The history of this historic location in Albany, NY will forever be preserved through photos and records after the building tragically burned down late last week.

Last week the City of Albany lost one of its historical landmarks when the former Doane Stuart School was destroyed in a massive fire.

The building stood since 1842, but in recent years fell into disrepair after developers had purchased the Kenwood property and had intended to turn it into luxury apartments, hotels, and shopping on the massive 74 acre property.

Ultimately the developer abandoned the property after owing back taxes, loan debt, and didn't pay their contractors.

While the City of Albany tried to salvage things by boarding up doors and windows to protect this historic building from the weather and other elements, not much happened to preserve the building.

The Historic Albany Foundation did a great job of documenting the entire timeline of events for this property.

A massive fire tore through the building Thursday of last week and now investigators are trying to determine what caused this building to burn down.

From the Times Union:

On Friday afternoon, attorneys for the investment group that purchased the 74-acre property two days before the blaze asked a federal bankruptcy judge for an emergency status conference on a $2 million insurance policy that is set to expire on March 28. The policy was taken out the same day the previous owner declared bankruptcy in 2022.

On the fire and loss of the building, Doane Stuart issued the following statement:

The faculty, staff, administration, and alumni at Doane Stuart are heartbroken to hear about the fire at our old campus.  It was an absolutely beautiful building and property that held years of memories for so many of us.  Doane Stuart was a tenant of the property from 1975 until June of 2009 when we moved to our current campus in Rensselaer.  Our thoughts are with everyone who is grieving the loss of this special landmark in Doane Stuart’s history.

While the building itself may be lost, it will at least be preserved through the former students of the school who spent time there as well as photos and videos.

In 2021 YouTuber The Sneakys Explore was able to get inside of the buildings on the property to see what it looked like.

Explore the Abandoned Middle School at Albany's Kenwood Convent

This abandoned property is part of the Kenwood Convent complex in Albany. If it's the same story as the rest of the property, it's been vacant since 2009. There have been some ownership changes and it appears there is still power in parts of the building. As with the convent, it also looks like work was being done by construction crews to clean out and/or restore the building, but that has since stopped (as of the 2020 date of these photos).

The Albany Business Review says the county was about to hold an auction for the property, but its current owners filed bankruptcy two days prior - putting a hold on any further development or sale of the site.

As we can see from the photo tour, there is some magnificent architecture, window frames, even old murals on the wall depicting the a journey down the Hudson River from the City of Albany to New York City.

The most recent relics are some tools, ladders and construction equipment left at the scene, but there are some other pretty cool finds including an early flat screen TV, some antique door & window frames and a pool table in near perfect condition.

Remarkably, this is one of those abandoned places that has gone relatively untouched by vandals and graffiti artists. Let's hope it stays that way until a new use for the property can be determined. For now, it sits in legal limbo waiting to be renovated and rehabbed. Enjoy the tour!

Gallery Credit: The Sneakys Explore/YouTube

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