Albany, New York
Overview
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, the seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Albany County
Albany County, New York
Albany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England . As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204...

, and the central city of New York's Capital District
Capital District
New York's Capital District, also known as the Capital Region, is a region in upstate New York that generally refers to the four counties surrounding Albany, the capital of the state: Albany County, Schenectady County, Rensselaer County, and Saratoga County...

. Roughly 150 miles (241.4 km) north of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

, about 10 miles (16.1 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River
Mohawk River
The Mohawk River is a river in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest tributary of the Hudson River. The Mohawk flows into the Hudson in the Capital District, a few miles north of the city of Albany. The river is named for the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy...

. The population of the city was 97,856 at the time of the 2010 census, and the population of the greater metropolitan area was estimated at 857,592 in 2009.
Encyclopedia
Albany is the capital city of the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, the seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Albany County
Albany County, New York
Albany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England . As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204...

, and the central city of New York's Capital District
Capital District
New York's Capital District, also known as the Capital Region, is a region in upstate New York that generally refers to the four counties surrounding Albany, the capital of the state: Albany County, Schenectady County, Rensselaer County, and Saratoga County...

. Roughly 150 miles (241.4 km) north of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

, about 10 miles (16.1 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River
Mohawk River
The Mohawk River is a river in the U.S. state of New York. It is the largest tributary of the Hudson River. The Mohawk flows into the Hudson in the Capital District, a few miles north of the city of Albany. The river is named for the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy...

. The population of the city was 97,856 at the time of the 2010 census, and the population of the greater metropolitan area was estimated at 857,592 in 2009. Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy
Troy, New York
Troy is a city in the US State of New York and the seat of Rensselaer County. Troy is located on the western edge of Rensselaer County and on the eastern bank of the Hudson River. Troy has close ties to the nearby cities of Albany and Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital...

, Schenectady
Schenectady, New York
Schenectady is a city in Schenectady County, New York, United States, of which it is the county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 66,135...

, and Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs, New York
Saratoga Springs, also known as simply Saratoga, is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,586 at the 2010 census. The name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area. While the word "Saratoga" is known to be a corruption of a Native American name, ...

, forming a region called the Capital District. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

 (MSA); this MSA is the fourth-largest urban area in New York and the 56th-largest MSA in the country.
Albany saw its first European settlement in 1614 and was officially chartered as a city in 1686. It became the capital of New York in 1797. It is one of the oldest surviving settlements from the original thirteen colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Modern Albany was founded as the Dutch
United Netherlands
United Netherlands is an educational student-led organization that focuses on the theory and practice of international relations and diplomacy...

 trading posts of Fort Nassau in 1614 and Fort Orange in 1624; the fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 brought in a population that settled around Fort Orange and founded a village called Beverwijck. The English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 took over and renamed the city Albany in 1664, in honor of the then Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the younger sons in the Scottish, and later the British, royal family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover....

, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

. The city was officially chartered in 1686 with the issuance of the Dongan Charter
Dongan Charter
The Dongan Charter is the 1686 document incorporating Albany, New York as a city. Albany's charter was issued by Governor Thomas Dongan of the Province of New York, a few months after Governor Dongan issued a similarly worded, but less detailed charter for the city of New York. The city of Albany...

, the oldest effective city charter in the nation and possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

. Albany is one of the first cities in the world to install public water mains and sewer lines. It is also one of the first cities in the world to install natural gas lines and electricity. This technology in Albany brought substantial new industry into the city and surrounding areas during the 19th century.

During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th, Albany was a center of transportation. It is located on the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems
History of rail transport in the United States
Railroads have played a large role in the development of the United States of America, from the industrial revolution in the North-east to the colonization of the West. The American railway mania began with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad‎ in 1828 and flourished until the Panic of 1873 bankrupted...

 in the world. Albany's main exports at the time were beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, lumber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

, published works, and ironwork
Ironwork
Ironwork is any weapon, artwork, utensil or architectural feature made of iron especially used for decoration. There are two main types of ironwork wrought iron and cast iron. While the use of iron dates as far back as 4000BC, it was the Hittites who first knew how to extract it and develop weapons...

s. Beginning in 1810, Albany was one of the ten most populous cities in the nation, a distinction that it held until the 1860 census. In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today's Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport is a public use airport located six nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Albany, in Albany County, New York, United States. It is owned by the Albany County Airport Authority....

