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Albany Georgia Walking Tour
Item 7 of 12
Formerly home to Rosenberg Brothers Department Store, this building remains an enduring landmark in downtown Albany. Erected in 1924, the structure played a significant role in the city's commercial history in the 20th century as the home of the city's largest and most prestigious department store for many years. It is also important for its Second Renaissance Revival architecture, which is uncommon in the city and southwest Georgia. Perhaps the most notable elements of the building are the large round-arched openings with limestone-cement voussoirs (wedges) and blocks surrounding them. Other features include pilasters (columns) and a cornice surrounding the perimeter of the roof. The building was home to the Albany Herald but the newspaper moved to a new location in 2020.

  • Window, Road surface, Building, Commercial building

Rosenberg Brothers Department Store was built by the Rosenberg family, who opened their first store in Troy, Alabama in 1894. Two years later, one of the family m members, Jacob Rosenberg expanded into Albany. He had met his future wife, Annie, and decided to relocate here. It is not clear whether he constructed a building or occupied an existing one but by 1905 it was too small for the growing business. The Rosenbergs (it appears that Jacob's brother or brothers joined him by this time) then moved to a larger building which had been occupied by a dry goods store. They expanded the building but by the early 1920s it, too, became too small.

The adjacent building burned down in a fire and the Rosenbergs bought that property and erected the current structure between 1923 and 1924. It was actually built in two stages so that the store could continue to operate. When completed, the store became the city's best department store. It was built during a period of significant growth in the city that was largely fueled by railroads, and contributed to Albany's thriving economy. The store operated until 1978, two years after the Rosenbergs opened in a mall branch. The downtown location was not profitable anymore but the family did use it for storage. This continued until 1986 when it became the home of the Albany Herald. As noted above, the newspaper moved out in 2020.

Brooks, Carolyn. "Rosenberg Brothers Department Store." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. August 19, 1982. https://npgallery.nps.gov/GetAsset/a2addedc-ac93-4b37-9b17-ec9c37d4c006.

Fletcher, Carlton. "Albany Herald prepares for 'in-the-neighborhood' move'". Albany Herald. January 7, 2020. https://www.albanyherald.com/news/albany-herald-prepares-for-in-the-neighborhood-move/article_1132fc6a-13a6-11ea-a8ac-bba353570dcd.html.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Headquarters_of_The_Albany_Herald,_Albany,_Georgia.jpg