Wednesday, March 23, 2011

NYS Capitol Fire Centennial - Tuesday 3/29!


Reception, Book Signing, Video Preview


Please RSVP by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151! Tickets are just $20 - delicious appetizers will be served!

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In the early morning hours of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the New York State Capitol at Albany. By sunset, the vast collection of the New York State Library, then housed in the Capitol, had been reduced to ashes.

To commemorate the centennial of the fire, coauthors Paul Mercer and Vicki Weiss, both of the New York State Library, have published The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911 (Arcadia Press, 2011) including rare images and documents from the special collections of the modern library, which arose from the ruins of the 1911 fire.

The public is invited join Executive Deputy Chief Warren Abriel of the Albany Fire Department to mark the 100th Anniversary of this historic event on Tuesday, March 29, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the University Club of Albany.

The reception will feature light fare and cash bar, and authors Mercer and Weiss will discuss and sign the book. Royalties from book sales benefit the Friends of the New York State Library.

The event will also feature a preview of a documentary set to air at 9:00 p.m. on March 31 on WMHT, The New York Capitol Fire. Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Educational Communications, will introduce a clip of the video, which draws on interviews, archival materials and reenactments. This WMHT documentary was created in collaboration with the New York State Museum, the New York State Archives, the Albany Institute, the New York State Library, the City of Albany and the Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol.

The cost for the reception, book signing and video preview is $20 per person. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151.

A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the University Club Foundation, formed to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901.

Support for educational programming presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. is provided by AT&T.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Prime Rib & More Buffet is on - Wine Auction Canceled

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the wine and art portion of the Sip, Savor & Support Fundraiser has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Club's outstanding "Prime Rib & More Buffet" will still be offered for $23.95 per person. Please call 518-463-1151 to make a reservation!

  • Mixed Green Salad
  • Soup Du Jour
  • Balsamic Bluefish with tomatoes
  • Chef-carved Prime Rib
  • Roast Pork with Stuffing & Sauteed Apples
  • Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese with Crabmeat
  • Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Sauteed Zucchini and Eggplant
  • Peach Trifle
  • Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

This just in ... for Sip, Savor & Support!


Updated Menu and Wine Auction List

On Friday, March 18, from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m., the public is invited to support the University Club Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at a benefit titled “Sip, Savor & Support.”

Beginning with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar at 5:00 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to bid on premium wine and fabulous art during a silent auction. At 8:15, bidding will begin in an exciting live auction, featuring bottles to enjoy now to as well as collectable vintages to hold for years to come.

The Club's outstanding "Prime Rib & More Buffet" is included with your $35 ticket! Call 518-463-1151 to make a reservation!
  • Mixed Green Salad
  • Soup Du Jour
  • Balsamic Bluefish with tomatoes
  • Chef-carved Prime Rib
  • Roast Pork with Stuffing & Sauteed Apples
  • Gourmet Macaroni & Cheese with Crabmeat
  • Au Gratin Potatoes
  • Sauteed Zucchini and Eggplant
  • Peach Trifle
  • Fresh Fruit
The following wines were donated by a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous, and will be offered in both silent and live auction format. Do you feel lucky?

Plumpjack Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
est. auction value $90-120
Deep dark garnet color with no rust as of yet, showing somewhat earthy black currant and tobacco in both flavor and aroma.

1994 Joseph Phelps Insignia
est. auction value $180-$200
Easily the most hedonistic of the Insignias tasted, this one wore its lush, slightly more reddish fruits on its sleeve. The nose hits you right away with that fruit, framed by vanillin oak. The overall effect is pleasing. Palate is what you'd expect from the nose- seductive fruit and creamy oak. The higher sweetness in the overall profile feels like a style change compared to the 90-92 bottlings.

