Albany's Schuyler Mansion was one of the parks and historic sites targeted for closure this year by the Paterson administration. Those closures didn't happen, but the colonial home of Philip Schuyler (and for long periods his son-in-law Alexander Hamilton) needs work, as I discovered on my first visit today. White paint has peeled off the wood around the windows and porches, and the audio exhibits in the visitor center don't work.
Thacher Park in Albany County also was on the closure list during the budget standoff, which drew a lot of local protest, but Schuyler Mansion has a lower profile. The city should have pitched it as an urban issue, keeping a few jobs and avoiding another abandoned building in the South End. Unfortunately, there is little local commerce to entice tourists out from the parking lot on Catherine Street. But there are open churches and a library nearby, and some promising residential construction. Not far away is Lincoln Park, where the pool remained open today.
The brick Georgian mansion is impressive but not very big, with only three bedrooms for the large family right off what appears to be a ballroom upstairs. Elsewhere there is a statue of General Schuyler in front of Albany City Hall, and his country home in Schuylerville also is open to the public. He had to rebuild in Schuylerville in 1777, because General John Burgoyne's British army burned the original house. Nevertheless, following the battles of Saratoga, the captured Burgoyne, plus his mistress and entourage, stayed for a while in the Albany mansion as Schuyler's guests.
(Schuyler update here.)