Wander Through an 18th Century Albany Mansion From the Comfort of Your Own Home

The Ten Broeck mansion circa 1890-1910. Photo by Detroit Publishing, Co. via Library of Congress

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    While in-person access to historic sites remains limited, you can still wander through an increasing number of architectural gems, including a virtual tour of the 1790s Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany.

    Alas, the 3D tour doesn’t let the virtual tourist wander beyond the velvet ropes into every space, but there are architectural details and furnishings to get an up-close look at, from marble mantels to a marble-lined bathroom. The mansion, home of the Albany County Historical Association, was built in 1797-98 for General Abraham Ten Broeck and Elizabeth Van Rensselaer Ten Broeck. Constructed in the Federal style, it got a Greek Revival makeover by a subsequent owner in the 1830s. The tour shows the house decked out for the holidays.

    Virtual tours aren’t new, especially to anyone who has been looking through real estate listings in the last year, but they are particularly valuable for historic sites that are often inaccessible to certain visitors or have spaces that aren’t normally open to the public.

    The tour of the Ten Broeck Mansion was created by Hudson Reality Capture, which has a number of other historic properties in New York on a virtual field trip page. There’s an intact stable in Troy, a 17th century Dutch house being preserved by the Historic Albany Foundation and the Hyde Collection, an art museum in Glen Falls, among others.

    If you want a live landscape experience, Olana has a live sky camera perched in the studio tower of Frederic Church’s home showing the scenic view that inspired the Hudson River School artist.

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