The streets of Albany, New York have had a long history going back almost 400 years. Many of the streets have changed names over the course of time, some have changed many times. Some streets no longer exist, others have changed course, some roads existed only on paper. The oldest streets were laid out with no overall plan until Simeon De Witts 1794 street grid plan. The plan had two grids, one west of Eagle Street and the old stockade, and another for the Pastures District south of the old stockade, others are so narrow that today they are blocked off to vehicular traffic. The original name was Yonker Street, it and Broadway are the two oldest streets in Albany. Three structures sat in the middle of the street, from east to west they were- the original Dutch Reformed church, St. Peters Anglican Church, and Fort Frederick, by 1810 they had been demolished. State Street west of Eagle Street was called Deer Street, today it is referred to as upper State Street to distinguish it from the older lower State Street. Upper State Street is a one-way street traveling east and goes from a Y-intersection with Western Avenue, the next section goes from North Main to North Pine streets. State Street from Broadway to Eagle Street is part of New York Route 5, called Handalaers Street on the Miller map of 1695. One of the streets within the Dutch stockade, it. The intersection with Yonker Street is where the original Dutch Church sat until 1806, North of State Street it became known as Market Street. The second oldest house in Albany, the Quackenbush House was built along Broadway, Handalaers Street was changed to Market Street, and then in 1815 Court Street became South Market and Market became North Market. Broadway from Madison Avenue north out of the city was once New York Route 2 until the 1980s, the intersection with State Street was once called Elm Street Corner, where stood an Elm Tree planted by Philip Livingston, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. South of State Street the road was a path to the common pastures owned by the Dutch Church, after the Revolution it was named Washington Street in honor of George Washington. In 1814/15 Pearl Street north of State was renamed North Pearl while the south of State was renamed South Pearl. In 1804 the Albany and Bethlehem Turnpike was chartered and constructed as a continuation of South Pearl Street through the hamlet of Kenwood to the hamlet of Bethlehem Center, over time it was continued west as far as Washington Park. On the other side of Washington Park, Hudson Street started again along the same line, when the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza was built a large section of Hudson Avenue disappeared
Map of Albany in 1695. North is to right.
State Street in 1805 looking east from Eagle Street