|— City —|
Looking south on Utica's Genesee Street
|Nickname(s): Handshake City, Renaissance City, Second Chance City|
Location of Utica in the State of New York
|- Mayor||David Roefaro (D)|
|- Total||16.6 sq mi (43.0 km2)|
|- Land||16.3 sq mi (42.3 km2)|
|- Water||0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)|
|Elevation||456 ft (139 m)|
|- Density||3,710.0/sq mi (1,432.4/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|- Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0968324|
The city of Utica is situated within the region referred to as the Mohawk Valley and the Leatherstocking Region in Central New York State. Utica has an extensive park system, with winter and summer sports facilities. Utica and the neighboring city of Rome are principal cities of the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Oneida and Herkimer counties.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Utica is located in the Mohawk River Valley region of New York State.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43.0 km²), of which, 16.4 square miles (42.3 km²) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) (1.57%) is water.
Utica has a humid continental climate, which is characterized by cold winters and moderate summers.
Daytime highs during the summer are generally between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (29°C), with some days not reaching 70°F (21°C) being common. Summer nights usually bottom out somewhere between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (16°C). The all time highest recorded temperature for the city was 100°F (38°C), which occurred on July 19, 1953.
Winters in Utica are very cold and snowy, as the area is susceptible to Lake effect snow from the Great Lakes to the west. An example of typical wintertime snowfall amounts is presented below. Daytime highs during the wintertime are typically observed at or just above freezing (32°F to 35°F/0°C to 2°C), with some days not reaching 25°F (-4°C). Winter nights will see temperatures drop to settle between 10°F (-12°C) and 20°F (-7°C). Temperatures in the single digits or below zero are not uncommon for winter nights in Utica. The all time lowest recorded temperature in the city was -28°F (-33°C), which occurred once on February 18, 1979 and again on January 12, 1981.
Source: NBC-WKTV 2
As of the 2000 census, there were 60,651 people, 25,100 households, and 14,231 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,710.0 people per square mile (1,432.3/km²). There were 29,186 housing units at an average density of 1,785.3/sq mi (689.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.42% White, 12.92% African American, 0.28% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.16% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.79% of the population.
There were 25,100 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,916, and the median income for a family was $33,818. Males had a median income of $27,126 versus $21,676 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,248. About 19.8% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.
The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The Common Council consists of nine members. Six are elected from single member wards. The other three are elected at large.
Utica was first settled by Europeans in 1773, on the site of Fort Schuyler which was built in 1758 and abandoned after the French and Indian War. The settlement eventually became known as Old Fort Schuyler when a military fort in nearby Fort Stanwix was renamed Fort Schuyler during the American Revolution and evolved into a village.
The perhaps apocryphal account of Utica's naming suggests that around a dozen citizens of the Old Fort Schuyler settlement met at the Bagg's Tavern to discuss the name of the emerging village. Unable to settle on one particular name, the name Utica was drawn from several suggestions, and the village thereafter became associated with Utica, Tunisia, the ancient Carthaginian city. Utica expanded its borders in subsequent charters in 1805 and 1817.
Utica witnessed the development of one of the largest and certainly the most influential Welsh community in the United States. Suffering from poor harvests in 1789 and 1802 and dreaming of land ownership, the initial settlement of five Welsh families soon attracted other agricultural migrants, settling Steuben, Utica and Remsen townships. Adapting their traditional agricultural methods, the Welsh became the first to introduce dairying into the region and Welsh butter became a valued commodity on the New York market. Drawing on the size of the local ethnic community and the printing industry of Utica became the cultural center of Welsh-American life by 1830. The Welsh-American publishing industry included 19 different publishers who published 240 Welsh language imprints, 4 denominational periodicals and the influential newspaper Y Drych. Though it should be noted that the Welsh community in Utica was never very large and was often dwarfed by other ethnicities, most notably the Italians and the Polish.
Utica's location on the Erie Canal stimulated its industrial development. The middle section of the Canal, from Rome to Salina, was the first portion to open in 1820. The Chenango Canal, connecting Utica and Binghamton, opened in 1836, and provided a further stimulus for economic development by providing water transportation of coal from Northeast Pennsylvania.
Utica was well positioned to benefit from the Erie Canal, the civil engineering marvel of its time. Utica was the virtual half-way point for canal travelers, thus making the town the perfect stop-over point for weary travelers. During the planning stage of the canal the cotton looms that would make Utica famous were in their infancy, and a vigorous real estate market in the town had ballooned lot prices tenfold since 1800. An anonymous traveler noted that by 1829, about five years after the canal's completion, Utica had become "a really beautiful place . . . [and Utica's State Street] in no respect inferior to [Broadway] in New York." Utica, along with other burgeoning towns such as Syracuse, would benefit from the fact that the Erie Canal ran directly through town.
