Troy's Community Newsletter

Troy Architecture: David Hathaway and Norton Sage continued.

Part 5 in a continuing series.

Walter Richard Wheeler

David Hathaway first appears in the Troy Directory for 1830, with his profession listed as "carpenter." By 1835 he was living across the street from fellow carpenter and builder Norton Sage, and by 1842 they shared a shop. They worked together for at least the next three years. [1] About this time Hathaway became interested in practicing architecture; the earliest evidence we have for this is his perspective drawing of Cottage Row, executed in 1843. [see illustration above, and last month’s article]

Hathaway was commissioned by Rev. Peter Havermanns to build the first St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the predecessor of that currently on the corner of Washington and Third streets in Troy. [see illustration] The church was dedicated in 1844; Norton Sage acted as master carpenter and Peter Finnerty executed the brick and stone work.

Hathaway is also credited with the design of St. Joseph’s Church in Troy, having provided two different sets of plans c.1849. [2] The city directory for the years 1848 and 1849 list him as a draftsman. The Troy Register, Business Directory and Advertiser notes him as the only architect practicing in the city of Troy at that time. [3] After 1850 Hathaway is variously listed in the directory as a "patternmaker," a "stove designer," and a "designer." He moved to Green Island about 1872, and died c.1890. [4] Hathaway’s interest in stove design was perhaps inspired by the successful career of Bailey G. Hathaway [apparently his brother], who produced wrought and cast-iron architectural railings in Albany and Troy beginning in the late 1820s.

Next month: Franklin Place and Washington Place.


  1. Troy Directory, 1830-45.
  2. Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester. History of Rensselaer Co., New York. Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1880, 246-48.
  3. Vol. 1, No. 1, Troy: W. & H. Merriam, 1844.
  4. Troy Directory, 1849-1993.

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