/24 Western Avenue, built about 1920.

Upper Hillcrest Avenue
Most of the houses on this street had been built by 1930, and more than half of them by 1920. According to the town list, the oldest house dates to 1901, although 1909 is the earliest date that can be inferred from the census and city directory person listings. The name of the street was plain Hillcrest Avenue to at least 1960, and was apparently changed to reduce mail sorting confusion (with streets in Watervliet and Latham).
9 Upper Hillcrest
        Avenue thumbnail image 9 Upper Hillcrest Avenue, built 1909.

Arcadia Avenue
Many of the houses on Arcadia were built in the 1925-30 interval, but a few are older, the oldest probably built in 1909.
Numbering of the houses was modifed by adding 100 sometime after 1960, also to help the mail sorters; however, former numbers 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 were changed to 121, 123, 125, 127, 129 (because they are all on the odd side...)
110 Arcadia Avenue
        thumbnail image 110 Arcadia Avenue, built 1909.

Brookwood Avenue
Brookwood Avenue houses were mostly built 1926-30. One of the subdividers of this street, John H Bloomingdale, lived at 8 Brookwood until 1930.
8 Brookwood Avenue
        thumbnail image 8 Brookwood Avenue, built about 1923.

Western Avenue, south side, between Brookwood Avenue and McKown Road
William McKown built in 1887-90 two almost identical Queen Anne-style houses on the corners of McKown Road and Western Avenue. The one in which he lived to the end of his life in 1924, and in which his two youngest daughters continued to live until 1947 was located on the eastern corner, at 1436 Western Avenue. In 1948 the purchasers had the house moved to a new foundation at its present location, 1 McKown Road, where the house can still be seen. Other houses along this largely residential stretch of the south side of Western Avenue were built in the late 1920's to 1940's.
1428 Western Avenue
        thumbnail image 1428 Western Avenue, built about 1928.

Westlyn Court and Westlyn Place
Most of the houses were constructed in the early 1950's; 1 Westlyn Ct was occupied from 1938, and 4 Westlyn Ct from 1945.
Westlyn Court was called Westlyn Avenue in the 1930's.

McKown Road
The oldest house on McKown Road, the origin of the name, was the old McKown farmhouse, before its destruction in 1970. For a while, until it too was destroyed by "developers", the Queen Anne-style house dating from about 1887 at 1438 Western Avenue, on the western corner of McKown Road, was the successor least modifed in its exterior. Although moved a short distance from its original position, the McKown's house at 1 McKown Road now is the oldest structure on the road. Along the north part of McKown Road, there is one building, now known as 18 Westlyn Place, that was occupied by 1925, and recorded in the directories and censuses from that time as "behind" 1436 Western Avenue.
1 McKown Road
        thumbnail image 1 McKown Road, built in 1887 at 1436 Western Avenue; moved in 1948-9 to the present site.

Western Avenue, south side, between McKown Road and Schoolhouse Road
No houses still used as residences survive on this section of the south side of Western Avenue. The old McKown Hotel and tavern built in 1793 by William McKown was located here just east of the Fuller Road intersection, until it burned down in 1917. The veterinary office at 1506 Western Avenue is probably expanded from a house which appears to have been occupied since before 1920. In 1940 it was the home of John Warmuth, who started the veterinary practice here.

Schoolhouse Road
Early settlement in the 19th century occurred on farms along Schoolhouse Road, known then and until after 1925 as White Church Road. The McKownville Schoolhouse itself was constructed in the 1870's, and survived on the corner lot at the intersection with Western Avenue until 1973. It is not clear whether any of the remaining houses on the northern section of Schoolhouse road were built before 1900. The town assessor's office lists the house at 36 Schoolhouse as built in 1800. If true, this would now be by far the oldest house in McKownville, but the style of the house suggests that around 1900 might be a more plausible building date. The lot was sold by William H Witbeck sometime between 1907 and 1912, but it is not clear whether the house was already built, or that it was an unbuilt lot. It is clear that WH Witbeck sold another lot early in 1910 on which the house now at 50 Schoolhouse Road was built, finished and occupied by the census date (1st June) in 1910.
36 Schoolhouse Road
        thumbnail image 36 Schoolhouse Road, built about 1900? (the town lists it as 1800).
50 Schoolhouse Road
        thumbnail image 50 Schoolhouse Road, built 1910.

Apart from the old farms farther south along Schoolhouse Road (e.g. Augustus Ziehm at old number 8, which was in the Woodscape Apartments area), census and directory records show that occupation of the houses near the north end started by 1910. And, yes, the house numbers were changed on this road also, sometime after 1960, using a conversion scheme that is a complete mystery (e.g new 36 = old 1; new 50 = old 3).

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