|— City —|
|City of Albany|
Downtown Albany as seen from Rensselaer County, just across the Hudson River.
Location in Albany County and the State of New York.
|Incorporated||July 22, 1686|
|- Mayor||Gerald Jennings (D)|
|- City||21.8 sq mi (56.6 km2)|
|- Land||21.4 sq mi (55.5 km2)|
|- Water||0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2) 2.15%|
|Elevation||200 ft (60 m)|
|- Density||5,488.1/sq mi (2,118.4/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|- Quebec City||Canada|
|GNIS feature ID||0977310|
Albany is the capital city of the state of New York and the county seat of Albany County. Albany is roughly 136 miles (219 km) north of the city of New York, and slightly south of the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. The city sits on the Hudson River and has a major port. As of July 2007, the city had an estimated population of 94,172.
Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District, a historic area of the United States. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 850,957; this MSA is the fourth largest urban area in New York and the 56th largest MSA in the United States.
Modern Albany was founded as the Dutch trading posts of Fort Nassau in 1614 and Fort Orange in 1623, and the surrounding community known as Beverwyck. The English renamed the town Albany, in honor of James II, Duke of Albany after they conquered New Netherlands in 1664. A 1686 document issued by Thomas Dongan granted Albany its official charter. After New Amsterdam, Albany is the second-oldest city in the state in terms of its date of incorporation.
Albany is the oldest surviving European settlement from the original Thirteen Colonies. The area of Albany had been given different names by the various native tribes to the area. The Mohegans called it Pem-po-tu-wuth-ut, which means "place of the council fire" and the Iroqouis called it Sche-negh-ta-da, meaing "through the pine woods". In 1540 French traders (perhaps the first Europeans to visit the area) built a primitive fort on Castle Island; this fort was soon abandoned due to flooding. Permanent European claims began when Englishman Henry Hudson, exploring for the Dutch East India Company on the Halve Maen (or Half Moon), reached the area in 1609. In 1614, Hendrick Christiaensen rebuilt the French fort (referred to as a French château at the time) as Fort Nassau the first Dutch fur trading post in present-day Albany, and left Jacob Eelkens in charge. Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada and amongst the native tribes, who vied to control the trade. Again due to flooding the fort on Castle Island was abandoned, this time rebuilt in 1624 as Fort Orange slightly to the north. Both forts were named in honor of the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau. Nearby areas were incorporated as the village of Beverwyck in 1652.
When the land was taken by the English in 1664, the name was changed to Albany, in honor of the Duke of York and Albany, who later became James II of England and James VII of Scotland. Duke of Albany was a Scottish title given since 1398, generally to a younger son of the King of Scots. The name is ultimately derived from Alba, the Gaelic name for Scotland. The Dutch briefly regained Albany in 1673 until November 1674, during which time Albany was referred to as Willemstadt. Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686. The "Dongan Charter" was virtually identical in content to the charter awarded to the city of New York three months earlier. Pieter Schuyler was appointed first mayor of Albany the day the charter was signed.
In 1754, representatives of seven British North American colonies met in the Albany Congress. Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania presented the Albany Plan, the first formal proposal to unite the colonies. Although it was never adopted by Parliament, it was an important precursor to the United States Constitution. During the French and Indian Wars, George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe was killed while leading British Army troops at the Battle of Carillon (the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga) and subsequently buried in Albany, today under the front vestibule of St. Peter's Church on State Street. Albany native Philip Livingston was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. William Alexander, a general in the American Revolutionary War, died in Albany in 1783. Shortly after the Revolutionary War Aaron Burr, who had a law office in Albany at 24 South Pearl Street, came into conflict with Alexander Hamilton, who had gotten married in Albany at the Schuyler Mansion to Philip Schuyler's daughter. At 50 State Street, the home of John Tayler (later Lt. Governor and acting-Governor of the state), Hamilton made disparaging remarks about Burr and these were published in a local newspaper. Several United States Navy ships have since been named USS Albany in honor of the City's historical and military importance.
