Rapp Road Historic District

When we think of “Preservation” as it relates to Albany’s Pine Bush, we usually think of efforts to save its unique wildlife, such as the endangered Karner Blue butterfly. But a recent article in All Over Albany speaks of a different type of preservation you may not be as familiar with in this western area of the City of Albany: historic preservation.

Many of our tenants and visitors use Rapp Road off of Western Ave as a shortcut to and from their offices at Corporate Plaza, knowing little if any of the rich history contained in the cluster of small, older homes that seem a bit out of place in this highly commercial area.

During the Great Migration of the 1920’s, African-American farmers seeking refuge from tenant farming and discrimination left the South. The Rapp Road Community Historic District began as a single house built by Reverend Louis Parson from Shubuta, Mississippi. Soon, a community followed as each residence, church, field and smokehouse was built with community support and labor.

67 and 68 Rapp Road, Albany, NY Source: Wikipedia

Faced with various pressures over the past 100 years, including the development of Washington Avenue Extension and the Crossgates Mall, this small enclave community still guards its heritage. Many of the houses you see today are the original homes built by Reverend Parson and his extended family. So the next time you’re flying to or from work along Rapp Road, slow down a bit and take stock of some of our region’s historic treasure.

To read more about the Rapp Road community and view pictures of the original structures still standing, see the article in All Over Albany here.