The D&H Building

"What was the Building?"

From Albany’s railroad headquarters to the State University of New York (SUNY) Administration building

The first location on the walking tour is the D&H Building, today known as the SUNY Administration building. When William Barnes, a republican took power in Albany as a political boss his first objective was to better the water front view. For many passengers who were traveling by water or by railroad, Albany’s waterfront represented the view of an industrial city with tattered building and rotting piers. The architect Marcus T. Reynolds hired for this project supported the plans to “clean up” Albany’s water front. During the layout of the building, Reynolds was inspired by the Cloth Guild Hall in Belgium to create a gothic style building like the one we see at this location. [3]

When the building first opened its doors in 1914, it had four main parts and a thirteen story tower as its centerpiece. Unfortunately, the building was too small to house all of the D&H employees. As a result, the building was remodeled to add a five-story tower south of the central tower and another tower south of the newly added tower which would become the home of the Albany Evening Journal. After the remodeling, the building was finally completed in 1918 and measured approximately 600 feet long. [1]

The D&H Building was significant not only to Albany history but also to the railroad community because it was one of the major railroad headquarters. Albany city was considered a busy river port for freight, passenger service and a major railroad center. These railroad centers connected New York and Boston to the Great Lakes cities of Buffalo, Cleveland and Chicago. In addition, the D&H building was home to two important railroads, the New York central and the Delaware and Hudson. [1]

Unfortunately, by 1973 both the D&H and the Albany Evening Journal Building were abandoned and the structure was in desperate need of repair. Despite the condition the building was in, Governor Rockefeller and Mayor Corning convinced Chancellor Boyer to move the SUNY administration to this location. Once the Chancellor agreed on this idea, immediate remodeling began in 1973 and it would take about five years (1978) and 15 million dollars to rebuild the building we have today. [2]

Cite this Page:

S.Porter, “The D&H Building,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed November 14, 2019,

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