Albany had roughly 500 people in 1686 and had slowly grown over the next 100 years to 3,498 in the first national census (1790). By 1810 Albany, with 10,763 people, was the 10th largest city in the nation. In the 1830 and 1840 censuses, Albany moved up to 9th largest, then in 1850 back to 10th. This was the last time the city was in the top ten largest cities in the nation.
In 1797, the state capital of New York was moved permanently to Albany. From statehood to this date the legislature spent roughly equal time constantly moving between Albany, Kingston, Poughkeepsie, and the city of New York. The State Capitol building was begun in 1867 and finished in 1899 when Governor Theodore Roosevelt declared the building completed. It was inspired by the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris, France. Notable architectural features include its "Million Dollar Staircase."
Albany's location on the Hudson River made it a center of transportation from the outset. In 1807, Robert Fulton initiated a steamboat line from New York to Albany. On October 26, 1825 the Erie Canal was completed, forming a continuous water route from the Great Lakes to the city of New York. Also in 1825 a 4,300-foot (1,300 m) long and 80-foot (24 m) wide pier was constructed 250 feet (76 m) from, and perpendicular to, Albany's shoreline. Along with two bridges the pier enclosed roughly 32 acres (130,000 m2) of the Hudson River as the Albany Basin. The construction of the pier and bridges cost $119,980. The Mohawk and Hudson Railroad (M&H), chartered in 1826, built the Albany and Schenectady Railroad between those two cities, starting service on August 9, 1831. The M&H subsequently became part of the New York Central Railroad. Erastus Corning, a noted industrialist and founder of the New York Central, called Albany home and served as its mayor from 1834 to 1837. His great-grandson, Erastus Corning 2nd, served as mayor of Albany from 1942 until 1983, the longest single mayoral term of any major city in the United States.
Between 1965 and 1978, the Empire State Plaza was constructed in Albany's midtown, west of downtown and south of the Capitol. The Plaza was conceived by Governor Nelson Rockefeller and is now named in his honor. The Erastus Corning Tower stands 589 feet (180 m) high and is the tallest building in New York State outside New York City. Four other smaller towers, the Legislative Office Building, the Cultural Education Center (which houses the State Library and Museum), the Justice Building, and the performing arts center known as "The Egg" make up the rest of the Empire State Plaza. The design of the Plaza is based loosely on the National Congress complex in the Brazilian capital of Brasília.
A number of north-south streets in Albany are named after birds: for instance, Lark Street, Dove Street, Hawk Street, Eagle Street, Partridge Street, and Swan Street. At one point, the east-west streets were named for animals: for example, Lion (now Washington Avenue), Fox (now Sheridan Avenue), Deer (now State Street west of Eagle Street), and Wolf (now Madison Avenue). The only east-west streets that currently bear their animal names are Elk Street in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood and Beaver Street in downtown Albany.
The economy is heavily dependent on the state government, with much of Albany's (and indeed, much of the Capital District's) population being employed by various state departments and legislators. Albany is increasingly seen as a leader in nanotechnology, with the University at Albany's nanotechnology program being respected as a national leader. The city is at the center of a 19-county region in eastern New York state branded as "Tech Valley" due to the growing number of companies, entrepreneurs and research facilities focusing on high-tech industries such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, homeland security, information technology and alternative energy. Chipmaker AMD's spinoff, GlobalFoundries, broke ground on a $4.6 billion chip manufacturing complex in nearby Malta and two local public educational consortiums opened Tech Valley High School in 2007 to facilitate project-based learning and emphasize math and science to the area's students.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 21.8 sq mi (56.6 km²); 21.4 sq mi (55.5 km²) of that area consists of land and 0.5 sq mi (1.2 km²) consists of water. The Pine Bush, located on the far edge of the city with Guilderland and Colonie is the only sizable inland pine barrens and sand dunes in the United States, and is home to many endangered species including the Karner Blue butterfly. Four lakes exist within city limits, including Buckingham Lake, Rensselaer Lake, Tivoli Lake, and Washington Park Lake.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Albany has a humid continental climate, with cold, snowy winters, and hot, wet summers. Snowfall is significant, totaling about 63 inches annually, but with much less accumulation than the lake-effect areas to the north and west, being far enough from Lake Ontario. Albany however, is close enough to the coast to receive heavy snow from Nor'easters, and the city gets the bulk of its yearly snowfall from these types of storms. Winters are often very cold with fluctuating conditions, temperatures often drop to below 0 °F (-18 °C) at night. Summers in Albany can contain stretches of excessive heat and humidity, with temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C) and dew points near 70. Severe thunderstorms are common, as the city is located in a conducive area for severe weather near the Mohawk Valley. Tornadoes are rare.
