Grand Street Historic District
The Grand Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.
The Grand Street Historic District is located in downtown Troy. This small historic district extends for one block along Grand Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and includes structures on both north and south sides of the street. Union Street, which once contained several commercial establishments, originates along the south side of the street. The district is contiguous to the north end of the Fifth Avenue-Fulton Street Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Grand Street Historic District consists of two and three story masonry structures, erected at a uniform distance from the curb line. All have brick facades except for No. 513, which as a brownstone front. The residences follow the general arrangement of typical nineteenth century Troy rowhouses which have high basements and entranceways at one side of the three-bay wide facades. Water tables are of stone. Windows and doors are trimmed with ornate lintels and sills, frequently of cast iron and occasionally of stone. The facades are further articulated by elaborate cornices and friezes of wood or brick. Several buildings retain their nineteenth century stoops and railings. The building facades have been little altered over the years. The area is primarily residential in character, with commercial uses located at the edges of the area in the buildings at Nos. 503 and 521.
The Grand Street Historic District retains much of its late nineteenth century physical character and as such is a logical extension of the Fifth Avenue-Fulton Street Historic District, listed on the National Register. The area's uniform building line, the general building type — the rowhouse— combined with commercial structures at the corners of the district, the construction materials, the scale of the buildings, their proportions and detailing all contribute to the block's similarity to and therefore compatibility with the adjoining district. A minimal number of intrusions to the block and few alterations to the exteriors of the buildings have occurred over the years, resulting in a setting that is a uniquely well-preserved nineteenth century urban environment.
Formerly called Grand Division Street, the thoroughfare once formed the boundary between the north and middle farms owned by the family of Dirk Van der Heyden, one of the earliest settlers in the Troy area. Like much of the rest of Troy's downtown, earlier structures along Grand Street were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1862. Most of the present buildings fronting on Grand Street were erected during the late 1860's and early 1870's. Nos. 506 through 516, located on the south side of the street, apparently were constructed as high quality speculative housing.