Dr. Hun Houses

Two for the Price of One

HUNny I’m Home

The Hun Houses no longer exist; where they were once located is now a courtyard between Civil Service Employees Association and Service Employees International Union. When the houses were standing, the Armory, the University Club of Albany, the Walter Merchant House and the Albany Institute of History and Art were its neighbors. Prior to the demolition, the house was looking for its own permanent family. It was bought, sold and rebought by different people but each time it was bought, the buyer was either a lawyer or a doctor.

The Hun Houses was originally just one house but a second one was later built by Dr. Hun’s daughter, Lydia. There are theories concerning the first house and when it came to be; for many years, people believed that the first house was built around 1830. It was owned by John F. Bacon, who was a local lawyer and clerk of the state senate; he bought the property in 1828, and also owned the lot next to it. In 1934, Herman Loth sketched and photographed the property for the Historic American Buildings Survey, and he believes the house was built in 1820. According to Loth, the house’s owner was Bradford Wood, who was also a lawyer. Wood purchased the house with his wife and they lived there for fifty years. Over the years, the couple gradually purchased all the land on the block between Dove, Elk, Lark and Washington. No one is quite certain which theory is true but the house’s future owners could be agreed on.

In 1892, the house found the family it had been searching for-- the Huns. Henry Hun bought the house with his wife and much like the Woods, they would also live there for a long time. Hun was a neurologist and professor at what is today’s Albany Medical College; Hun spent most of his time at the college but he also practiced at his residence. Hun’s son, also named Henry, would later become a physician as well due to the work he saw his father do in and out of the house. Prior to Dr. Hun’s death, the second house was built when his daughter, Lydia, married Kenneth Reynolds, who was an architect. Following the death of Dr. Hun, his son Henry moved into the older house and took over his father’s practice until he died. After his death, the houses were listed on the Register and then demolished.

Although the houses did not stay around long for most of the people that live in the area it was located in to see, they still have their impact. The site that once held these homes is now a place full of life and hard work. Whichever theory is true about the beginnings would be fine because the house was owned by lawyers and then by doctors; the house was full of people that played a role in the making of Albany’s history and the house itself is also within that history.

Street Address:

149 and 149 1⁄2Washington Avenue [map]

Official Website:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dr._Hun_Houses&oldid=677791887.

Cite this Page:

A. Afriyie, “Dr. Hun Houses,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed July 22, 2018, http://www.albanywalksforhealth.com/items/show/122.

Share this Story