As of the census of 2000, there were 95,658 people, 40,709 households, and 18,400 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,474.6/sq mi (1,727.5/km²). There were 45,288 housing units at an average density of 2,118.4/sq mi (817.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city residents was 58.12% White, 32.14% Black or African American, 0.31% Native American, 3.26% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.15% from other races, and 2.98% from two or more races. 5.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Ancestries include: Irish (18.1%), Italian (12.4%), German (10.4%), English (5.2%), and Polish (4.3%).
There were 40,709 households out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.3% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.8% were non-families. 41.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.95. The median home value in Albany, NY, is $175,800. Home appreciation is 12.70% over the last year. The median age of Albany, NY, real estate is 63 years.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 19.3% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,375, and the median income for a family was $39,932. Males had a median income of $31,535 versus $27,112 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,340. About 16.0% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.
Albany's geographic situation of being roughly equidistant between New York and Montreal south-north; and of Buffalo and Boston west-east; makes it a convenient stop for nationally touring artists and acts. The Palace Theatre and The Egg provide mid-sized forums for music, theater, and spoken word performances. The Times Union Center ("The TU"), previously The Pepsi Arena ("The Pepsi"), and previously the Knickerbocker Arena ("The Knick"), serves as the city's largest musical venue for nationally and internationally prominent bands, as well as trade shows, sporting events, and other large-scale community gatherings. The New York State Museum is a major cultural draw in Albany, focusing on fine arts, natural history, and New York's economic, political, and social histories.
In recent years, the city's government has invested resources to cultivate venues and neighborhoods that attract after-hours business, as well as public art installations. Madison Avenue (intersection at Ontario Street), Pearl Street, Delaware Avenue and Lark Street serve as the most active entertainment areas in the city, with Lark as perhaps the most culturally diverse street. Two movie theaters operate within the city, the Madison Theater and the Spectrum 8.
Technically the westernmost border of the Center Square neighborhood and located one block east of Washington Park, Lark Street is home to independent shops, a coffeehouse, restaurants, art galleries, antique shops, bars, and a tattoo parlor. Although the southern strip was rebuilt in 2002–2003 to place new trees and sidewalks in front of the shops in the active portion of Lark Street, some residents protested the neglect of the northern end of the street (crossing of Washington Avenue), which enters the less-affluent Arbor Hill neighborhood. Madison Avenue, uptown; and Pearl Street, downtown; are home to many bars.
Summer concert series are sponsored by the city and businesses and held at the Corning Preserve, Washington Park, Tricentennial Square, and the Empire State Plaza.
Last call at bars in Albany is 4:00AM nightly. This is often attributed to the historical high density of industrial facilities and the demand of second- and third-shift patrons. New York law allows bars to be open until 4:00AM (though local municipalities can override this law and designate an earlier time). Though this law was designed to accommodate the late nightlife of the city of New York, Albany decided to also adopt it to promote downtown nightlife and to a lesser extent because it is typically difficult to clear the streets of bar patrons.
