EOC to Leave Congress Street; Downtown Troy to Face Historic Mannequin Head Shortage

Not Pictured: HEADS

Not Pictured: HEADS

One of the ugliest buildings in Downtown Troy is losing its tenant in preparation for what we can only assume will be a massive overhaul. Over at the Record, Danielle Sanzone reports that the Capital District Educational Opportunity Center is relocating from its prominent location at Congress and Sixth Avenue to the Hedley Building. The Educational Opportunity Center may be better known to frequent visitors to Troy as “That building full of mannequin heads on Congress Street.”

Yes, the City Station Congress-Ferry Redevelopment Corridor Juggernaut has claimed another victim. [ I'm quite torn on the usage of the word "victim" in this case, but I suppose one can still be a victim even if nobody really likes you very much and everyone was secretly hoping something like this would happen to you all along, so we'll just roll with it.]

For the record, I’ve never actually entered the Educational Opportunity Center, and probably didn’t even know its official name.  I assumed it was some government funded pork project to ensure New York’s flagging mannequin head production industry was kept afloat. Apparently it was actually a training center for, amongst other things, the “salon arts” or whatever we have to call it so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Frankly, every time I’ve walked by the place it has looked abandoned, and what appears to be two stories of windowless space above the storefront isn’t doing much to dispel the “Little Shop of Horrors meets a Haunted Unemployment Office” creep-factor its got going on. It’s really hard to love a building with “corrugated metal” as its chosen aesthetic.

The timeless combination of bare concrete and corrugated steel.

The timeless combination of bare concrete and corrugated steel.

Regardless, it looks like it will soon be known as “City Station North.” I suspect that it’s design will probably not be far off from the completed City Station buildings  (West & South?), and the additional building currently being constructed. My reading of the article is that the building won’t actually be torn down, just gutted and remodeled.

Perhaps most interesting to Trojans, the building will have no residential space! According to the United Group spokesperson they are pursuing other “exciting ideas.” At a City planning board meeting that I attended last year someone from United Group said they were looking to bring a grocery store into one of the buildings. That would be a pretty exciting idea, indeed. In the meanwhile, if anyone needs a few dozen mannequin heads with cornrows…I know a guy.



  1. Nate says:

    i remember when there still was the ‘bump’ right before that building. it always distracted me from the creepy heads.

  2. Troy Resident says:

    I’m originally from Troy and in reading your article, I couldn’t help but thinking what a jerk you sound like.

    “Apparently it was actually a training center for, amongst other things, the “salon arts” or whatever we have to call it so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.”

    Yes it was a training center. For many years the EOC has delivered community-based academic and workforce development programs. Many of the people that attend the programs do so to to get an education so that they can be productive members of our community.

    If you’re so in to Troy, it would be nice if you embrace all of it and it’s history, because without it snobbish hipsters like you wouldn’t have a city to gentrify and call THEIR own.

    • Ike says:

      Well, in fairness, I *am* a jerk, but I was making fun of the building, not the people who work there or attend classes (that will come in a follow-up post). If i had called it a “barber college” I’m sure I would have had offended someone else, and I think that the word “cosmetology” grants it a gravitas that is entirely unwarranted. Also, being respectful just plain isn’t funny. I do take exception to the snobbish hipster crack, though.

  3. Trojan says:

    Ah yes, love what I’m seeing happen downtown, lots of going ons! I remember the bump also, would always give me a belly whopper and always looked forward to it. Sad to see the bump go and will be sad to see the row of mannequin heads go, but exciting to see great things happening!

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