Troy Savings Bank Music Hall
30 Second Street Troy, NY
The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is true gem of the Capital Region, one of the few continuously operating 19th century concert halls in the United States. This intimate performance space has acoustics that are famed the world over. The Music Hall is a cherished resource for the Albany Symphony, Empire State Youth Orchestra, Albany Pro Musica, Troy Chromatics and many others. In addition to the legion of world-class artists, the Music Hall has a long history of presenting outreach and educational opportunities for our young people.
Founded in 1823, The Troy Savings Bank operated from smaller banking offices until, in 1870, the Board of Trustees of the Bank decided to move its offices to a new location one block away. To demonstrate the Bank's appreciation for the many years of patronage by the local citizens, the plans for the new building included a music hall on the upper floor. After examining various proposed plans, the Board of Trustees selected George Browne Post as the architect.
As the twentieth century progressed, Troy's industrial dominance declined. As Troy's wealth faded, so did its ability to support the arts on the scale to which it had become accustomed. The advent of radio, cinema and television provided alternative forms of entertainment for the city's growing middle class. Troy's community leaders began looking into ways to save the Hall. Ideas, most of which involved buying the building from the bank with either private or public funds, included establishing a Museum of Industrial and Folk Art downstairs and renting the Hall itself to the area's many colleges. In 1979, a group of private citizens formed the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Revitalization Committee. Since funds for the renovation could legally come only from the bank, the new organization's mission was to find ways to utilize the Hall as much as possible in its present condition. The Committee received grants from the New York State Council for the Arts for an audience-potential study and from the Howard & Bush Memorial Foundation for managerial development. With the bank's support and additional funding from the city and county for its administration, the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Corporation was born. A not-for-profit organization which leases the Hall from the bank, it began its introductory 1979-1980 season with a performance by the Benny Goodman Band.
Today, the Troy Savings Bank perpetuates its gift to the Troy community through its ongoing restoration and renovation projects, while the Music Hall Corporation moves ever closer to its goal of developing the full potential of this treasure. The Hall, which was named a National Historic Landmark in 1989, is in use over one hundred and fifty days a year, and looks forward to a future fully as bright as its storied past.