Albany possesses an active artistic community and culture that is often regenerated by students at the region's colleges and universities, the region's many nonprofit cultural organizations, and by former residents of regional megalopolii such as Boston and New York relocating to take advantage of Albany's affordable, historic housing and commercial spaces. The Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Repertory Theatre , Albany Institute of History & Art and Palace Theatre provide outlets for locally composed, created, and curated works, as well as traveling exhibitions and shows. There are several small, private art galleries and antiquarian book shops in Albany, mainly clustered around Lark Street between Washington Avenue and Madison Avenue. Also, on Lark Street there is the annual Art on Lark, an outdoor sidewalk gallery featuring artists exhibiting and demonstrating their original work. This annual Sidewalk Art Show and Sale celebrates local artists and musicians. Albany also has two independent film theaters (the Spectrum 8 and The Madison ), as well as performing and fine arts venues associated with the University at Albany and The College of Saint Rose.
Albany is home to a large and important collection of modern art. The Empire State Plaza Art Collection, which belongs to the public of New York, includes works by Alexander Calder, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock. The emphasis of the collection is abstract work by New York artists from the 1960s and 1970s, including representative artists from the Abstract Expressionist, Color Field and Lyrical Abstraction movements. Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art in the city of New York has called the collection "the most important State collection of modern art in the country."
From Albany's formal organization in 1686 until 1779, mayors of Albany were appointed by the royal governor of New York, per the provisions of the original City Charter. From 1779 until 1839, mayors were chosen by the New York State Council of Appointment, typically for a one year term that began in September. After 1840, Albany's mayors were directly elected by the city's residents. Albany has had 74 mayors since its inception. Gerald Jennings is the current Democratic mayor; he was first elected in 1993 and is currently serving in his fourth term of office. He is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bipartisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Mayor and Common Council President are elected at-large. The city council consists of 15 members each elected from one ward.
Albany has been dominated by the Democratic Party since the 1920s, although the local branch was more moderate than the national party, being made up of mainly working-class Catholic families. Daniel P. O'Connell established a political machine in the city with the election of William Stormont Hackett in 1922. O'Connell's operation survived well into the 1980s, as the machine put forth candidates which the electorate dutifully voted for. Mayor Gerald D. Jennings' shocking upset in the 1993 Democratic mayoral primary over Harold Joyce, who had the Democratic Party’s formal endorsement and had only recently been its chairman, is often cited as the end of the O'Connell machine era in Albany. More recently, David Soares' 2004 election as District Attorney has similarly been seen as a breaking of the mold, as Soares was not the favored candidate of the local Democratic Party. Although its founding base Catholics have shifted toward the Republican Party in recent decades, Albany continues to be dominated by the Democratic party. Democratic Party enrollment in the city is 38,862 compared to Republican enrollment of 3,487. This gives Democrats a 10-1 advantage in the general election.
The Albany City School District enrolls about 10,000 students. It includes Albany High School, the city's public high school. The district also includes the Abrookin Vo-Tech Center High School and Harriet Gibbons High School for 9th Graders. The district also has 11 elementary schools and 3 middle schools. Albany public schools spend $9,227 per student. The average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. There are about 13.7 students per teacher in Albany. The city is also home to six Charter schools, with three more planned in the coming years.
Colleges and universities in Albany include Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; Albany Law School; Albany Medical College; The College of Saint Rose; Excelsior College; Maria College; Mildred Elley; Sage College of Albany; and the University at Albany, one of the four University Centers in the State University of New York system. The University at Albany Uptown Campus, sandwiched between Washington and Western Avenues, is in the western part of the city.
The Albany Public Library system is made up of a main library branch on Washington Avenue and six neighborhood branches – Pine Hills, North Albany, Delaware Ave, New Scotland Ave, Henry Johnson Boulevard, and Howe (in the South End).