By the late 19th century, Utica had become the home of the textile industry of the United States, boasting dozens of mills. The city still served as a Northeast crossroads, hosting the day's most celebrated personalities. Samuel Clemens lectured to a sold-out Utica crowd in 1870, where Clemens noted in personal correspondence that he brought down the house "like an avalanche." It was during this time that Utica hosted the 1884 New York State Republican Convention, an event covered in great detail in Edmund Morris' Pulitzer Prize winning biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, in which Morris describes Utica at this time as "a shabby canal-town in the middle of the Mohawk Valley.". Senator Roscoe Conkling, a leading GOP lawmaker of the Stalwart political faction, resided in the city at this time, and figured as the region's most historically significant politician until local native James Schoolcraft Sherman was elected the 27th Vice President of the United States, serving under President William Howard Taft.
In the wake of the demise of the textile industry, Utica became a major player in the tool and die industry, which thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eventually declining in the late 20th century. Like the textile industry before it, the machine tool industry largely forsook Utica for the American South, with one notable example being The Chicago Pneumatic Company, which shuttered its extensive manufacturing facility in Utica in 1997 and relocated to Rock Hill, South Carolina.
By the mid-20th century, virtually all of the textile mills closed and migrated to the American South. In the 1930s through the 1950s Utica became nationally if not internationally known as "Sin City" for the extent of its corruption and control by the political machine of Rufus P. Elefante.
In the early and mid-20th century, Utica had become a major manufacturing center for radios, manufactured by the General Electric company, which, at one time, employed some 8,000 workers there, and was once known as: "The radio capital of the world." However, by the mid-1960s, General Electric had moved its radio manufacturing to the Far East. In the early 1990s, GE's Light Military Electronics operation in Utica was sold to Lockheed Martin and soon closed altogether.
Like many industrial towns and cities in the northeastern Rust Belt, Utica has experienced a major reduction in manufacturing activity in the past several decades, and is in serious financial trouble; many public services have been curtailed to save money. Suburban Utica, particularly the towns of New Hartford and Whitesboro, have begun to experience suburban sprawl; this is common in many Upstate New York cities, which are suffering from what the Sierra Club termed "sprawl without growth," although recently notable efforts have been made to revitalize the Downtown and Oneida Square areas of Utica by planning the construction of quality apartment housing. The city's economy is heavily dependent on commercial growth in its suburbs, a trend that is characterized by development of green sites in neighboring villages and does little to revitalize the city itself. Because of the decline of industry and employment in the post-World War II era, Utica became known as "The City that God Forgot." In the 1980s and early 1990s, some of Utica's residents could be seen driving cars with bumper stickers that read "Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out The Lights," clearly taking a more humorous stand on their city's rapid population loss and continued economic struggles.
City leaders and local entrepreneurs tried to build on the city's losses. In 1996 the former GE-Lockheed facility was purchased by Oneida County's Industrial Development Association for lease to ConMed Corporation (founded by Utica local Eugene Corasanti) for use as a manufacturing facility and the company's worldwide headquarters, bringing 500 new jobs to the area. The Boehlert Center at the newly restored, historic Union Station in downtown Utica is a regional transportation hub for Amtrak and the Adirondack Scenic Railway.
Despite the obvious economic growth in its suburbs, Utica continues to be the focus of regional economic revitalization efforts, most notably in the area of arts and entertainment. The recent expansion of the Stanley Theatre and the popularity of Utica College Pioneer Men's Division III Hockey continue to attract people to a downtown that was quite desolate in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Night life in Utica has been significantly affected with the recent Saranac Thursday Night party with proceeds being donated to the United Way. Since its inception in 1998, the festivities, which include beer, soft drinks, food, and live music, has continued to draw thousands to Utica's westside brewery district, invigorating nearby taverns and eateries.
Recognizing this trend, current Mayor David Roefaro gave Utica the moniker "Renaissance City." 
The arrival of a large number of Bosnian immigrants over the past several years has stanched a population loss that had been steady for more than three decades. Bosnian immigrants now constitute about 10% of the total population of Utica. Other recent immigrant groups have arrived from Somalia, Cambodia, and Thailand.