1987 Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant
est. auction value $85-110
38.5% Mourvedre, 35.8% Grenache, 25.7% Syrah 2400 cases
A big upswing in Contra Costa County Mourvedre supported the 50% jump in production. This wine has more oomph … but still has elegant raspberry fruit. In fact, it smelled like Grenache: bright and lively. Rating 94

1987 Chateauneuf-du-pape Domaine du Vieuf Telegraph
est. auction value $50-70
A blend of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Bourboulenc and 15% Roussane. A member of the classic school of white Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape: more floral than fruity aromas, and characterized by balance and freshness. "Focused, with a range of apple, lime, pear, floral and mineral notes that stretch out on the bright, stony finish. This has concentration in reserve. Drink now through 2012." 93 Points, Wine Spectator

1986 Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Napa Valley-CabernetSauvignon
est. auction value $130-150
The 1986 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill exhibits a deeper, darker ruby color, tough tannin, but much more of a mid-palate with sweet fruit, as well as fine glycerin giving it a nicely-textured, ripe, generous feel in the mouth. Although the tannin is high, the wine remains intact, with excellent fruit, medium to full body, and the potential to evolve for another 10-12 years.

1987 Ravenswood Merlot
est. auction value $35-50
Merlot has gotten a bad rap as of late but there is no denying this wine's appeal. Packed with deep, dark berry fruit and nuanced hints of cocoa, herb and earth with a soft structure. Its velvety texture makes this bottle instantly appealing and an obvious alternative to similar, more tannic Bordeaux varieties.

And don't forget to enter the raffle for a bottle of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Cask 23 (1987). Tickets are $2 each, 3 for $5, or 7 for $10. With a Robert Parker 91 rating, this bottle has an estimated auction price of $360-$400!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lots of high marks for these landmarks







Schoolhouse, fire tower, several other local sites recommended for State and National Registers

By PAUL GRONDAHL Staff Writer (Times Union)
Published 12:01 a.m., Saturday, March 12, 2011


ALBANY -- A one-room schoolhouse, private social club, fire tower and grain and feed store are the historic structures in the Capital Region among 39 properties recommended to be listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

"Bringing recognition to these properties will help us to preserve and illuminate important components of New York State history," said Rose Harvey, the new commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The 39 properties, subject to a federal review that typically confirms state recommendations, will join a roster of 90,000 historic buildings, structures and sites across New York state that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Begun in 1966, the National Register is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation. A listing confers recognition and prestige upon a property and makes the structure eligible for historic preservation grants, along with state and federal tax breaks as incentives for refurbishment.

"It gives us a sense of pride, makes people more aware of the building's history and gives us a boost for fundraising," said Colleen Ryan, secretary of the board of the University Club in Albany. The private social club at the corner of Washington Avenue and Dove Street in line for listing on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Designed by noted architect Robert Fuller and constructed of red brick in the Colonial Revival style, it was completed in 1925. It replaced a Victorian mansion destroyed by fire that previously housed the club, which was founded in 1901. Like other private clubs, the recession has further eroded a declining membership that has leveled off at 200. The old building is also in need of near-constant repair. The most immediate concern is to replace its 28,000-square-foot roof at a cost of more than $100,000.

"This designation is a feather in our cap and it will help us protect the building as we raise money to fix the roof," said Ryan, who is planning a party in June to celebrate the club's history and to install a National Register plaque.

The other property in Albany County that made the list is a one-room schoolhouse in Rensselaerville built in 1853 and known as Potter Hollow District #19 School. The simple clapboard structure, with metal roof and small bell tower, features intact original architectural details. Long vacant, it reflects mid-19th century educational attitudes in a rural vernacular.

In Rensselaer County, the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower in Grafton Lakes State Park was recommended. The 60-foot-tall, steel-frame fire viewing tower was erected in 1924. It was one of more than 100 built by the New York State Conservation Commission beginning in 1908. They were positioned to identify fires and sound an early warning so firefighters hopefully could put out fires quickly, before they caused catastrophic damage to trees, buildings and wildlife.

Helen Ellett, of Grafton, was among the first female fire observers at the Dickinson Hill Fire Tower when she was hired in 1943 at $100 a month. She returned for a second stint from 1959 to 1965 and her pay by then had risen to $244 a month.

In Saratoga County, Smith's Grain and Feed Store, built in 1892, earned a listing. Located in the Clifton Park hamlet of Elnora on Main Street near Route 146A, it now houses a restaurant called the Main Street Grille that's owned and operated by John and Karen Esposito.

