Photos of the Vincentian Institute in Albany, New York

Back on May 2, 2007, I wrote about the Vincentian Institute in Albany, New York for the Carnival of Genealogy. I’ve received some interesting comments on that post from former students who are apparently eager to share their experiences at Vincentian.

This morning, I attended mass at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, the home parish for Vincentian. I then took a brief tour of the area and snapped a few photos of the former Vincentian Institute High School (VIHS) and the Child Culture Division (VI-CCD).

The Former Vincentian Institute High School - 2007

The Former Vincentian Institute High School in 2007

The front of VIHS, shown here, is now a community center. The back of the building on Yates Street is now the entrance to the St. Vincent Apartments.

The Former Sisters of Mercy Convent - Albany New York - 2007

The Former Convent of the Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy taught at both VI-CCD (the grade school) and at VIHS. A few lay teachers also taught at both VI-CCD and VIHS. For most of the existence of the high school, the Brothers of the Holy Cross also taught there.

The Father Charles Memorial Building - Formerly Part of Vincentian Institute CCD - 2007

The Father Charles Memorial Building at VI-CCD

The last addition to VI-CCD was the Father Charles Memorial Building (the brick building). The Father Charles Memorial Building was purchased by the College of St. Rose. The glass school has been demolished.

The Barn - Formerly Part of Vincentian Institute Child Cultural Division - 2007

The Barn at VI-CCD

The barn, where I attended third grade classes, is still standing. It, too, now belongs to the College of St. Rose where it is used as a theater.

For other posts on the Vincentian Institute, see:

For posts on the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, see:

For posts on the Pine Hills Branch of the Albany Public Library, see:

Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko

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11 Responses to Photos of the Vincentian Institute in Albany, New York

  1. marmee colfer says:

    My father and all of his 6 children attended VI. My dad attended from about 1916. When I can figure out how to scan and send the photo I will. The children attended during the 1950′s thru 1967. Many VI grads can be found on Classmates.com and may be helpful to you.

  2. Elizabeth Erin (Betsy) Soucy Horst says:

    I attended V.I second through fourth grade. Probably 1955-1957. We rented a big old house on So Main Avenue,on a corner I think the number was 44…we lived next to a big family named Bader. I remember the name the older daughter was Jill, and my pal , although she was older by about three years was mary Lee. I had a crush on her brother Todd. he never knew I was alive. I think there were six or seven children–Jill was working. Their father died while I lived there

    The glass school rings a bell as a second grade class room. We had a lay teacher who married in the middle of the year, and changed her name.

    I had Sister Josepha in the Barn for third grade, and a lovely young nun named Sister Mary Conrad, for fourth grade. I think the story was that she left in mid year due to allergies because they were painting the convent. My friend and class mate Sharon Raczewski (sp?) and I used to walk her home to the convent, carrying her book bag.

    I made my frist confession in the Grotto at the High School, and we used to go in there after Mass on Sundays. Once in a while Mary Lee and I used to roam the halls of the building during sunday services, our heels clacking on the polished floors, standing on our toes looking in the classroom windows. We sat up in a balcony as I recall, looking down at the altar.

    There was a store very close to the High School that sold holy cards, religious articles, candy , comic books and probably newspapers. I loved that store. I spent a lot of my allowance in there– and I still have the holycards. My biggest find in there was a small glow-in-dark statue of Mary.

    Further down that street, past So Main, back the other way were other stores. I remember a place I think was called Stiddig’s? It sold ice cream, and I loved the coffee ice cream in the sugar cone with the chocolate sprinkles. There was a wonderful dime store, that had small bottles of Blue Waltz and Evening of Paris perfume, and doll clothes, I had a big walking doll and they had small baby booties and little satin baby shoes that fit her.

    The movie theater was close and we went to see the movies on the weekends without fail.

    For one school year I took piano lessons at a big grim-looking boarding school. I had to walk a long way, I think it was on Madison Avenue, though. I can’t remember the name of that place. There, a nun named Sister Immaculata quizzed you on your progress up on the stage in the gym.

    I was sorry to hear V.I elementary was closed, but it is nice the High School building is being used. I was thrilled to see the pictures and read the history, it brought back memories. I will add one more thing…I had the best Halloweens ever in Albany. Rushing up and down those big old porches for hours, carrying huge sacks of candy. It was a kid’s heaven.