Established in 1624, the First Church in Albany (Reformed) is the oldest church in upstate New York. Albany is the location of the mother churches (cathedrals) of the Episcopal and Roman Catholic dioceses of Albany: the Cathedral of All Saints (Bishop William Love) and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Bishop Howard J. Hubbard), respectively.
St. Peter's was the first Anglican church in New York west of the Hudson River, and the first Anglican church in the state north of the city of New York. The remains of Lord Howe, who died during the French and Indian Wars were interred under the vestibule; he is the only British Lord buried in the United States. In 1868 the newly formed Episcopal Diocese of Albany met in convention at St. Peter's to choose a bishop and William Doane, rector of St. Peter's, was chosen on December 3, he was consecrated as such on February 2, 1869 in St. Peter's.
A significant Jewish presence exists in the Albany, including Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, Reform Jews and one of the few Karaite Jewish communities outside Israel. The Karaite community in the city is active and has its own synagogue. In addition, Albany is known for several landmark events in the history of American Reform Judaism. Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, one of the founders of Reform Judaism in the United States, first advocated his reforms at a synagogue in Albany, where he was the rabbi. In 1850 he came to blows with the congregation president and the police were called to quell the riot that started on the street.
The Albany Times Union is Albany's primary daily newspaper and the only one based close to the city; its headquarters moved to suburban Colonie in the 1970s after a dispute with then-Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd over land needed for expansion. The newspaper celebrated its 150th year of publishing in 2006.
Serving Albany to a lesser degree are The Daily Gazette (which focuses primarily on Schenectady) and Troy Record. Metroland is the alternative newsweekly in the area, publishing each Thursday, while The Business Review (née Capital District Business Review) is a business weekly published each Friday.
The Albany-Schenectady-Troy media market, the 56th largest in the United States, includes all of the 11 counties of the Capital District, along with Hamilton County, New York, as well as Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and Bennington County, Vermont. In total, there are 16 AM/MW stations, 30 full-power FM stations, 14 low-power FM translators, 8 full power analog TV stations, 5 low-power TV translators, and 8 full power digital TV (DTV) stations licensed to communities within 30 miles (48 km) of downtown Albany. In terms of broadcast media, Albany is part of Arbitron market #63 (radio), and Nielsen DMA #57 (television), and is a broadcast market with historical relevance. The pioneering influence of General Electric in Schenectady directly contributed to the area emerging as the birthplace of station-based television (WRGB), WRGB also has the distinction of being the very first affiliated station of the NBC Television Network. In 1947, this region was also home to the first independently-owned and operated stand-alone FM radio station in the United States, W47A and one of the earliest FM broadcast stations (today's WRVE), in addition to the first federally licensed radio station in upstate New York, WGY.
In the early 2000s, the greater Albany market had the distinction of having the highest concentration of FM broadcast stations east of the Mississippi River. There are no radio stations in the Albany area that provide programming in languages other than English on a full-time basis. A few individual programs in languages including Spanish, Italian and Arabic are scheduled, primarily on college owned and operated stations.
The Times Union Center, originally the Knickerbocker Arena (1990–1998) and later the Pepsi Arena (1998–2006), is a major regional athletic venue located in downtown Albany. It has a seating capacity of up to 17,500 for sporting events. The Siena College Men's Basketball team plays its home games there, and the Center is also home to the Albany River Rats (AHL) and Albany Firebirds (af2). The Times Union Center has hosted NCAA Division I hockey and basketball post-season tournaments, among many other sporting events.
The City of Albany has several planned construction projects planned. The most massive is the proposed Albany Convention Center, which has a projected cost of $397 million and would include two full service hotels. This project, however, has received negative feedback from groups citing the high cost.
The run-down section of State Street known as Wellington Row is set for a $65 million turn-around. Under plans submitted to the city, the facade of the buildings, including the defunct Wellington Hotel, would be kept. The project would include both residential and office space.
17 Chapel Boutique Condominiums is planned as a seven-story luxury condominium complex in downtown Albany.
Saint Peter's Hospital is undergoing a construction project, where an Atrium is being construction on the corner of South Manning Blvd. and New Scotland Avenue.
