On Jan. 5, 1825, the Rensselaer School opened its doors at the Old Bank Place in Troy. Educator Amos Eaton was appointed senior professor to oversee day-to-day operations.
The building known as the Old Bank Place was located on the northwest corner of River and Middleburgh streets. The structure was erected in 1801 at a cost of $11,000 to house Troy’s first bank, the Farmer’s Bank. Amos Eaton acquired the building on a lease in 1821. The Rensselaer School opened at the Old Bank Place on January 5, 1825, and remained there until 1834. The building housed laboratories with scientific instruments and specimens, an observatory, a library, lecture rooms, and living quarters for the students and the Eaton family.
The school leased the Van der Heyden Mansion from 1834 to 1841, then returned to the Old Bank Place in 1841. An 1841 catalog describes the site as “airy, healthy, and rural, surrounded by fields, hills, and groves.” Rensselaer remained at the Old Bank Place until 1844.
As Rensselaer approaches its 200th year, the Institute is highlighting important milestones of how the world has been transformed by the achievements of Rensselaer people—past and present. Inside Rensselaer is showcasing some of the remarkable achievements and anniversaries throughout the year, including notable milestones and alumni and alumnae accomplishments.