Two blocks west of the Empire State Plaza is 19th-century Lark Street. The bohemian hub of Albany, Lark Street is lined with an eclectic array of small shops, ethnic restaurants, and nightclubs. Most are located in the eight blocks between Madison and Washington Avenues.
Lark Street sits on the edge of Center Square, a prosperous residential neighborhood notable for its fine architecture. Some of the best examples stand along State Street between Lark Street and the Empire State Plaza. In these two short blocks you’ll find one opulent 19th-century home after another, many designed by Albany architects Charles Nichols, Albert Fuller, and Ernest Hoffman.
Washington Park and State Street
Continue another block west of Lark Street to Washington Park, a lush green oasis designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1870s. Carved throughout its 81 acres are curved roads, wooded glades, open meadows, ornate gardens, and skinny Washington Lake. On its shores stands the Lake House, an extravagant terra-cotta affair with pink terrazzo floors and wrought-iron chandeliers.
The opulence of State Street continues along the north side of the park. Highlights include No. 397, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, and No. 441, the work of William Ross Proctor.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition