The first St. Johns is on the corner of South Ferry Street and Dongan Avenue. Albany's leading architect, Phillip Hooker, designed it at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. It was during the 1820s and 1830s that Irish immigrants began pouring into Albany, and that South Albany was becoming increasingly Catholic. Nine years after construction began on St. Paul’s Episcopal church the Roman Catholic diocese purchased the building from the Episcopal diocese, and it became St. John’s, a Catholic church. Its Gothic Revival style was popular during this period. As the Catholic population in South Albany continued to swell St. John’s at Ferry and Dongan was no longer adequate, and Hooker’s church became a school. The first St. John’s School closed after World War II and the building was abandoned, although it has found new use recently as a rehabilitation center. Hooker’s building was saved, even if much altered, but Charles Ogden’s 1903-08 St. John’s, having been abandoned in the 1970s, has fallen into serious disrepair (Roberts 2011). The building hasn't been used in decades.
St. John's Church closed in 1970s when it merged with St. Ann's Church to form St. John's/St. Ann's Catholic Church.