Welcome To Albany, New York
Albany enjoys a vibrant downtown, a rich mixture of historical neighborhoods, and an exciting variety of arts, cultural and entertainment opportunities. Albany serves as the capital of New York State and it has a population of approximately 100,000. As a city that has existed for over 300 years, Albany has played a critically important role throughout the history of New York State, as well as the entire nation.
The City of Albany has experienced unprecedented progress and development during the past ten years. Over $1 billion in economic development projects have been implemented through the innovative and successful Capitalize Albany program. Our downtown has significantly benefited from the recent construction of new office buildings for State government offices and private corporations, in addition to thousands of new parking spaces that are available as a result of the opening of three new parking garages. In 2002 we were able to restore the historic link between downtown Albany and the beautiful Hudson River with the opening of the Hudson River Way Pedestrian Bridge and the construction of a multi-purpose amphitheater at the Corning Park. We also enhanced the vibrant arts and entertainment district in 2003 with the multi-million dollar restoration of the historic Palace Theatre, a venue that is now host to world class entertainers that complements the Times Union Centre in our downtown district, along with other cultural and entertainment institutions.
Albany's historic and diverse neighborhoods remain the foundation of our City. We have a rich variety of architecture that adds to the unique fabric of our City. We successfully invested over $4.1 million on public and private funds through our C-1 Program to improve the areas of Albany that have a mixed blend of residential and commercial buildings. These investments have enhanced the small "main street" environment that is enjoyed by many of our neighborhoods.
Albany is considered to be the economic and cultural center of the Capital Region of New York State. We are at the crossroads of other urban areas such as New York City, Boston and Montreal. The Albany International Airport and the Amtrak train station are both first class transportation centers that allow for convenient travel to Albany. Our terrific national resources including proximity to the Adirondack Mountains, the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River and the Mohawk River add to the high quality of life that we enjoy in Albany
Albany is the capital of the State of New York and the county seat of Albany County. As of the 2000 census, Albany had a population of 95,658.
The City of Albany lies 145 miles (233 km) north of and slightly east of New York City, and slightly to the south of the juncture of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers.
Albany has close ties with the cities of Troy, New York and Schenectady, New York, forming what is generally known as the Capital District, which in turn makes up the bulk of the Albany-Troy-Schenectady-Saratoga Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 825,875, making it the fourth largest urban area in New York State.
Albany is built on the site of the Dutch Fort Orange, and its surrounding community of Beverwyck. The English acquired the site from the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it Albany, in honor of the Duke of Albany. A 1686 document issued by Thomas Dongan granted Albany an official charter.
Albany is the capital and a major port and trading center for New York State. State government buildings dominate the city's skyline and governmental activities dominate the economy. One of the oldest cities in the country, Albany displays its Dutch heritage in the architecture of some of its buildings and in the narrow streets that date from colonial times. Today Albany is a thriving cultural center supporting a variety of museums, theaters, and historic buildings. In 2005 Forbes magazine named Albany number 34 among the nation's "Best Places for Business."
Albany's downtown has been a hub of activity since 1609. Then, merchant goods from Europe were traded for valuable beaver furs and other New World resources. As the Capital of New York since 1789, the activity of governing the Empire State provides Albany's downtown with exciting activities and events. Today downtown is a rich tapestry of arts and entertainment. From the Palace Theatre to the Times Union Centre, events and special performances abound. The shore of the Hudson River provides a warm weather venue for entertainment and the club scene is lively throughout the year.
Today, Albany remains a center of government and education.
Albany is the fourth oldest continually-inhabited city and the second oldest chartered city in the United States, (the oldest being New Amsterdam, now New York City). The original native settlement in the area was called Penpotawotnot. Its colonial history 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, the company constructed Fort Nassau, its first fur trading post near present-day Albany. Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada and amongst the native tribes, who vied to control the trade. In 1624,Fort Orange was established in the area. Both forts were named in honor of the Dutch House of Orange-Nassau. Nearby areas were incorporated as the village of Beverwyck in 1652.
The town of Albany developed on the Willamette River, with steamboats bringing commerce to a thriving waterfront. Today Downtown Albany is designated a National Register Historic District and includes many historic buildings in a variety of architectural styles, dating to the late 1800’s. As a city, we pride ourselves on historic preservation and our commitment to responsible development in Downtown. The Downtown remains the civic, commercial and social center of Albany. We invite you enjoy the dining, shopping and entertainment Downtown has to offer.
