Harmanus Bleecker Hall / Albany

Harmanus Bleecker, the grandson of a former Colonial-era mayor, served a term in the House of Representatives in the early 1810s, when he was still a young man. He practiced law locally and served on the board of several civic organizations. In his later life he served as Ambassador to the Netherlands in the Martin van Buren administration.

After his death in 1848, he left his estate to his much younger wife with the stipulation that, upon her death, the money would be spent to benefit the city. She survived him by almost 40 years, and the executor of her estate decided the $130,000 ($3.36 million in modern dollars) would best be spent to benefit the Young Men's Association, an organization Bleecker had strongly supported and served on the board of. Harmanus Bleecker Hall, a library and theater complex, was built in 1889 on Washington near Lark Street.

Thirty years later, in 1919, the board of the Young Men's Association decided it would be better off with a structure dedicated purely for use as a library. It sold the hall and used the proceeds to build the library.

Harmanus Bleecker Library

The theatre was later demolished.

The Harmanus Bleecker Library building (above) was constructed in 1924 in the Colonial Revival style and until recent years, served as one of the city’s public libraries. Once the library relocated, the building was vacant for several years until it was purchased by a local real estate developer to be adaptively re-used for private professional offices.

Programs available from this theatre:

  • A Scrap of Paper / 1890
  • The Artist's Dream / 1890

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