Clients: Sequence Development
- Big Unveil for Historic 9 First Street, Troy. Friday, 4 p.m. (6/26/14).
- Jeff Buell Tackles Blighted Downtown Troy Building (05/20/13).
Historic Image 9 First Street
To Download Full Size Image (2 MB), right-click this link:
(Caption: Historic image of 9 First Street from “City of Troy and Its Vicinity,” by A.J. Weise, A.M., printed in Troy by William H. Young in 1876. This book was printed at … 9 First Street, the building where a new restaurant tenant will be announced this Friday at 4 p.m. Photo of book courtesy of Duncan Crary Communications.)
Historic Image 9 First Street
To Download Full Size Image (3.4 MB), right-click this link:
(Caption: Historic image of 9 First Street from “City of Troy and Its Vicinity,” by A.J. Weise, A.M., printed in Troy by William H. Young in 1876. This book was printed at … 9 First Street, the building where a new restaurant tenant will be announced this Friday at 4 p.m. Image courtesy of Don Rittner.)
Historic Building Published Troy History
By Don Rittner
The four-story brownstone and iron front building at number 9 First Street (originally numbers 8 & 9) is not only a historic building but was the home of a printing company that published Troy’s earliest history books.
Built during the Civil War in 1864 by William H. Young, it features an ornate cast iron storefront cast by Starbuck Brothers Foundry formerly on Center Island.
William H. Young was a bookbinder and bookseller and was born in Troy on November 3, 1817. His father James had come to Troy in 1796 to work as an apprentice to his cousin Colonel Nathaniel Adams, the leading gold and silversmith at the time.
On March 1, 1842, Young and Charles P. Hartt, a partner and old school mate, purchased the previous book and stationary business of Ebenezer Pratt who first began the business in the spring of 1821 on River Street opposite Titus’s Tavern, not far from the present site. The First Street building also had an entrance on River Street, Number 214 that served as a storeroom.
During the mid 19th century this section of First Street was known as Banker’s Row; most of the buildings on the block were banks. In addition, the terminus for the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad was in a vacant lot and office building across the street from White’s First Street entrance. The railroad office at 10 First Street and the location on the east side of the R&S RR Bridge (now the Green Island Bridge) was available from sunrise to 9 PM every day to take freight and people as far as Saratoga and stops between. The cars were horse drawn until 1853.
In 1871, Young built a larger three story building next door at 216 River and added a bookbindery and printing office.
Young is well known as the publisher of two of Troy’s early histories by Arthur Weise, as well as many of the early city directories and other publications including religious and trade items.
Young also rented out the upper floors to a new business college called Bryant & Stratton Mercantile College, a firm originally from Ohio, and which later became Bryant & Stratton & Folsom’s Troy Business College. Bryant & Stratton Mercantile College was founded locally in Albany in 1857 and by 1865 they had a school in Troy, first at the Cannon Building later moving to number 9 First Street. B&S had a chain of about 50 schools at the time but split up in 1867 and each school took on its own name and life; the school in Albany became the Bryant & Stratton & Folsom’s Albany Business College (ABC) and was owned by Ezekiel G. Folsom.
John Richard Carnell who purchased the Troy school in 1867 (Bryant & Stratton & Carnell) was born in Troy in 1845 and was a graduate of the Troy Business College in 1865. He also taught there. The school was incorporated in 1871 as the Troy Commercial College and moved to the Troy Times Building on Broadway and Third. Carnell sold it however in 1876 to Harrison B. McCreary and Thomas H Shields. When the Times Building at the corner of Broadway and Third burned in February 1878, the college moved to Kennedy Hall at 13 Third Street.
Ironically both Bryant & Stratton and Albany Business College that were once owned by the same family (Folsom) merged in 1951. The Troy name was kept for years in hopes that it would be revived, but it never happened. In 1988, ABC was sold to Bryant & Stratton of Buffalo, and in 1989, the school was renamed Bryant & Stratton Business Institute and moved to its existing location on Central Avenue in 1990.
Unfortunately Number 9 First Street didn’t fare so well and during its remaining years became a well-known flophouse. There is a certain amount of irony here. A “Young” entrepreneur who published histories of Troy built number 9 First Street in 1864 while a published poet lawyer built the adjacent Rice (Hall) building in 1875.