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Albany is a city in the United States of Americamarker; it is the capital of the state of New Yorkmarker and the county seat of Albany County. Albany is roughly 136 miles (219 km) north of the city of New Yorkmarker, and slightly south of the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. The city sits on the Hudson River and has a major portmarker. As of July 2007, the city had an estimated population of 94,172.

Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troymarker, Schenectadymarker, and Saratoga Springsmarker, forming a region called the Capital Districtmarker, 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.

Albany was built on the site of the Dutch Fort Orangemarker and its surrounding community of Beverwyck. The English acquired the site from the Dutch in 1664 and renamed it Albany, in honor of James II, Duke of Albany. 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 Islandmarker; 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 Pennsylvaniamarker 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 Carillonmarker (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 Mansionmarker 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, Kingstonmarker, Poughkeepsiemarker, and the city of New York. The State Capitolmarker building was begun in 1867 and finished in 1899 when Governor Theodore Roosevelt declared the building completed. It was inspired by the Hôtel de Villemarker (City Hall) in Paris, Francemarker. 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 Lakesmarker to the city of New York. Also in 1825 a long and wide pier was constructed from, and perpendicular to, Albany's shoreline. Along with two bridges the pier enclosed roughly 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 Plazamarker 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 Towermarker stands 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 Centermarker (which houses the State Library and Museummarker), the Justice Building, and the performing arts center known as "The Eggmarker" make up the rest of the Empire State Plaza. The design of the Plaza is based loosely on the National Congress complex in the Brazilianmarker capital of Brasíliamarker.

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.


Downtown Albany as seen from the Corning Tower
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'smarker 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 Maltamarker and two local public educational consortiums opened Tech Valley High Schoolmarker 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 Bushmarker, located on the far edge of the city with Guilderlandmarker and Coloniemarker 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 Lakemarker, Rensselaer Lakemarker, Tivoli Lakemarker, and Washington Park Lakemarker.


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 Ontariomarker. 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 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 was 63.12% White, 28.14% 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%).[8401]

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.


Nightlife and entertainment

Albany's geographic situation as a "Crossroads City" (roughly equidistant between New Yorkmarker and Montrealmarker, Buffalomarker and Bostonmarker) makes it a convenient stop for nationally touring artists and acts. The Palace Theatremarker and The Eggmarker provide mid-sized forums for music, theater, and spoken word performances. The Times Union Centermarker ("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 Museummarker 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, Broadway, and Lark Street serve as the most active entertainment areas in the city, with Lark as perhaps the most culturally interesting street downtown, and Madison as the most popular street where college students prefer to party (midtown). 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 southeastern-most 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 northwestern side of the street (crossing of Central Avenue), which enters the less-affluent Arbor Hill neighborhood. Madison Avenue (midtown) and Pearl Street (downtown) are home to the most popular bars.

Summer concert series are sponsored by the city and businesses and held at the Corning Preserve, Riverfront Park, Washington Park, Tricentennial Square, and the Empire State Plazamarker.

From February 2005, Last call for drinks at bars and nightclubs in Albany is 2:55am, with a closing time of 4:00am. 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 since it is typically difficult to clear the streets of bar patrons.


  • The Tulip Festival, or the Tulip Fest as it is locally known, is set in Albany’s Washington Park. This traditional Albany event marks the beginning of spring as thousands of tulips bloom in the Park in early May. It includes musical performances and the coronation of the Tulip Queen. Tulip Fest is a celebration of Albany’s rich Dutch heritage, and draws both local and regional attendance.
  • Alive at Five is a free concert series held downtown on Thursdays throughout the summer. The concert series features local, regional, and national artists and hosts different genres of music each week.
  • Price Chopper’s Fabulous Fourth and Fireworks Festival at the Empire State Plaza celebrates Independence Day with musical performances and the region's largest fireworks display.
  • The African American Family Day Arts Festival takes place in early August at the Empire State Plaza and provides musical acts, cultural cuisine, and family entertainment.
  • Latin Fest offers Latin music, dance, food and crafts every year in Washington Park.
  • The Albany Jazz Festival is held at the end of summer every year in the Albany Riverfront Park Amphitheater.
  • Lark Fest is a festival held each fall over a three day span. The festival, held on Lark Street, enjoys local musical performances ranging from jazz to metal and other genres, and unique artisan wares are sold.

Artistic community

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 Bostonmarker and New York relocating to take advantage of Albany's affordable, historic housing and commercial spaces. The Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Repertory Theatre [8402], Albany Institute of History & Artmarker and Palace Theatremarker 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[8403]), as well as performing and fine arts venues associated with the University at Albanymarker and The College of Saint Rosemarker.

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 Artmarker in the city of New York has called the collection "the most important State collection of modern art in the country."

