Loudon Road Historic District
The Loudon Road Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the nomination documentation.  Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The Loudon Road Historic District consists of all properties which border Loudon Road (N.Y.S. Route 9) from Crumitie Road to the Menands Road in the town of Colonie. The southernmost property in the Loudon Road Historic District is 381 Loudon Road while the northernmost property is 428 Loudon Road. Numbers 4 and 5 Cherry Tree Road and 1 Imperial Drive are also included.
Set back from the road, which is flanked on both sides by dense vegetation, the homes in the Loudon Road Historic District seem largely unaffected by the heavy traffic which plys the busy four lane highway. Each property is extensively landscaped, while the buildings in the Loudon Road Historic District represent a variety of architectural styles from the early nineteenth century Federal and Greek Revival examples, through the Victorian summer cottages, to the Georgian Revival of modern times. Most buildings are residences but there are three buildings in commercial use.
The buildings of the Loudon Road Historic District provide a record of the history of this important northwards route throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Loudon Road Historic District retains exceptionally fine examples of an architecture reflecting the taste of each successive period of growth as well as a remarkably intact suburban landscape.
Before 1850, only a few farms existed along this stretch of the plank road from Albany to Saratoga. Elias Ireland established a store and hotel at the junction of Loudon Road and the Menands Road, which is the northern terminus of the Loudon Road Historic District. Ireland's commercial buildings are no longer extant, but his circa 1820 home remains in excellent condition at 427 Loudon Road. An early school (1811) was rebuilt c.1850.
The middle of the century witnessed the arrival of a few prominent citizens seeking refuge from the growing congestion of industrialization. By 1883 when the Loudonville lithograph was made, Loudon Road was known by Albany's wealthy citizens as the most desirable location for the summer retreat. One of the earliest summer cottages, at 4 Cherry Tree Road, belonged to Judge Ira Harris, a U.S. Senator and friend of Abraham Lincoln. Later cottages were 402 Loudon Road, an early example of a half-timbered Tudor Revival, and 395 and 410 Loudon Road which are exceptionally fine examples of the Shingle style. These cottages and a few rather rustic examples of Queen Anne residences such as 415 Loudon Road and Loudon Hall, were built in styles considered appropriate for the rural park-like setting. Several earlier classical farmhouses were rebuilt in the picturesque manner at this time.
During the first quarter of the twentieth century, improved transportation converted the Loudon Road Historic District into the upper middle class suburb which it has remained despite the pressures of commercialization. Georgian Revival homes such as 399 and 424 Loudon Road were constructed during this era. Fortunately, the generous plots and landscaped grounds survived, preserving the flavor of the late Victorian community.