UAlbany and Historic Albany Invite Public
to Share Memories of Albany’s Transformation

Research to Explore Historic City Changes 1948-1978

Contact: Heidi Weber (518) 437-4993

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 20, 2002) – Researchers at the University at Albany and the Historic Albany Foundation invite the public to share written accounts, photographs, artifacts and memories of the unique physical transformation of the City of Albany during the 30-year period following WWII.

Faculty at UAlbany's Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, along with the Historic Albany Foundation, aim to stimulate collective memory, record local history and reflect on the meaning of displacement, renewal, migration, modernity and community mobilization in the City of Albany. As part of this research, a conference will be held in November to discuss: South End public housing and urban renewal, Arbor Hill public housing and urban renewal, the Empire State Plaza, the State Office Campus, UAlbany’s Uptown Campus, hospital expansions, urban expressways and downtown transformation.

Researchers intend to collect a breadth of historical information including chronologies, maps and plans from the 1940s through the 1980s, newspaper clippings and other pertinent accounts of change. The background research is intended both to aid participants at the conference, and to build permanent information resources for the community.

"We’re looking to hear from people who have vivid memories of big projects from that era. We’re interested in the projects that were built as well as the ones that weren’t. Our goal is to stimulate a remembering about where we came from and how we got to where we are today. We’re looking to awaken a collective memory before it is lost forever so that it can be used to further discussions for future generations," said UAlbany Geography and Planning Professor and conference organizer Ray Bromley.

All files and recordings will be permanently deposited and publicly available in the University at Albany Library Special Collections and Archives. Duplicate copies of the chronologies and clippings files will be provided to the Historic Albany Foundation and to the Albany Public Library. These materials will be a permanent resource for Albany's residents as well as future writers, artists and historians.

The conference, "Monumental Visions and Urban Transformations in Albany," to be held in early November, is part of Albany’s Heritage Year, a year-long program developed through the partnership of the City of Albany, the Albany County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the University at Albany and many cultural organizations and community leaders. Albany Heritage features a variety of exhibits, tours, lectures, concerts, projects and events devoted to uncovering the unique history of the city. For more information about Albany Heritage, visit

For more information, or to offer materials that may help in the preparatory research for the conference, contact Ray Bromley at (518) 442-4766 or


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