Notable residents

Government and politics

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 Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plazamarker (commonly known as simply the Empire State Plaza or The South Mall) is a large complex of several state-owned buildings downtown, including The Eggmarker, Corning Towermarker, Swan Street Office Building, and Cultural Education Centermarker (home of the New York State Museummarker). Built throughout the 1970s, Empire State Plaza is a powerful example of American late Modern architecture.
  • Albany City Hallmarker is the city's seat of government. It houses the office of the mayor, the Common Council chamber, and the City and Traffic Courts. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in his trademark Richardsonian Romanesque style, the granite building was constructed between 1880 and 1883. Albany City Hall is known for its pyramidal-roofed clock tower, which contains the nation's first municipal carillon. The largest of the instrument's 60 bells weighs 11,200 pounds, and the carillon is still played regularly.
  • The New York State Capitolmarker is the capitol building of the state of New York. Housing the New York Legislature, it is located on State Street in Capitol Park. The building, completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million (roughly half a billion current dollars), was the most expensive government building of its time. It is a National Historic Landmark. The Capitol was constructed between 1867 and 1899 and inspired by the Hôtel de Villemarker (City Hall) in Paris, Francemarker. It is one of only ten capitol buildings in the United States that does not have a dome.
  • The Alfred E.marker Smith Buildingmarker, officially known as the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building and sometimes called simply the Al Smith Building, is a structure located in downtown Albany across the street from the New York State Capitolmarker and One Commerce Plazamarker. The building's namesake, Alfred Emmanuel Smith, was a four-term governor of New York and the Democratic Party's nomination for the 1928 Presidential Election. The Art Deco skyscraper has 34 stories and at 388 feet (118 m) is Albany's second tallest structure (after the Corning Tower). Completed in 1928, it houses offices of the New York state government. The building underwent an extensive renovation that began in 2002. This modernization, which cost at least $103 million, is now finished. Perhaps one of the most notable features of this building is the carving of all of the state's counties' names scrolling around the entire building.
  • The University at Albanymarker Uptown Campus, located at 1400 Washington Avenue in Albany was designed by renowned American Modern architect Edward Durell Stone. The campus bears Stone’s signature style of bold unified design, expressed by its towers, domes, fountains, soaring colonnades and sweeping canopy. The result is dramatically different from traditional university campuses with dispersed buildings and disparate architectural styles.
  • The Home Savings Bank Buildingmarker and One Commerce Plazamarker are among downtown Albany's other high-rises.
  • The Quackenbush Housemarker was built circa 1736, and when built it actually sat just outside the city limits (which was at Clinton Ave.). Schuyler Mansionmarker is the popular, modern-day name for a large brick edifice built just inside Albany's southern boundary line in 1761. Situated on a large and commanding stretch of land, this Albany landmark was the home of General Philip Schuyler. Other historic mansions include the Ten Broeck Mansionmarker in Arbor Hill and the Cherry Hill on South Pearl Street.
  • Originally an Army National Guard armory, the Washington Avenue Armory Sports and Convention Arenamarker is a mid-size venues for sports, entertainment and business. It is home of the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association and United States Basketball League.
  • The New York State Department of Education Buildingmarker (1908-12) is a Beaux Arts state office building at 89 Washington Avenue. It is notable for its 36 Corinthian column, which may constitute the longest colonnade in the United States.

Recreational areas

King Fountain in Washington Park
  • Washington Park is recognized as one of New York's oldest city parks. The Park was officially organized in 1809, but its current location has been used as a recreational site for well over 300 years. Washington Park's current layout was designed in 1868 by Frederick Law Olmsted. It was opened for the public use in 1871. Frederick W. Brown's Lake House was added in 1876. Previously it had been a cemetery and when they made it into a park they moved the graves to Albany Rural Cemetery.
  • Lincoln Park was organized in 1886. It was originally known as Delaware Square and later as Beaver Park. Today, the park has a pool that is open to city residents during the summer months.
  • The Pine Bushmarker is the only sizable inland pine barrens sand dunes in the United States, and is recognized as a unique pine barrens ecosystem. It contains over 300 species of vertebrate animals, over 1,500 species of plants, and over 10,000 species of insects and other invertebrate animals. Many of them are rare and restricted to the Pine Bush habitat. The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is sung by the Indian brave from the Vale of Tawasentha located in the Pine Bush. George Washington wrote of the Pine Bush in his diaries while traveling in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. In Moby-Dick, Herman Melville describes the dark beauty of the Pine Bush in a long account of a stage coach ride from Albany to Schenectadymarker.
  • Albany Riverfront Park at the Corning Preserve is home to an 800-seat amphitheatre which hosts numerous events from Spring through Fall. In addition, a visitors center houses an explanation of the Hudson River’s tides. The park also features a bike trail and boat launch.
  • Buckingham Lake Parkmarker contains a pond with fountains, a footpath, a playground, and picnic tables.