The Erastus Corning Tower, viewed from Eagle Street
View from across river
|Town of Colonie||Town of Colonie||Hudson River
|Town of Guilderland||Hudson River|
|City of Albany|
|Town of Bethlehem
Hamlets of North Bethlehem and Slingerlands
|Town of Bethlehem||Hudson River
ALBANY, a city and the county-seat of Albany county, New York, U.S.A., and the capital of the state. It is situated on the W. bank of the Hudson river, just below the mouth of the Mohawk, 145 m. N. of New York City and 165 m. W. of Boston. Pop. (1880) 90,758; (1890) 94,923; (1900) 94,151, of whom 17,718 were foreign-born (6612 being Irish, 5903 German, 1361 English and 740 Russian) and 1178 were negroes; (1910) 100,253. Albany is a terminus of the New York Central & Hudson River, the Delaware & Hudson and the West Shore railways, and is also served by the Boston & Maine railway, by the Erie and Champlain canals (being a terminus of each), by steamboat lines on the Hudson river and by several inter-urban electric railways connecting with neighbouring cities.
Albany is attractively situated on a series of hills rising sharply from the river. The older portions of the city are reminiscent of Dutch colonial days, and some fine specimens of the Dutch and later colonial architecture are still standing. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Schuyler mansion (now St Francis de Sales Orphan Asylum), built in 1760-1761. The Van Rensselaer manor-house, built in 1765, was pulled down in 1893 and was reconstructed on the campus of Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, where it is used as a fraternity club-house. Among the public buildings, the finest is the new State Capitol, one of the largest and most imposing in America. It occupies a commanding position in Capitol Square (7.84 acres), one of the highest points in the city. It is built of white Maine granite, and cost about $25,000,000. Its dimensions are 300 X400 ft. The corner-stone was laid in 1871, and the building was completed, with the exception of the central tower and dome, in 1904. The legislature first met in it in 1879. The original designs were by Thomas Fuller, who also designed the parliamentary buildings at Ottawa; but the plans underwent many changes, Isaac Gale Perry, Leopold Eidlitz and H. H. Richardson being associated with the work before its completion.
I. 16 a The beautiful "western staircase" of red sandstone (from plans by Perry) and the senate chamber (designed by Richardson) are perhaps the most notable parts of the structure. The building houses the various executive departments, the legislature and the court of appeals. A large and handsome building of white granite was begun in 1908 directly opposite the Capitol to accommodate the department of education and the magnificent state library (about 450,000 volumes). Other important buildings are the old state hall, a handsome white marble building erected in 1842; the city hall, a beautiful French Gothic building of pink granite trimmed with red sandstone, designed by H. H. Richardson; the Federal Building; the State Museum of Natural History; the galleries of the Albany Institute and Historical and Art Society, in State Street, opposite the Capitol; Harmanus Bleecker Hall, a theatre since 1898; and the Ten Eyck and Kenmore hotels. Among the finest office buildings are the structures of the Albany City Savings Institution, National Commerical Bank, Union Trust Company, Albany Trust Company, the National Savings Bank, First National Bank, the New York State National Bank (1803, probably the oldest building in the United States used continuously for banking purposes) and the Albany Savings Bank. The Fort Orange Club, the Catholic Union, the Albany Club, the University Club, the City Club of Albany, the Country Club, the German Hall Association and the