This influx of refugees from many war-torn nations and politically oppressive regimes has drawn mainstream national media attention, from The New York Times (see citation above) to Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest dubbed Utica the "Second Chance City" in an article chronicling the crucial role that immigrants have traditionally played in invigorating Utica's political, economic, and social life; the article argues that Utica now hosts thousands of immigrants that have taken advantage of the city's social services benefits, welfare, public and private sector affordable housing, and entry-level skilled manufacturing jobs to start a new life, a trend that began nearly thirty years ago.
Utica has a vast array of ethnic cuisines. The Utica area is famous for its plethora of Italian-American restaurants, some that date back generations. More recent immigrant groups to the city have contributed distinct culinary options including Bosnian, German, Chinese, Lebanese, Cuban, Jamaican, Greek, and Thai.
Utica's Unique Culinary Delights:
Utica currently has no professionally-affiliated sports teams.
The Utica Devils were a member of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1987-1993. The Utica Blizzards were a member of the United Hockey league (UHL) from 1994-1997 and another stint from 1998-2001 (January) in which the team was called the Mohawk Valley Prowlers. Currently, Utica is a vast supporter of the Division III Utica College Pioneers who average around 3000 fans a game, which is highest in the United States for that level of play.
Utica was also the home of the Utica Blue Jays/Blue Sox with their last affiliation being with the Florida Marlins until 2001.
Utica continues to look for professional sports opportunities seeing that they are a major city in the State of New York sitting on major routes of transportation.
Utica has two women's roller derby leagues, Central New York Roller Derby and Utica Rollergirls. Central New York Roller Derby is a Women's Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice League, their sole team is called the Utica Clubbers. The Utica Rollergirls are also a single team league which is affiliated with USA Roller Sports. Both leagues compete against teams from other leagues in the upstate NY area and surrounding states. In addition, Utica also has a men's roller derby team, as-yet unaffiliated Quadfathers.
Utica's sole remaining public high school is Thomas R. Proctor High School, its original public high school, Utica Free Academy, founded in 1814, having shut its doors in 1990. Utica is also home to Notre Dame High School, a small parochial high school, founded in 1959 by the Xaverian Brothers.
Higher Education choices in Utica include: Utica College, State University of New York Institute of Technology, Empire State College, Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Mohawk Valley Community College, and Utica School of Commerce. Nearby colleges include Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, New York, and Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Utica is the home of Utica College, founded in 1946, as a four-year college affiliated with Syracuse University. While Utica College became fully independent from Syracuse University in 1995, its undergraduates still receive Syracuse degrees. Utica College was originally an urban campus in the Oneida Square area of the city. In 1961, it relocated to a modern 128-acre (0.52 km2) campus on the west side of Utica. Currently a new science wing and additional buildings are being added to the campus.
Utica is also the home of Mohawk Valley Community College, which was founded in 1946 as the New York State Center of Applied Arts and Sciences at Utica, and was the first community college established in New York State. MVCC found its true raison d'etre during the 1950s as a training facility for unemployed textile workers looking operate technical equipment at a new General Electric plant. The college became a fully-accredited institution in 1960, and has gradually expanded its campus along Utica's Culver Avenue.
State University of New York Institute of Technology is located along the Utica and Marcy New York border, though it was first established in 1969 on Utica's westside. A four-year institution, SUNY-IT offers a variety of technology based majors and master's degree programs.
Empire State College was founded in 1971 and is one of thirteen SUNY colleges of arts and sciences. Empire State College consists of eight centers with the Central New York Center being in Syracuse. Each center has different units providing educational services for those communities. The Utica Unit serves Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, and Otsego counties.
The "Union Suit"- a type of red-colored long underwear jumpsuit with a buttoned flap on the backside was invented in Utica.
The first color newspaper, "The Utica Saturday Globe" was published in Utica.
The Utica Crib was named for the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica where it was heavily used in the 19th century to confine patients who refused to stay in their beds .
The rollback style tow truck was invented in Utica in the 1960s.