. The 1920s saw the rise of a powerful political machine
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

 controlled by the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. The city's skyline changed in the 1960s with the construction of the Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is a complex of several state government buildings in downtown Albany, New York....

 and the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

 Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

. While Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

, many of its historic neighborhoods were saved from destruction through the policies of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd
Erastus Corning 2nd
Erastus Corning 2nd was an American politician. He was Mayor of Albany, New York for more than 40 years, from 1942 to 1983, when Albany County was controlled by one of the last two classic urban political machines in the United States. Albany's longest serving mayor, the Democrat died in office in...

, the longest-serving mayor of any city in the United States. More recently, the city has experienced growth in the high-technology industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

 sector.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care
Health care in the United States
Health care in the United States is provided by many separate legal entities. Health care facilities are largely owned and operated by the private sector...

 services. The city has experienced a rebound from the urban decline
Urban decay
Urban decay is the process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude...

 of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development happening in the city's downtown
Downtown Albany Historic District
The Downtown Albany Historic District is a 19-block, area of Albany, New York, United States, centered around the junction of State and North and South Pearl streets . It is the oldest settled area of the city, originally planned and settled in the 17th century, and the nucleus of its later...

 and midtown neighborhoods. Albany is known for its extensive history, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. The city is home to the mother church
Mother Church
In Christianity, the term mother church or Mother Church may have one of the following meanings:# The first mission church in an area, or a pioneer cathedral# A basilica or cathedral# The main chapel of a province of a religious order...

es of two Christian diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

s as well as the oldest Christian congregation in Upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

. Albany has won the All-America City Award
All-America City Award
The All-America City Award is given by the National Civic League annually to ten cities in the United States.The oldest community recognition program in the nation, the award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon...

 in both 1991 and 2009.

Colonial times to 1800

Albany is one of the oldest surviving European settlements from the original thirteen colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

 and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. The area was originally inhabited by Algonquian
Algonquian peoples
The Algonquian are one of the most populous and widespread North American native language groups, with tribes originally numbering in the hundreds. Today hundreds of thousands of individuals identify with various Algonquian peoples...

 Indian tribes
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and was given different names by the various peoples. The Mohican
Mohican
-Native Americans:* Mahican , a Native American tribe who lived in and around the Hudson Valley* Mohegan, a functional confederation of several branches of Native Americans during the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century...

 called it Pempotowwuthut-Muhhcanneuw, meaning "the fireplace of the Mohican nation", while the Iroquois
Iroquois
The Iroquois , also known as the Haudenosaunee or the "People of the Longhouse", are an association of several tribes of indigenous people of North America...

 called it Sche-negh-ta-da, or "through the pine woods". Albany's first European structure was a primitive fort on Castle Island
Castle Island (New York)
Castle Island is in the city of Albany, Albany County, New York and has over the past 400 years been referred to as Martin Gerritse's Island, Patroon's Island, Van Rensselaer Island, and since the late 19th century has been referred to as Westerlo Island...

 built by French traders
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 in 1540. It was destroyed by flooding soon after construction.

Permanent European claims began when Englishman Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson
Henry Hudson was an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay via a route above the Arctic Circle...

, exploring for the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 on the Half Moon , reached the area in 1609, claiming it for the United Netherlands
United Netherlands
United Netherlands is an educational student-led organization that focuses on the theory and practice of international relations and diplomacy...

. In 1614, Hendrick Christiaensen
Hendrick Christiaensen
Hendrick Christiaensen was a Dutch explorer who was involved in the earlier exploration of what became present day New York City.In 1611, Christiaensen paid two visits to Manhattan, including one with fellow explorer Adriaen Block...

 rebuilt the French fort as Fort Nassau, the first Dutch fur-trading
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

 post in present-day Albany. Commencement of the fur trade provoked hostility from the French colony in Canada
Canada, New France
Canada was the name of the French colony that once stretched along the St. Lawrence River; the other colonies of New France were Acadia, Louisiana and Newfoundland. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Quebec,...

 and amongst the natives, all of whom vied to control the trade. In 1618, a flood ruined the fort on Castle Island, but it was rebuilt in 1624 as Fort Orange. Both forts were named in honor of the Dutch royal House of Orange-Nassau
House of Orange-Nassau
The House of Orange-Nassau , a branch of the European House of Nassau, has played a central role in the political life of the Netherlands — and at times in Europe — since William I of Orange organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule, which after the Eighty Years' War...