The Albany City School District enrolls about 10,000 students. It includes Albany High Schoolmarker, 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 Rosemarker; Excelsior College; Maria College; Mildred Elley; Sage College of Albany; and the University at Albanymarker, 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.

Private Schools

Public Library

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).

Religious life

Like most cities of comparable age and size, Albany has well-established Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities.

Established in 1624, the First Church in Albany marker is the oldest church in upstate New York. Albany is the location of the mother church (cathedrals) of the Episcopal and Roman Catholic dioceses of Albany: the Cathedral of All Saintsmarker (Bishop William Love) and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conceptionmarker (Bishop Howard J. Hubbard), respectively.

St. Peter'smarker 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.

Other notable churches in the city include the Catholic St. Mary's Churchmarker and the First Lutheran Church.

A significant Jewish presence exists in the Albany, including Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, Reform Jews and one of the few Karaite Jewish communities outside Israelmarker. 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 Coloniemarker 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 Statesmarker, includes all of the 11 counties of the Capital District, along with Hamilton County, New Yorkmarker, as well as Berkshire Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, and Bennington Countymarker, Vermontmarker. 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 (WRGBmarker), 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, WGYmarker.

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.


A line of CDTA buses on State Street
  • Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) provides bus service throughout Albany and surrounding areas (including Schenectadymarker and Troymarker) and provides management for the local rail station (see below) and those in Schenectady and Saratoga Springs.
  • Albany International Airportmarker, located in nearby Coloniemarker, serves Albany and the greater Capital Region with air service across the country. It is one of the first commercial airports in the world, and the first municipal airport in the United Statesmarker.
  • Albany-Rensselaermarker Amtrak station (located right across the Hudson river in Rensselaermarker, hence the station's name) was Amtrak's tenth busiest station and the second busiest in the state behind New York Penn Stationmarker with a ridership of over 730,000 passengers, as of 2006 and serves as a connection point for many Amtrak trains.
  • Greyhound Lines, Trailways, and Peter Pan/Bonanza buses are all served by a downtown terminal which is not far from most state office buildings and is convenient to most CDTA lines. There is also a Chinatown bus service that leaves from Central Ave and goes to Chinatown in Manhattanmarker.
  • The New York State Thruway travels as Interstate 87 into Albany from the city of New York, curving west through Albany, becoming Interstate 90 at Exit 24, then travelling through Guilderland, Schenectady, and Rotterdam, finally heading west towards Syracusemarker and Buffalomarker.
  • Interstate 787 runs from the Thruway at Exit 23 through downtown Albany, intersecting Interstate 90 and finally ending in Cohoesmarker.
  • Interstate 90 before meeting the Thruway, runs through the north side of the city of Albany, making this portion of the highway the only non-tolled section in New York State outside the small non tolled portion in Buffalo. I-90 runs from the Thruway at Exit 24, loops around Albany, intersects I-787, runs through the western suburbs of Rennselaer County, and finally meets back up with the Thruway on the Berkshire Spur.
  • Interstate 87, after leaving the Thruway system, runs north to Saratoga Springsmarker, Glens Fallsmarker, through the Adirondack Mountains, forming a vital link between Albany and Montrealmarker.
  • Other nearby interstates include Interstate 890 running through Schenectady, and Interstate 88 which runs from the Thruway towards Binghamtonmarker. A cancelled extension would have had I-88 running through the Capital Districtmarker to Portsmouth, New Hampshiremarker.
  • The city was once served by both an urban streetcar service maintained by the United Traction Company as well as an interurban commuter service maintained by the Schenectady Railway Company, which also offered weekend recreational tours of the Mohawk Valley via rail. As in many American cities after the advent of the automobile, light rail services declined in popularity in Albany and were replaced by autobus and taxi services.
  • The Port of Albany-Rensselaermarker located in Albany as well as across the Hudson River in Rensselaermarker handles domestic and international ships and barges. Major cargo includes turbines and grain. When first built in 1932 the grain elevator on site, now owned by Cargill, was the largest in the world and is believed to still be the largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River.