    Thanks, Betsy Soucy Horst

  3. Elizabeth Erin (Betsy) Soucy Horst says:

    I attended V.I second through fourth grade. Probably 1955-1957. We rented a big old house on So Main Avenue,on a corner I think the number was 44…we lived next to a big family named Bader. I remember the name the older daughter was Jill, and my pal , although she was older by about three years was mary Lee. I had a crush on her brother Todd. he never knew I was alive. I think there were six or seven children–Jill was working. Their father died while I lived there

    The glass school rings a bell as a second grade class room. We had a lay teacher who married in the middle of the year, and changed her name.

    I had Sister Josepha in the Barn for third grade, and a lovely young nun named Sister Mary Conrad, for fourth grade. I think the story was that she left in mid year due to allergies because they were painting the convent. My friend and class mate Sharon Raczewski (sp?) and I used to walk her home to the convent, carrying her book bag.

    I made my frist confession in the Grotto at the High School, and we used to go in there after Mass on Sundays. Once in a while Mary Lee and I used to roam the halls of the building during sunday services, our heels clacking on the polished floors, standing on our toes looking in the classroom windows. We sat up in a balcony as I recall, looking down at the altar.

    There was a store very close to the High School that sold holy cards, religious articles, candy , comic books and probably newspapers. I loved that store. I spent a lot of my allowance in there– and I still have the holycards. My biggest find in there was a small glow-in-dark statue of Mary.

    Further down that street, past So Main, back the other way were other stores. I remember a place I think was called Stiddig’s? It sold ice cream, and I loved the coffee ice cream in the sugar cone with the chocolate sprinkles. There was a wonderful dime store, that had small bottles of Blue Waltz and Evening of Paris perfume, and doll clothes, I had a big walking doll and they had small baby booties and little satin baby shoes that fit her.

    The movie theater was close and we went to see the movies on the weekends without fail.

    For one school year I took piano lessons at a big grim-looking boarding school. I had to walk a long way, I think it was on Madison Avenue, though. I can’t remember the name of that place. There, a nun named Sister Immaculata quizzed you on your progress up on the stage in the gym.

    I was sorry to hear V.I elementary was closed, but it is nice the High School building is being used. I was thrilled to see the pictures and read the history, it brought back memories. I will add one more thing…I had the best Halloweens ever in Albany. Rushing up and down those big old porches for hours, carrying huge sacks of candy. It was a kid’s heaven.

    Thanks, Betsy Soucy Horst

  4. Ginger [Munninger] Berlin says:

    My Mom graduated from VI in 1936. I graduated in 1975 – although I graduated the semester prior to the regular graduation- I wanted out of Albany! Guess what!! After a decade- ok maybe 2 -I couldn’t wait to move back! My family has moved backed.

    I drive by VI a lot- and I still bless myself –[remember the Grotto!]

    The worse mistake the Church in Albany did was close VI! There were 2 strong holds- CBA and VI! Those 2 schools contributed to our city, our county, our state, and our nation. Those 2 schools contributed to our local community!

    I’d love to see VI brought back! Is it possible? YES!
    Email me- if you’re serious! vaberlin@gmail.com
    IT CAN BE DONE!

  5. Judi (Rimback) Holroyd says:

    I went to VI grade school from 1959 – 1964 – 4th through 8th grade. I remember my first day. 4th grade that year was in the Barn and Sister Mary Noreen was our teacher. Because we lived out of district, I used to have to walk to VI highschool each afternoon to to get the bus out to Loudenville. I also remember the candy store. There were only two of us grade school kids on the high school bus and the bus driver, a kind man named John Peak, used to give us each a nickel to buy either turkish taffy or popsicles, dependent on the season, while we waited for the highschool to dismiss. Its funny the things you remember over time.

    One of my favorite days of the year was May Day. I remember the feeling of spring as the days finally got warm again. There were always special songs and we would walk to St. Vincent De Paul church for a special service. For me it was one of the more upbeat days in the school year.