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
State and local governments employ nearly a quarter of the Albany area workforce, a phenomenon that has brought long-term stability to the economy. A network of service industries, especially restaurants and food stores, law firms, and related businesses, has grown up in Albany to serve the needs of government. Area colleges and universities and an extensive healthcare network also play a dominant role in the city's economy. The presence of scientific research facilities has stimulated the growth of the high technology industries that are replacing traditional manufacturing industries.
Technology has, in fact, been targeted as a prime growth industry for Albany. The Austin (TX) American-Statesman declared in 2003 that the city is " . . . laying plans to storm past Austin as a high-tech hot spot." Albany NanoTech, a university-based research facility for nanotechnology that opened in 2003, received a large portion of the $1.4 billion that the state committed toward the establishment of research centers throughout New York. In a deal that was named one of the top economic development projects of 2002 by Site Selection magazine, Albany successfully attracted a new branch research center of Austin-based International Sematech. Later, Tokyo Electron Ltd., one of the world's leading makers of computer chip manufacturing equipment, decided to send researchers to Albany instead of its North American headquarters in Austin, Texas. New York City-based International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) followed suit, moving researchers to Albany.
Albany: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
The administration of police for the Albany public schools is vested in an elected Board of Education, which is independent of city government and appoints officers and employees of the school district. The seven, non-paid board members each serve a four-year term.
The district's newest school, a third middle school, opened in September 2005. Earlier that year, the 99-year-old School #16 shut its operations down with plans to reopen as an elementary facility in 2007.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Albany public schools as of the 2004-2005 school years.
Total enrollment: 9,101
Colleges and Universities
Albany is home to seven colleges and universities. York (SUNY) at Albany, one of four university centers of the SUNY system, is the largest college in the region, enrolling 11,500 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students pursuing degrees ranging from bachelor's to doctorate. Advanced study is also available at Albany Medical College, Albany Law School, and Albany College of Pharmacy. The College of St. Rose offers bachelor's and master's degrees in liberal arts, business, education, science, and fine arts. The Junior College of Albany and Maria College both offer two-year associates degrees in a variety of disciplines.
A number of colleges and universities are located in the region outside of Albany. Schenectady is home to Union College, which offers degrees in law and pharmacy; this college houses the Dudley Observatory and is also the birthplace of the Phi Beta Kappa society. Two institutes of higher learning are located in Troy: Hudson Valley Community College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which specializes in engineering, architecture, and technology, and supports a high-technology business center. Sienna College, a Catholic and Franciscan college, is an undergraduate, liberal arts institution located in Loudonville.
Albany: Geography and Climate
Albany is located on a steep hill at the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers in the east-central region of New York State. At the riverfront, the city is only a few feet above sea level. The terrain rises gradually, reaching a height of 1,800 feet 11 miles to the west and 2,000 feet 12 miles to the east.
Winters in Albany are usually cold and sometimes severe. In the warmer months temperatures rise rapidly during the daytime then fall rapidly after sunset, making the evenings relatively cool. The area enjoys one of the highest percentages of sunshine in the state.
Average climate in Albany, New York
Area: 21.84 square miles (2000)
Average Temperatures: January, 22.2° F; July, 71.1° F; average annual temperature, 47.5° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 38.6 inches of rain; 64.1 inches of snow
Albany's health care needs are served by two medical centers and 12 hospitals. The largest facility, the 651-bed Albany Medical Center, specializes in open-heart and coronary bypass surgery as well as vascular microsurgeries; it maintains trauma and burn units in addition to a children's hospital, and is affiliated with Albany Medical College. Capital District Psychiatric Center is one of the area's facilities that serve special needs. Other local hospitals include Children's Hospital, Memorial Hospital, St. Peter's Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The presence of research centers in the region has made Albany a leader in the development of advanced diagnostic tools such as high field magnetic resonance imaging.
Walking tours of renovated downtown historic sites are a popular way to see Albany. The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center provides information about these and other programs; it also houses a hands-on exhibit detailing the city's past and present. Among the interesting sights in downtown Albany is the New York State Capitol, completed in 1898 under the supervision of five architects over a thirty-year period. Its combination of classic architectural styles contrasts with the modern complex of buildings that comprises the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, encompassing cultural and recreational features as well as the state's tallest tower outside of New York City. The Empire State Plaza contains several memorials, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial, NYS Vietnam Memorial, NYS Women Veterans Memorial, State of New York Police Officers Memorial, and World War II Memorial. Albany's other memorials located outside of the Empire State Plaza are the Henry Johnson Memorial, Moses Smiting the Rock/King Memorial Fountain, Soldiers & Sailors Monument, and Spanish-American War Monument.
