Features & Structures
Features and Structures in the Park
Washington Park Lake
Located in the southwestern corner of the park, the long, serpentine-shaped Washington Park Lake was created in 1873 by damming the Beaver Creek, one of three streams that flowed from the west, cut through colonial Albany, and emptied into the Hudson River and became part of the city’s underground sewer system in the 19th century. The Lake is just over 5 acres, roughly 1,600 feet long and 140 feet wide, with an overall shoreline length of 7/10 of a mile. The lake’s average depth is 6.6 feet, with its deepest sections over 11 feet deep. The Lake has significant, rooted aquatic plant life, and is stocked by the City of Albany Department of Water and Water Supply with fish including goldfish, common carp, golden shiner, white Sucker, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, bluegill, largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch. Turtles, mallard ducks, and Canada geese make their homes in and around the lake.
Erected in 1875, the footbridge over Washington Park Lake is the oldest and only remaining original structure in Washington Park. The lamps on the bridge were originally gas burning but were electrified in 1881. The Washington Park Conservancy funded much needed repairs to the bridge from 2013-2015, the most comprehensive restoration in its 140-year history.
Lake House and Amphitheater
The original wooden, stick-style lake house was replaced in 1929 with a brick structure constructed in the Spanish Revival style, with terracotta, terrazzo, brick, and guastavino tile. The area in front of the lake house has been the site for the performance of plays by the Park Playhouse for over 20 years. A 900-seat amphitheater faces the lake.
Knox Street Mall
Because of the efforts of the Washington Park Conservancy and the City of Albany, the Knox Street Mall underwent a renovation and was restored to its original grandeur in 2001.
The Albany Bench was specifically designed for The City of Albany by sculptor Merlin Szosz, and is an ornate cast iron frame with wooden seats and back support. The Conservancy commissioned the design of, purchased, and picked placement for, many of the benches placed carefully around the lake and Knox Street Mall.