"It's a unique building that represents the agricultural heritage of the town and looks just the way it did in the early 1900s," said John Scherer, town historian and State Museum emeritus historian.

The wooden structure was built along railroad tracks initially so trains could pull in and unload shipments of molasses. Local farmers also dropped off their corn crops there by horse-drawn wagon and truck. The corn and molasses were mixed to create feed that supplied a robust cattle industry in the formerly rural area that is now synonymous with suburban sprawl. The facility operated as a feed and hardware store until the Espositos bought it and converted it into a restaurant. The restaurateurs took pains to preserve original details, such as milling equipment on the second floor.

"People don't realize how many historic buildings we have in Clifton Park," Scherer said. "The Register listing gives our residents a sense of pride and makes them aware of our historic heritage. We're not all shopping centers and housing developments here."


Reach Paul Grondahl at 454-5623 or by e-mail at pgrondahl@timesunion.com.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sip, Savor & Support - March 18!



Wine and Art Auction to Benefit
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and University Club Foundation

ALBANY, NY – March 8, 2011 – A primary goal of the University Club Foundation is to be a good steward of the historic University Club building on Washington Avenue at Dove Street. The Foundation is also eager to be a supporting partner for charitable causes in the community.

On Friday, March 18, from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m., the public is invited to support the Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at a benefit titled “Sip, Savor & Support.”

Beginning with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar at 5:00 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to bid on premium wine and fabulous art during a silent auction. At 8:15, bidding will begin in an exciting live auction, featuring bottles to enjoy now to as well as collectable vintages to hold for years to come.

The auction will offer something for everyone, including a raffle for a single bottle of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Cask 23 (1987). Tickets are $2 each, 3 for $5, or 7 for $10. Tasting notes boast of “… a huge aroma of coffee, fruitcake, cassis, oriental spices, toasty new oak, herbs, and black fruits that is profound. In the mouth, there is an almost endless sensation of voluptuous, velvety fruit, as well as an opulence that borders on decadence.” With a Robert Parker 91 rating, this bottle has an estimated auction price of $360-$400. The wine has been donated by a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

The Club’s renowned Prime Rib and More Buffet is included in the ticket price of only $35 per person. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151. Payment may be made by cash or check payable to the University Club Foundation, a 501c3 corporation. A portion of your donation may be tax deductible.

Founded on the belief that each generation has a responsibility to embrace, preserve and promote its shared history, the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. was formed to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, New York where it has been located since its inception in 1901.

Club member Douglas Boettner of Boettner & Associates LLC is sponsoring the event on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.


###

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The NYS Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911


Reception, Book Signing, Video Preview

ALBANY, NY – March 1, 2011 – In the early morning hours of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the New York State Capitol at Albany. By sunset, the vast collection of the New York State Library, then housed in the Capitol, had been reduced to ashes.

To commemorate the centennial of the fire, coauthors Paul Mercer and Vicki Weiss, both of the New York State Library, have published The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911 (Arcadia Press, 2011) including rare images and documents from the special collections of the modern library, which arose from the ruins of the 1911 fire.

The public is invited join Executive Deputy Chief Warren Abriel of the Albany Fire Department to mark the 100th Anniversary of this historic event on Tuesday, March 29, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the University Club of Albany. The reception will feature light fare and cash bar, and authors Mercer and Weiss will discuss and sign the book. Royalties from book sales benefit the Friends of the New York State Library.

The event will also feature a preview of a documentary set to air at 9:00 p.m. on March 31 on WMHT, The New York Capitol Fire. Robert Altman, President and CEO of WMHT Educational Communications, will introduce a clip of the video, which draws on interviews, archival materials and reenactments. This WMHT documentary was created in collaboration with the New York State Museum, the New York State Archives, the Albany Institute, the New York State Library, the City of Albany and the Commission on the Restoration of the Capitol.

The cost for the reception, book signing and video preview is $20 per person. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at 518-463-1151.

A portion of the proceeds from this event benefit the University Club Foundation, formed to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the University Club building and property, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901.

Support for educational programming presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, Inc. is provided by AT&T.