Visitors can experience Albany's history by touring eighteenth-century mansions, including the Schuyler Mansion, where Betsy Schuyler married Alexander Hamilton in 1780, and Historic Cherry Hill, built in 1787 for the Van Rensselaer family and occupied until 1963 by their descendants. Several other mansions, historic churches, and government buildings are also open to the public. The Ten Broeck Mansion now contains the Albany County Historic Association. As the seat of the state's government, Albany is also home to the New York State Court of Appeals and the New York State Education Building. Another interesting sight is the USS Slater, a destroyer escort built in 1943; the Slater is one of only three remaining Destroyer Escort ships built during World War II.
Albany's Times Union Center, formerly Pepsi Arena, continues to have great success. Renamed in January 2007, the Times Union Center is "Upstate New York's Premier Sports and Entertainment Facility."
Owned by Albany County and operated by SMG, the world's largest private management firm for public assembly facilities, the Times Union Center has an adaptable seating capacity between 6,000 and 17,500. Since Frank Sinatra christened the building on January 30, 1990, more than seven million patrons have walked through the turnstiles.
As a multi-purpose facility, the Times Union Center has hosted a variety of events, including concerts, family shows and sporting events, averaging 165 events each year.
In 2000, the Times Union Center Ranked 14th nationally in total concert attendance, higher than arenas in Philadelphia and other major markets.
Sell-out concerts at the Center have included, the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, U2, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Garth Brooks, Puff Daddy and the Family, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, The Dave Matthews Band, Phish, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Dixie Chicks, Britney Spears, Tina Turner, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and the Grateful Dead. Family shows have included Disney on Ice, the Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live, Barney's Big Surprise, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and Nickelodeon's Live Tour.
In addition to being a regular Northeast concert stop, the Center has developed into a sports fan's dream. The Times Union Center is home to the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League, Albany Conquest of the af2, and Siena Saints Division I College Basketball and the ECAC Hockey League. Other sporting events entertaining fans of the Capital Region include the NBA Classic, the NHL Face-Off, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) basketball tournament, high school basketball and the NYSPHAA High School state wrestling championships.
Times Union Center was a proud host of the NCAA Frozen Four in 2001, receiving kudos from NCAA executives for the hospitality shown to the participants and fans alike. The first ever Fan Fest was held in conjunction with the Frozen Four and will be incorporated into future festivities.
The Times Union Center is a regular host to premier NCAA events. In 1995, the Center hosted the first sold out NCAA Men's Basketball Championship East Regional First and Second Rounds in the nation. the Center hosted the NCAA Hockey National Championships in 1992 and the NCAA Hockey East Regional in 1994, 1996 and 1998. The NCAA Hockey East Regional returned in 2000 and college hockey's National Championship took place in 2001. The NCAA Wrestling National Championships visited Albany for the first time in 2002, and the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship East Regional took to the Center's hardcourt in 2003. In 2004 and 2006 the Center welcomed back the Division I NCAA men's hockey East regional -- the tournament will return in 2008.
Times Union Center has developed a rich history of events over the past eleven years. Albany County, SMG and the Capital Region look forward to a future filled with the biggest names in sports and entertainment.
Capital Repertory Theatre
Now in its 27th Season of award-winning theatre, is proud to be one of seventy-five professional theatres in the League of Resident Theatres (LORT).. Today, these affiliated theatres provide thousands of artists with a support system for developing new work as well as reviving classics and perennial favorites. Hundreds of thousands of people now have the opportunity to experience the highest caliber of performance right in their own communities.
Capital Rep is a not-for-profit regional theatre located in the heart of Albany, New York State's capital, and near several wonderful restaurants and hotels.
More than 67,000 people experience the magic of Capital Rep each year, attending performances and participating in education activities. Nearly 25,000 young people attended performances at the theatre as part of our "Classics on Stage" and "Page to Stage" Student Matinee Program or participated in our On-The-Go! School Tour Program right in their own schools.
Executive Mansion - Official residence of the governor of New York State. Built in 1850 as a private home, it was rented and then purchased by the state. Art collection represents many periods of art history from the revolution to the present day. Tours available on Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 518-473-7521 two weeks in advance to make reservations.
(138 Eagle St., Albany, NY)
For more information on relocating to Albany New York, please visit www.albanyny.org.
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