UTICA, a city and the county-seat of Oneida (disambiguation)|Oneida county, New York, U.S.A., on the Mohawk river, about 45 m. E. of Syracuse and about 85 m. W. of Albany. Pop. (1890) 44,007; (I goo) 56,383, of whom 13,470 were foreign-born, including 3696 Germans, 2458 Irish, 1661 Italians and 1165 Welsh; (1910, census) 74,419. Utica is served by the New York Central & Hudson River and several lines leased by it, including the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg; the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western; the New York, Ontario & Western; and the West Shore railways; by the Erie Canal, and by interurban electric railways. The city is situated on ground rising gradually from the river. There are many fine business and public buildings, especially on Genesee Street, the principal thoroughfare, and Utica is known for the number of its institutions, public and private. Those of an educational character include, in addition to the public schools and the Utica Free Academy, the New School (for girls) and the Utica Catholic Academy. Among the libraries are included the Public Library (1893) with 54,000 volumes in 1909, the library of the Oneida Historical Society (which occupies the Munson-Williams Memorial Building), the Utica Law Library and the Deutscher Leserverein. The city is the seat of a State Hospital for the Insane (1843). Among its many charitable institutions are a Masonic Home and School (1893), a Home for the Homeless (1867), St Elizabeth's Home (1886), St Luke's Home (1869), a Home for Aged Men and Couples (1879), Utica Orphan Asylum (1830), St Joseph's Infant Home (1893) and St John's Female Orphan Asylum (1834), both under the Sisters of Charity; the House of the Good Shepherd (1872; Protestant Episcopal); and the General (1873; City of Utica), Homeopathic (1895), St Luke's (1869; supported by the Protestant Episcopal Churches), St Elizabeth's (1866; Sisters of the Third Order of St Francis) and Faxton (1873) hospitals. Among the public buildings are a Federal building, the city hall, the County Court House, a Y.M.C.A. building, a Masonic Temple, an Odd-Fellows' Temple and a State Armoury and Arsenal. The city has a number of fine parks. In Forest Hill Cemetery are the graves of Horatio Seymour and Roscoe Conkling. On West Canada creek, about 15 m. N. of Utica, are Trenton Falls, which descend 312 ft. in 2 m.., through a sandstone chasm, in a series of cataracts, some of them having an 80 ft. fall. From the geological formation here the name Trenton is applied to the upper series of the Ordovician (or Lower Silurian) system, and, particularly, to the lowest stage of this series.
Utica has varied and extensive manufactures. In 1905 the capital invested in manufacturing industries was $21,184,033, and the total value of the factory products was $22,880,317, an increase of 38.8% since Igloo. Of this product, hosiery and knit goods, with a total value of $5,261,166, comprised 23% of all, and cotton goods ($4,287,658), 18.7%. The hosiery and knit goods constituted 3.9% of the total value of that product of the entire country. Other important products were: men's clothing ($2,943,214); foundry and machineshop products ($1,607,258); steam fittings and heating apparatus ($1,010,755); malt liquors ($933,278); and lumber products ($869,000). Among the other manufactures are food preparations, wooden ware, wagons and carriages, stoves and furnaces, boots and shoes, tobacco and cigars, flour, candy, gloves, bricks, tile and pottery, furniture, paper boxes and firearms. Utica is a shipping point for the products of a fertile agricultural region, from which are exported dairy products (especially cheese), nursery products, flowers (especially roses), small fruits and vegetables, honey and hops.
The territory on which Utica was built was part of the 22,000acre tract granted in 1734 by George II. to William Cosby (c. 1695-1736), colonial governor of New York in 1732-36, and to his associates, and it was known as Cosby's Manor. During the Seven Years' War a palisaded fort was erected on the south bank of the Mohawk at the ford where Utica later sprung up. It was named Fort Schuyler, in honour of Colonel Peter Schuyler, an uncle of General Philip Schuyler. A fort subsequently built at Rome also was at first called Fort Schuyler (and afterwards Fort Stanwix), and the fort at Utica was then distinguished from it by the prefix "old" and it was as "Old Fort Schuyler" that Utica was first known. The most used trade route to the western country crossed the Mohawk here. In default of payment of arrears of rent Cosby's Manor was sold at sheriff's sale in 1792 and was bid in by General Philip Schuyler, General John Bradstreet, John Morin Scott and others for X1387, or about 15 cents an acre. Soon after the close of the War of Independence a settlement was begun, most of the newcomers being Palatine Germans from the lower Mohawk. In 1786 the proprietors had the manor surveyed. An inn was erected in 1788, and new settlers, largely New Englanders, began to arrive. Among these, in 1789, was Peter Smith (1768-1837), later a partner of John Jacob Astor, and father of Gerrit Smith, who was born here in 1797. In 1792 a bridge was built across the Mohawk. In 1797 Oneida county was established, and the village was incorporated under the name of Utica. The first newspaper, the Gazette, began publication in the same year, and the first church, Trinity (Protestant Episcopal), was built. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, added to Utica's prosperity. Utica was chartered as a city in 1832.
See Pomroy Jones, Annals and Recollections of Oneida County (Rome, N.Y., 1851); M. M. Bagg, Pioneers of Utica (Utica, 1877); Outline History of Utica and Vicinity (Utica, 1900); and the publications of the Oneida Historical Society (Utica, 1881 sqq.).