. Fort Orange and the surrounding area were incorporated as the village of Beverwijck in 1652.

When New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

 was captured by the English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 in 1664, the name Beverwijck was changed to Albany, in honor of the Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany
Duke of Albany is a peerage title that has occasionally been bestowed on the younger sons in the Scottish, and later the British, royal family, particularly in the Houses of Stuart and Hanover....

 (later James II of England and James VII of Scotland
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

). Duke of Albany was a Scottish title
Peerage of Scotland
The Peerage of Scotland is the division of the British Peerage for those peers created in the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707. With that year's Act of Union, the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were combined into the Kingdom of Great Britain, and a new Peerage of Great Britain was...

 given since 1398, generally to a younger son of the King of Scots. The name is ultimately derived from Alba
Alba
Alba is the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. It is cognate to Alba in Irish and Nalbin in Manx, the two other Goidelic Insular Celtic languages, as well as similar words in the Brythonic Insular Celtic languages of Cornish and Welsh also meaning Scotland.- Etymology :The term first appears in...

, the Gaelic name for Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

. The Dutch briefly regained Albany in August 1673 and renamed the city Willemstadt; the English took permanent possession with the Treaty of Westminster (1674)
Treaty of Westminster (1674)
The Treaty of Westminster of 1674 was the peace treaty that ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Signed by the Netherlands and England, it provided for the return of the colony of New Netherland to England and renewed the Treaty of Breda of 1667...

. On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 was split into counties, with Albany County
Albany County, New York
Albany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England . As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204...

 being the largest. At that time the county included all of present New York State north of Dutchess
Dutchess County, New York
Dutchess County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. The 2010 census lists the population as 297,488...

 and Ulster
Ulster County, New York
Ulster County is a county located in the state of New York, USA. It sits in the state's Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 182,493. Recent population estimates completed by the United States Census Bureau for the 12-month period ending July 1 are at...

 Counties in addition to present-day Bennington County, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, theoretically stretching west to the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

; the city of Albany became the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

. Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by provincial Governor
Province of New York
The Province of New York was an English and later British crown territory that originally included all of the present U.S. states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Vermont, along with inland portions of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine, as well as eastern Pennsylvania...

 Thomas Dongan
Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick
Thomas Donegan, 2nd Earl of Limerick was a member of Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, and governor of the Province of New York...

 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. Dongan created Albany as a strip of land 1 miles (1.6 km) wide and 16 miles (25.7 km) long. Over the years Albany would lose much of the land to the west and annex land to the north and south. At this point, Albany had a population of about 500 people.

In 1754, representatives of seven British North America
British North America
British North America is a historical term. It consisted of the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America after the end of the American Revolutionary War and the recognition of American independence in 1783.At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775 the British...

n colonies met in the Stadt Huys, Albany's city hall, for the Albany Congress
Albany Congress
The Albany Congress, also known as the Albany Conference and "The Conference of Albany" or "The Conference in Albany", was a meeting of representatives from seven of the thirteen British North American colonies in 1754...

; Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 of Pennsylvania
Province of Pennsylvania
The Province of Pennsylvania, also known as Pennsylvania Colony, was founded in British America by William Penn on March 4, 1681 as dictated in a royal charter granted by King Charles II...

 presented the Albany Plan of Union there, which was the first formal proposal to unite the colonies. Although it was never adopted by Parliament
Parliament of Great Britain
The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and Parliament of Scotland...

, it was an important precursor to the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. The same year, the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

, the fourth in a series of wars
French and Indian Wars
The French and Indian Wars is a name used in the United States for a series of conflicts lasting 74 years in North America that represented colonial events related to the European dynastic wars...

 dating back to 1689, began; it ended in 1763 with French defeat
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

, resolving a situation that had been a constant threat to Albany and held back its growth. In 1775, with the colonies in the midst of the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, the Stadt Huys became home to the Albany Committee of Correspondence
Committee of correspondence
The Committees of Correspondence were shadow governments organized by the Patriot leaders of the Thirteen Colonies on the eve of American Revolution. They coordinated responses to Britain and shared their plans; by 1773 they had emerged as shadow governments, superseding the colonial legislature...

