Nicholas Lane house in
Nicholas Lane house, photo taken in summer of 2015, the year before it was demolished by the University at Albany.
[picture taken and contributed by Don Reeb]

This house was built on lot 6 of the lands inherited by the heirs of Christian LaGrange. The 1881 map of those lots shows that lot 6 and the adjacent lot 7 were sold prior to 1881 by the heir John B. LaGrange to Dr. James F. McKown, who died in 1892. Kate A. McKown, his widow, sold this lot in 1903 to Thomas H. Bloomingdale. The Town of Guilderland listed this house in its property tax records as built in 1890. If that date is correct, then it was built by James and Kate McKown. However, they are not listed in the 1892 NY census in the pages covering McKownville, nor is Kate McKown listed in the 1900 US census in the pages for McKownville. Therefore, it seems possible that Thomas Bloomingdale built this house in 1903 or soon after; the US census records of 1910 and 1920, and the 1915 NY census do list him and his large family in McKownville.
Thomas Bloomingdale sold this plot and house in September 1921 to Benjamin F. Witbeck, who with his wife Caroline then sold it to Charles and Isabel Tracey in December 1923. These two people lived here for the rest of their lives, the house being listed as "20 Norwood St" in the Albany City Directory up to 1953.
Isabel Tracey died in 1966; her will bequeathed the property to Judge John Holt-Harris. It was apparently not occupied for the last few years of its existence. The University at Albany purchased the property of Holt-Harris in December 2015; in 2016 they demolished this house and the other old Holt-Harris residence on the adjacent lot 7 to the east. [A detailed ownership history of this and the adjacent lot 7 property from 1881]
To date, the mature pine woods of these two lots remain as a natural reserve and an insulating visual and aural screen from the intrusive noise of the University sports and athletic area, and protection from the winds crossing the open campus, for the quiet residential streets of McKownville adjacent.

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