NCAA college athletic programs

  • University at Albanymarker: Currently plays at the Division I level in all of its sports, though for most of its history it was a Division III school, with a brief stay at the Division II level in the late 1990s. The football team is a member of the Division I-AA Northeast Conference, while all other sports teams play as members of the America East Conference. In 2006, UAlbanymarker became the first SUNY affiliated school to send a team to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. The men's lacrosse team has also made multiple appearances in its sport's NCAA Division I Championship Tournament, the first University at Albany team to do so. The Men's Track & Field team has produced All-American athletes such as Gered Burns, Joe Greene, Marc Pallozzi, and Luke Schoen. UAlbany has hosted the New York Giants summer training camp since 1996.
  • The College of Saint Rosemarker: The St. Rose Golden Knights play at the Division II level. St. Rose plays in the Northeast Ten Conference.
  • Nearby Siena Collegemarker's basketball team plays in the Times Union Center in downtown even though it is located in the Albany suburb of Loudonvillemarker. The college teams play at the Division I level in all sports, although it discontinued its Division I-AA football program in 2003. It is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for most sports, with field hockey playing as a member of the Northeast Conference.
  • Albany Dutchmen: Formerly the Bennington Bombers of Bennington, Vermontmarker team of the New York Collegiate Baseball League, it is an amateur league of collegiate players who are unpaid to retain NCAA eligibility, whereas college baseball uses aluminum bats this league uses wooden. They play at Bleecker Stadium, hosting twenty-one home games out of a total season of forty-two games.

Minor league professional teams

Defunct professional teams

Times Union Center

The Times Union Centermarker, 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.

Future development

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.

The Capital Grand is planned as a multi-story luxury condominium complex on Broadway, north of the city's downtown, with river views.

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.

Albany Medical Center is in the beginning phase of a $360 million construction project for a new six story medical wing on the corner of New Scotland and Myrtle Avenues.

In popular culture

In The Simpsons

  • In an episode of The Simpsons titled "The Old Man and the Lisa" (4F17), Principal Skinner while at the headquarters of the Junior Achievers Club at Springfield Elementary School comments that the "load of garbage" they saved has given the group more money for a field trip to Albany. The children (mostly composed of the school's smartest students) cheer.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons titled "Homer to the Max" (AABF09), Homer spills a fondue pot over his control panel at the power plant, shorting out the circuitry. This clearly blacks out Albany (shown by a U.S. map in the background which shows a flicker of light disappear in upstate New York). This is confirmed when Lenny remarks "There goes Albany!".
  • In an episode of The Simpsons titled "22 Short Films About Springfield" (3F18), Principal Skinner tries to explain that "steamed hams" is an Albany expression for hamburgers.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons titled "Lisa's First Word" (9F08), Grandpa Simpson declares that as a child he was voted the most handsome boy in Albany, New York.

Albany and its environs ranked against other cities

  • According to a study conducted by the Axiom Corp., Albany and its environs are the top-ranked standard test market for new business and retail products, because its population mirrors the characteristics of the U.S. consumer population as a whole more than any other. (2004)
  • Forbes ranked Albany-Schenectady-Troy as the third best place in the country with the best education and named Albany a Top IQ Campus as part of its 150 Places to Live Rich. (2005)
  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy is one of the healthiest communities in the nation according to Self Magazine. (2006)
  • Small Times magazine ranked University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as the best in the country for micro and nanotechnology. The school was tops in education, facilities and industry outreach. (2006)
  • MSN Money named Albany-Schenectady-Troy as the seventh fastest-growing region that is still cheap. (2005)
  • Popular Science named Albany among its top cities for technology. (2005)
  • Crystal IS made Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 – a ranking of the fastest growing tech companies in the U.S. On2 Technologies, Albany Molecular Research and AngioDynamics are among the fastest growing New York companies. CORESense, Inc. was named New York’s Rising Star Award Winner. (2005)
  • Albany Molecular Research and Intermagnetics General both made Red Herring’s Small Cap 100 list for bioscience. (2005)
  • Forbes ranked Albany the 18th best place to live and do business. (2006)
  • Forbes ranked Albany the 30th best place for work. (2006)
  • Forbes ranked Albany the 6th best housing market in the US. (2007)
  • S&P puts Albany's credit rating at AA-, the highest of any city in the Capital Districtmarker according to the November 20 edition of the Times Union.
  • Albany ranked among the 25 strongest housing markets in the US during the toughest economic conditions of 2008.
  • Albany has been named an All-America City on multiple occasions, most recently in 1991 and 2009.


See also



  1. Retrieved on 2009-05-15.
  2. Sperling's Best Places: Albany NY real estate resources
  3. Sperling's Best Places: Albany, NY economic resources
  4. NYS OGS Plaza Special Events. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  5. New York State Department of Education Building. Emporis. Retrieved 2009-5-23.
  6. Washington Park Conservancy in the City of Albany NY
  7. WPNA - Washington Park Neighborhood Association
  8. Frederick Law Olmsted
  9. Sperling's Best Places: Albany NY schools
  10. Sperling's Best Places: Albany NY (overview)
  11. Sperlings Best Places: Albany NY Charter Schools
  12. Karaite Judaism in Albany
  13. O'Brien, Tim. Albany Convention Center Plan at $389M. [1] Times Union. January 30, 2008. (accessed November 23, 2008)
  14. Forbes: Best U.S> Housing Markets
  16. "'All America City' victory for Albany" Albany Times Union, June 20, 2009.


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