 (the political arm of the local revolutionary movement), which took over operation of Albany's government and eventually expanded its power to control all of Albany County
Albany County, New York
Albany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England . As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204...

. Tories
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

 and prisoners of war were often jailed in the Stadt Huys alongside common criminals. In 1776, Albany native Philip Livingston
Philip Livingston
Philip Livingston was an American merchant and statesman from New York City. He was a delegate for New York to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778, and signed the Declaration of Independence.-Family history:...

 signed the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

 at Independence Hall
Independence Hall
Independence Hall is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets...

 in Philadelphia.

During and after the Revolutionary War, Albany County saw a great increase in real estate transactions. After Horatio Gates
Horatio Gates
Horatio Lloyd Gates was a retired British soldier who served as an American general during the Revolutionary War. He took credit for the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga – Benedict Arnold, who led the attack, was finally forced from the field when he was shot in the leg – and...

' win over John Burgoyne
John Burgoyne
General John Burgoyne was a British army officer, politician and dramatist. He first saw action during the Seven Years' War when he participated in several battles, mostly notably during the Portugal Campaign of 1762....

 at Saratoga
Battle of Saratoga
The Battles of Saratoga conclusively decided the fate of British General John Burgoyne's army in the American War of Independence and are generally regarded as a turning point in the war. The battles were fought eighteen days apart on the same ground, south of Saratoga, New York...

 in 1777, the upper Hudson Valley
Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley comprises the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in New York State, United States, from northern Westchester County northward to the cities of Albany and Troy.-History:...

 was generally at peace as the war raged on elsewhere. Prosperity was soon seen all over Upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

. Migrants from Vermont and Connecticut began flowing in, noting the advantages of living on the Hudson and trading at Albany, while being only a few days' sail from New York City. Albany reported a population of 3,498 in the first national census in 1790, an increase of almost 700% since its chartering. In 1797, the state capital of New York was moved permanently to Albany. From statehood to this date, the Legislature had frequently moved the state capital between Albany, Kingston
Kingston, New York
Kingston is a city in and the county seat of Ulster County, New York, USA. It is north of New York City and south of Albany. It became New York's first capital in 1777, and was burned by the British Oct. 16, 1777, after the Battles of Saratoga...

, Hurley
Hurley, New York
Hurley, New York may refer to:In Ulster County, New York, United States of America:* Hurley , New York, a hamlet and census designated place* Hurley , New York, a town....

, Poughkeepsie, and the city of New York. Albany is the second-oldest state capital in the United States, after Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is the capital of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the fourth-largest city in the state and is the seat of . Santa Fe had a population of 67,947 in the 2010 census...

.

1800 to 1942

Albany has been a center of transportation for much of its history. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Albany saw development of the turnpike
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 and by 1815, Albany was the turnpike center of the state. The development of Simeon De Witt
Simeon De Witt
Simeon De Witt was Geographer and Surveyor General of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and Surveyor General of the State of New York for the fifty years from 1784 until his death.-Life:He was one of fourteen children of physician Dr...

's gridded block system in 1794, which gave Albany its original bird and mammal street names
Streets of Albany, New York
The streets of Albany, New York have had a long history going back almost 400 years. Many of the streets have changed names over the course of time, some have changed names many times. Some streets no longer exist, others have changed course. Some roads existed only on paper. The oldest streets...

, was intersected by these important arterials coming out of Albany, cutting through the city at unexpected angles. The advent of the turnpike, in conjunction with canal and railroad systems, made Albany the hub of transportation for pioneers going to Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 and the Michigan Territory
Michigan Territory
The Territory of Michigan was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 30, 1805, until January 26, 1837, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Michigan...

 in the early- and mid-19th century.
In 1807, Robert Fulton
Robert Fulton
Robert Fulton was an American engineer and inventor who is widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat...

 initiated a steamboat
Steamboat
A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels...

 line from New York to Albany, the first successful enterprise of its kind. By 1810, with 10,763 people, Albany was the 10th-largest urban place in the nation. The town and village known as "the Colonie" to the north of Albany was annexed in 1815. In 1825 the Erie Canal
Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

 was completed, forming a continuous water route from the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 to New York City. Unlike the current Barge Canal
New York State Canal System
The New York State Canal System is a successor to the Erie Canal and other canals within New York...