Adelphi Club are the chief social organizations. The principal church buildings are the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic), a fine specimen of Gothic architecture, built of brownstone, with spires 210 ft. high; the cathedral of All Saints (Protestant Episcopal), an English Gothic structure of pink sandstone designed by R. W. Gibson and begun in 1883; St Peter's Episcopal Church (French Gothic), of Hudson River bluestone; Emmanuel Baptist Church, of white granite; the Madison Avenue Reformed Church; and St Joseph's (Roman Catholic), of bluestone and Caen stone with marble trimmings. Among the educational institutions are the Albany Medical College (1839) and the Albany Law School (1851), both incorporated since 1873 with the Union University, the Collegiate Department of which is at Schenectady; the Albany College of Pharmacy (1881), also part of Union University; the Albany Academy (1813), in which Joseph Henry, while a member of the faculty, perfected in 1826-1832 the electro-magnet and began his work on the electric telegraph; the Albany Academy for Girls, founded in 1814 as the Albany Female Academy (name changed in 1906); and a State Normal College (1890), with a Model School. The hospitals and charitable institutions include St Vincent's Orphan Asylum, the Lathrop Memorial (for children of working mothers), Albany City Hospital, the Homeopathic Hospital, St Peter's Hospital, the Albany City Orphan Asylum and the House of the Good Shepherd. There are a county penitentiary and a State armoury. The city has 95 acres of boulevards and avenues under park supervision and several fine parks (17, with 307 acres in 1907), notably Washington (containing Calverley's bronze statue of Robert Burns, and Rhind's "Moses at' the Rock of Horeb"), Beaver and Dudley, in which is the old Dudley Observatory - the present Observatory building is in Lake Avenue, south-west of Washington Park, where is also the Albany Hospital. In the beautiful rural cemetery, north of the city, are the tombs of President Chester A. Arthur and General Philip Schuyler. The city owns a fine water-supply and a filtration plant covering 20 acres, with a capacity of 30,000,000 gallons daily and storage reservoirs with a capacity of 2 2 7,000,000 gallons.
The first newspaper in Albany was the Gazette, founded in 1771. The Argus, founded in 1813 by Jesse Buel (1778-1839) and edited from 1824 to 1854 by Edwin Croswell (1797-1871), was long the organ of the coterie of New York politicians known as the "Albany Regency," and was one of the most influential Democratic papers in the United States. Previously to their holding office, Daniel Manning (1831-1887), secretary of the treasury in President Cleveland's cabinet, was president of the Argus company, and Daniel Scott Lamont (1851-1905), secretary of war during President Cleveland's second administration, was managing editor of the newspaper. The Evening Journal, founded in 1830 as an anti-Masonic organ, and for thirty-five years edited by Thurlow Weed, was equally influential as an organ of the Whig and later of the Republican party.
Albany is an important railway and commercial centre, particularly as a distributing point for New England markets, as a lumber market and - though to a much less extent than formerly - as a depot for transhipment to the south and west. Among the city's manufactories are breweries, iron and brass foundries, stove factories, knitting mills, cotton mills, clothing factories, slaughtering and meat-packing establishments, cigar and cigarette factories, and manufactories of adhesive pastes, court plaster, spring beds, ribbed underwear, aniline dyes, chemicals, gas meters, fire-brick, and glazed paper and cardboard. The value of the total factory product in 1905 was $20,208,715, which was 17% greater than that for 1900.