    My family moved to Rochester after 8th grade, so I never attended VI high, nor did I keep in touch with any of my fellow students. I remember many of them however, names like Meg Bentley and Cathy Gaffney or Francis O’Heaney (sp?) come to mind. I remember that Francis and I would have long phone conversations during which we co-authored stories – obviously never to make it into print! I often wonder where these people are now and what kind of lives they have led.

    I too explored the school grounds during a visit to Albany two summers ago. It was strange to see the high school as a community center and the grade school as part of St. Rose College. I have many, many memories of the place – not all positive, certainly, but I do remember the school, the children and the nuns with a degree of nostalgia. As trite as it sounds, I could almost see the students and hear the playground sounds as I strolled the grounds. They were mostly happy sounds.

  6. Back in the day, my name was Margie Magee and I attend 2nd through 6th grade in the “Glass School” and the “Barn.” That would have been 1942 through June 1947. I have such fond memories of those days. The girls wore little white sleeveless dresses with a “VI” right in the center of the “V” neck. The boys wore white short sleeved shirts and tan shorts. My little sister who was a year younger than I spilled chocolate milk on her uniform almost every day :) We also had to wear big straw hats and sunglasses.

    Can you imagine how terrible the heat was for the poor nuns! My favorite teacher was Sister Reporata who taught the second grade. I do wish I had some old pictures of that school. People find it hard to believe that we went to a glass school. One of my favorite little friends was Ursula Smith.

    Oh the fond memories!

    • Alden Rosbrook says:

      I went to VI in 1941. I went to kindergarten that September when I was 4 years old. My birthday was November 07. The was that first day I skipped school. My mom and all the other mom’s and their children met at the door steps in front of one of the glass schools where we were welcomed by (probably Sister Mary ?) the Principle. In the confusion of all the children going into the building I just side stepped the stairs and went into the bushes next to them. My mom did not notice and went home. We lived on Lancaster Street which was north of the School to the intersection of Madison & Western Ave and then a few blocks East to Lancaster which was very near to Brady Maternity Hospital.

  7. Marie (Cusato) Freeman says:

    I graduated from VI in 1974 attended K-8th grade, I was in the barn ,glasshouses and the new building, the high school was closed and I went on to attend Mercy High School and Albany High. I have many a memory of the school, classmates and teachers and still remain friends with some of them. I grew up right up the street (Morris St) and will never forget the neighborhood and its surroundings.

  8. Alden Rosbrook says:

    After staying in the bushes, on my very first day in kindergarten in 1941, for for a little while, I took off for home and had to cross Western & Madison Ave. then down Main Street to Lancaster. When I went in the door of our apartment house, my mother almost fell over. Then I got a spanking while being told how dangerous my travels were and not to never do that again etc. My Mom took me back to VI where a very embarrassed nun admitted that she never knew I was gone.
    It was cold in the winter and hot in May. We all wore sun suits and had to have sunglasses. Most classes were held out on the lawn in May during the hottest part of the day. More to come later.

  9. Alden Rosbrook says:

    I went to VI through 6th grade. In the early grades, not sure when it stopped, they gave us, our choice, of white or chocolate milk or an orange drink. They came in small heavy duty glass bottles that came from Normanskill Dairy. In 4th grade my teacher was a very beautiful nun that reminded me of Our Lady. She was always so calm and so nice to all her students. In 6th grade our teacher was Ms. Holligan a lay teacher that snapped her girdle quite a lot during class. She would remind us, when the class started to get a little rowdy, about the razor strap that she said was in her desk drawer, which no one ever saw to my knowledge. I took altar boy classes from a Brother that taught us the Latin responses for mass. He was most articulate about the enunciation of each word. I still remember the first response, Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam. After that it gets a little fuzzy. Our family moved to East Greenbush and I then went to the 7th grade at Saint Johns Academy in Rensselaer.

  10. andrew p parisella says:

    I graduated in 1960. I am still looking for my 1960 class ring which
    disappeared the same year.

    Wishing you all the best, and missing the good Holy Cross Brothers including
    Brother Lucas, Brother Louis, Brother Thaddeus, etc.; and also our lay Biology
    teacher who lost his frog the day we were discussing dissecting frogs, and it
    was being passed around in the class room. I drive by Vincentian every time
    I come up and visit Stuyvesant Plaza, and the Mall.

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