, which ends at nearby Waterford, the original Erie Canal ended at Albany; Lock 1 was located north of Colonie Street. The Canal emptied into a 32 acres (12.9 ha) man-made lagoon called the Albany Basin, which was Albany's main port from 1825 until the Port of Albany-Rensselaer
Port of Albany-Rensselaer
The Port of Albany–Rensselaer, widely known as the Port of Albany, is a port of entry in the United States with facilities on both sides of the Hudson River in Albany and Rensselaer, New York. Private and public port facilities have existed in both cities since the 17th century, with an increas in...

 opened in 1932. In 1829, while working as a professor at the Albany Academy, Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry
Joseph Henry was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, as well as a founding member of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, a precursor of the Smithsonian Institution. During his lifetime, he was highly regarded...

, widely regarded as "the foremost American scientist of the 19th century", built the first electric motor
Electric motor
An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

. Three years later, he discovered electromagnetic self-induction
Inductance
In electromagnetism and electronics, inductance is the ability of an inductor to store energy in a magnetic field. Inductors generate an opposing voltage proportional to the rate of change in current in a circuit...

 (the SI unit
International System of Units
The International System of Units is the modern form of the metric system and is generally a system of units of measurement devised around seven base units and the convenience of the number ten. The older metric system included several groups of units...

 for which is now the henry). He went on to be the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. In the 1830 and 1840 censuses, Albany moved up to 9th-largest urban place in the nation, then back to 10th in 1850. This was the last time the city was one of the top ten largest urban places in the nation.

Albany also has significant history with rail transport
History of rail transport in the United States
Railroads have played a large role in the development of the United States of America, from the industrial revolution in the North-east to the colonization of the West. The American railway mania began with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad‎ in 1828 and flourished until the Panic of 1873 bankrupted...

, as the location of two major regional railroad headquarters. The Delaware and Hudson Railway
Delaware and Hudson Railway
The Delaware and Hudson Railway is a railroad that operates in the northeastern United States. Since 1991 it has been a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway, although CPR has assumed all operations and the D&H does not maintain any locomotives or rolling stock.It was formerly an important...

 was headquartered in Albany at what is now the SUNY System Administration Building
SUNY System Administration Building
The SUNY System Administration Building, formerly the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building, is a public office building located at the intersection of Broadway and State Street in downtown Albany, New York. Locally the building and land it sits on is referred to as State University Plaza, or the D&H...

. In 1853, Erastus Corning
Erastus Corning
Erastus Corning I , American businessman and politician, was born in Norwich, Connecticut. Corning moved to Troy, New York at the age of 13 to clerk in the hardware store of an uncle; six years later he moved to Albany, New York, where he joined the mercantile business under James Spencer...

, a noted industrialist and Albany's mayor from 1834 to 1837, consolidated ten railroads stretching from Albany to Buffalo into the New York Central Railroad
New York Central Railroad
The New York Central Railroad , known simply as the New York Central in its publicity, was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States...

 (NYCRR), headquartered in Albany until Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt , also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American entrepreneur who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history...

 moved it to New York City in 1867. One of the ten companies that formed the NYCRR was the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, which was the first railroad in the state and the first successful steam railroad running regularly scheduled service in the country.
While the key to Albany's economic prosperity in the 19th century was transportation, industry and business also played a role. Largely thanks to the city's Dutch and German roots, beer was one of its biggest commodities. Beverwyck Brewery
Beverwyck Brewery
Beverwyck Brewing Company was formed in 1878 and was located at 30/52 North Ferry Street, in Albany, New York. The brewery produced beer from 1878 until prohibition in 1920. During prohibition Beverwyck had a license to produce non-alcoholic beverages...

, originally known as Quinn and Nolan (Nolan
Michael N. Nolan
Michael Allen Nicholas was a U.S. Representative from New York State as well as mayor of Albany, New York's capital...

 being mayor of Albany 1878–1883), was the last remaining brewer from that time when it closed in 1972. The city's location at the east end of the Erie Canal gave it unparalleled access to both raw products and a captive customer base in the west. Albany was known for its publishing houses, and to some extent, still is. Albany was second only to Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 in the number of books produced for most of the 19th century. Iron foundries in both the north and south ends of the city brought thousands of immigrants to the city. To this day, one can see many intricate wrought-iron details on older buildings. The iron industry waned by the 1890s, falling victim to the costs associated with a newly unionized
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 workforce and the opening of mines in the Mesabi Range
Mesabi Range
The Mesabi Iron Range is a vast deposit of iron ore and the largest of four major iron ranges in the region collectively known as the Iron Range of Minnesota. Discovered in 1866, it is the chief deposit of iron ore in the United States. The deposit is located in northeast Minnesota, largely in...

 in Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

.