Albany was probably the second place to be permanently settled within the borders of the original Thirteen Colonies. It seems likely that French traders ascended the river as far as the site of the present city in the first half of the sixteenth century, and according to some writers a temporary trading post was established here about 1540. Albany's authentic history, however, may be dated from 1614, when Dutch traders built on Castle Island, opposite the city, a post which they named Fort Nassau. Three years later the fort was removed to the mainland, and near here in 1618 the Dutch made their first treaty with the Iroquois. In 1624 arrived eighteen families of Dutch Walloons, the first actual permanent settlers, as distinguished from traders. In that year, on a hill near the site of the present Capitol, Fort Orange was built, and around it, as a centre, the new town. grew. At first it was known by the Dutch simply as the "fuyck" (hoop), from the curve in the river at this point, whence was soon derived the name Beverfuyck or Beverwyck. In 1629 the Dutch government granted to Killiaen van Rensselaer, an Amsterdam diamond merchant, a tract of land (24 sq. m.) centring at Fort Orange. Over this tract, the first patroonship granted in the colony, he had the usual powers and rights of a patroon. The grant was named Rensselaerwyck in his honour, became a "manor" in 1685, and remained in the family until 1853. The colonists whom he settled upon his grant (1630) were industrious, and "Beverwyck" became increasingly prosperous. From this time the town, on account of its favourable commercial and strategic position at the gateway of the Iroquois country and at the head of navigation on the Hudson river, was for a century and a half one of the most important places in the colonies. In 1644, with the transfer of New Netherlands to English control, the name "Beverwyck" was changed to "Albany" - one of the titles of the duke of York (afterward James II.). In 1673 the town was again for a short time under Dutch control. In 1686 Governor Dongan granted to Albany a city charter, which provided for an elected council. The first mayor appointed by the governor was Peter Schuyler (1657-1724). In 1689 Was held here the first inter-colonial convention in America, when delegates from Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New York met to treat with representatives of the Five Nations and to plan a system of colonial defence. During the 18th century there was a great influx of English colonists, and in 1714 the first English church was erected. During the French and Indian wars Albany was a starting-point for expeditions against Canada and the Lake Champlain country. In June 1754, in pursuance of a recommendation of the Lords of Trade, a convention of representatives of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland met here for the purpose of confirming and establishing a closer league of friendship with the Iroquois and of arranging for a permanent union of the colonies. The Indian affairs having been satisfactorily adjusted, the convention, after considerable debate, in which Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hopkins and Thomas Hutchinson took a leading part, adopted (July 11) a plan for a union of the colonies, which was in great part similar to one submitted to the convention by Franklin. This plan provided for a representative governing body to be known as the Grand Council, to which each colony should elect delegates (not more than seven or less than two) for a term of three years. This body was to have control of Indian affairs, impose taxes, nominate all civil officers, authorize the opening of new lands to settlement, and in general have charge of colonial defence, and of the enlistment, equipment and maintenance of an army. An executive or viceroy, to be known as the president-general, was to have the veto power over the acts of the Grand Council and the right of appointment of military officers. Finally, it was provided that the acts of the Grand Council should be valid unless vetoed by the crown within a period of three years. Neither the British government nor the growing party in the colonies which was clamouring for colonial rights received the plan with favour - the former holding that it gave the colonies too much independence, and the latter that it gave them too little. The strategic importance of Albany was fully recognized during the War of Independence, and it was against Albany that Burgoyne's expedition was directed. Albany became the permanent state capital in 1797. In 1839 it became the centre of the "Anti-Rent War," which was precipitated by the death of Stephen van Rensselaer (1764-1839), the last of the patroons; the attempt of his heirs to collect overdue rents resulting in disturbances which necessitated the calling out of the militia, spread into several counties where there were large landed estates, and were not entirely settled until 1847.
See William Barnes, The Settlement and Early History of Albany (Albany, 1864); J. Munsell, The Annals of Albany (to vols., Albany, 1850-1859; 2nd ed., 4 vols., 1869-1871); E. B. O'Callaghan, Documentary History of the State of New York, vol. iii. (Albany, 1850); A. J. Weise, The History of the City of Albany (Albany, 1884); G. R. Howell and J. Tenney, Bi-Centennial History of Albany (New York, 1886); Amasa J. Parker, Landmarks of Albany County (Syracuse, 1897); and Cuyler Reynolds, Albany Chronicles; or Albany Mayors and Contemporaneous Chronology (Albany, 1907).
|City of Albany, New York|
|Nickname(s): The Capital City|
|Albany County and the State of New York|
|Incorporated||July 22, 1686|
|- Mayor||Gerald D. Jennings (D)|
|- City||21.8 sq mi (56.6 km2)|
|- Land||21.4 sq mi (55.5 km2)|
|- Water||0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2) 2.15%|
|Elevation||200 ft (60 m)|
|- Density||5,488.1/sq mi (2,118.4/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|