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Ten Broeck Mansion

The Ten Broeck Mansion was built in 1798 for Mayor Abraham Ten Broeck, who also served as a Major General of the Albany militia during the American Revolution, and his wife, Elizabeth Van Rensselaer, after a fire destroyed their Albany home. Ten Broeck leased five acres in what then was the Township of Watervliet from his brother-in-law, the Patroon -- Stephen Van Rensselaer. It was there he built a Federal-style house with sloping lawns and formal gardens.The mansion, named "Prospect," commanded a sweeping view of the Hudson River and its daily traffic of barges and schooners along the busy trade route.

The Ten Broeck family was already five generations into New World residence by the time Abraham came of age and had become prosperous and prominent in public affairs. In 1775, he served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In 1777, as a brigadier general, he commanded the New York Militia at the famous Battle of Saratoga. From 1779-1783 he served as both mayor of Albany and as a member of the State Senate. Governor George Clinton appointed Ten Broeck the first judge of the Court of Common Pleas, in 1781.

Among Ten Broeck's non-governmental accomplishments were serving as the first president of the Bank of Albany, first president of the Albany Public Library, and as a trustee of Union College. Ten Broeck enjoyed Prospect for a scant 12 years before his death in 1810. His widow, Elizabeth, lived there another three years, until her death.

Over the next 30 years after 1798, the character of the house changed. It was refurbished and renovated in the then-fashionable Greek Revival style. Theodore Olcott purchased the residence in 1848 and renamed it Arbor Hill, after the surrounding area which today is an Albany neighborhood known by that name. The Olcott family, one of the most prominent in Albany banking and civic improvement circles, was responsible for the addition of the first-floor butler's pantry and the second-floor bathrooms, both of which reflect the Victorian style of the late 19th Century.

The Mansion's dominance spurred new development in Arbor Hill, with a new wealthy merchant class building homes near their businesses, utilizing the late Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire and other styles from the late 1840s to 1890.

In 1948, after 100 years of Olcott family ownership, the Mansion was presented by the heirs of Robert Olcott to the Albany County Historical Association. The mansion, first created as a country estate but now tight inside of the Albany urban setting, is presented to reflect the ownership of Thomas Olcott containing collections of furnishings and decor of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Surrounding the mansion are lush gardens created to reflect the hsitorical context of the mansion itself.

Visitng Ten Broeck Mansion

Guided tours 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thurs.-Fri. and 1-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. from May-December.

Specifics on visiting the Ten Broeck Mansion were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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