Albany's other major exports during the 18th and 19th centuries were furs, wheat, meat, and lumber; by 1865, there were almost 4,000 saw mills in the Albany area and the Albany Lumber District
Albany Lumber District
The lumber district of Albany, New York was relatively small in the 1830s with around six wholesale lumber merchants, but by the 1870s Albany was the largest lumber district in the United States by value, though by that time it had recently been outstripped in feet sold by Chicago...

 was the largest lumber market in the nation. The city was also home to a number of banks. The Bank of Albany (1792–1861) was the second chartered bank in New York. The city was the original home of the Albank (founded in 1820 as the Albany Savings Bank), KeyBank (founded in 1825 as the Commercial Bank of Albany), and Norstar Bank (founded as the State Bank of Albany in 1803). American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

 was originally founded in Albany in 1850 as an express mail
Express mail
In most postal systems express mail refers to an accelerated delivery service for which the customer pays a surcharge and receives faster delivery. Express mail is a service for domestic mail and is governed by a country's own postal administration...

 business. In 1871, the northwestern portion of Albany—west from Magazine Street—was annexed to the neighboring town of Guilderland after the town of Watervliet
Watervliet (town), New York
For the Shaker village, see Watervliet Shaker Historic District.The town of Watervliet was a town that at its height encompassed most of present-day Albany County and the majority of the current town of Niskayuna in neighboring Schenectady County, in the state of New York, United States...

 refused annexation of said territory. In return for this loss, portions of Bethlehem and Watervliet were added to Albany. Part of the land annexed to Guilderland was ceded back to Albany in 1910, setting up the current western border.

Albany opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, and the first municipal airport in the United States, in 1908. Originally located on a polo field on Loudon Road, it moved to Westerlo Island in 1909 and remained there until 1928. The Albany Municipal Airport—jointly owned by the city and county—was moved to its current location in Colonie in 1928. In 1960, the mayor sold the city's stake in the airport to the county, citing budget issues. It was known from then on as Albany County Airport until a massive upgrade and modernization project between 1996 and 1998, when it was rechristened Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport is a public use airport located six nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Albany, in Albany County, New York, United States. It is owned by the Albany County Airport Authority....

. By 1916 Albany's northern and southern borders reached their modern courses; Westerlo Island, to the south, became the second-to-last annexation, which occurred in 1926.

Corning administration (1942) to present day

Erastus Corning 2nd
Erastus Corning 2nd
Erastus Corning 2nd was an American politician. He was Mayor of Albany, New York for more than 40 years, from 1942 to 1983, when Albany County was controlled by one of the last two classic urban political machines in the United States. Albany's longest serving mayor, the Democrat died in office in...

, arguably Albany's most notable mayor (and great-grandson of the former mayor of the same name), was elected in 1941. Although he was the longest serving mayor of any city in United States history (1942 until his death in 1983), one historian describes Corning's tenure as "long on years, short on accomplishments," citing Corning's preference for maintaining the status quo as a factor that held back potential progress during his tenure. While Corning brought stability to the office of mayor, it is said that even those that idolize him cannot come up with a sizable list of "major concrete Corning achievements." Corning is given credit for saving, albeit somewhat unintentionally, much of Albany's historic architecture.

During the 1950s and 1960s, a time when federal aid for urban renewal was plentiful, Albany did not see much progress in either commerce or infrastructure. It lost more than 20 percent of its population during the Corning years, and most of the downtown businesses moved to the suburbs
Urban sprawl
Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a multifaceted concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to low-density and auto-dependent development on rural land, high segregation of uses Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is a...

. While cities across the country experienced similar issues, the problems were magnified in Albany: interference from the Democratic political machine hindered progress considerably. Governor Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 (1959–1973) (R), who had a preference for grandiose, monumental architecture and large, government-sponsored building projects, was the driving force behind the construction of the Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is a complex of several state government buildings in downtown Albany, New York....

, SUNY Albany's uptown campus, and much of the W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
The W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus is an office park in western Albany, New York, United States that houses sixteen New York State Government office buildings. The land totals roughly and over 3 million square feet of office space, and about 7,000 state employees work there...

. Albany County Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Chairman Joseph C. Frangella once quipped, "Governor Rockefeller was the best mayor Albany ever had." Corning, though opposed to the project, was responsible for negotiating the payment plan for the Empire State Plaza. Rockefeller did not want to be limited by the Legislature's power of the purse
Power of the purse
The power of the purse is the ability of one group to manipulate and control the actions of another group by withholding funding, or putting stipulations on the use of funds. The power of the purse can be used to save their money and positively or negatively The power of the purse is the ability...

, so Corning devised a plan to have the county pay for the construction and have the state sign a lease-ownership agreement. The state would pay off the bonds until 2004. It was Rockefeller's only viable option, and he agreed. Due to the clout Corning gained from the situation, he was able to get the State Museum, a convention center, and a restaurant, back in the plans—ideas that Rockefeller had originally vetoed. The county gained $35 million in fees and the city received $13 million for lost tax revenue.
Another major project of the 1960s and 1970s was Interstate 787
Interstate 787
Interstate 787 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New York. I-787 is the main highway for those traveling into and out of downtown Albany. The southern terminus is at the Interstate 87/New York State Thruway exit 23 toll plaza southwest of downtown Albany...

 and the South Mall Arterial
South Mall Arterial
The South Mall Arterial is a short expressway built in the early 1960's in Albany, New York, United States. It runs west from the interchange between Interstate 787, U.S. Route 9, and U.S. Route 20, at the west end of the Dunn Memorial Bridge, and runs under the Empire State Plaza...

. Construction began in the early 1960s. One of the project's main consequences was separating the city from the Hudson River. Corning is sometimes called shortsighted with respect to use of the waterfront, as he could have used his influence to change the location of I-787, which now cuts the city off from "its whole raison d'être". Much of the original plan never came to fruition, however: Rockefeller had wanted the South Mall Arterial to pass through the Empire State Plaza. The project would have required an underground trumpet interchange below Washington Park, connecting to the (eventually cancelled) Mid-Crosstown Arterial. To this day, evidence of the original plan is still visible. In 1967 the hamlet of Karlsfeld became the last annexation to be added to the city limits, having come from Bethlehem.

When Corning died in 1983, Thomas Whalen
Thomas Michael Whalen III
Thomas Michael Whalen III, also known as Thomas M. Whalen III, and more simply, Tom Whalen, was a three-term mayor of Albany, New York. A native of Albany, he was an attorney. He graduated from Manhattan College and Albany Law School....

 assumed the mayorship and was reelected twice. Albany saw a significant influx of federal dollars earmarked for restoring historic structures. What Corning had saved from destruction, Whalen refurbished. The Mayor's Office of Special Events was created in an effort to increase the number of festivals and artistic events in the city, including a year-long Dongan Charter tricentennial celebration in 1986. Whalen is credited for an "unparalleled cycle of commercial investment and development" in Albany due to his "aggressive business development programs".

Prior to the recession of the 1990s, Albany was home to two Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 companies: KeyBank and Fleet Bank; both have since moved or merged with other banks. Albany saw its political climate change after the death of Corning and the retirement of Congressman Sam Stratton. Long-term office holders became a thing of the past in the 1980s. Local media began following the drama surrounding county politics (specifically that of the newly created county executive position); the loss of Corning (and eventually the machine) led to a lack of interest in city politics. The 1990s brought about the surprise election of Gerald Jennings
Gerald Jennings
Gerald David "Jerry" Jennings is the mayor of Albany, New York, United States. A Democrat, Jennings won a shocking upset in the 1993 mayoral primary over Harold Joyce, who had the Democratic Party’s formal endorsement and had only recently been its chairman. In 1993, he won the general election,...

, who has been mayor since 1994. His tenure has essentially ended the political machine that had been in place since the 1920s. During the 1990s, the State Legislature approved the $234 million "Albany Plan", "a building and renovation project [that] was the most ambitious building project to effect the area since the Rockefeller era." The Albany Plan saw the initiation of renovation and new building projects around the downtown area, and the move of many state workers from the Harriman State Office Campus to downtown. The first decade of the 21st century saw a real possibility for a long-discussed and controversial Albany Convention Center
Albany Convention Center
The Albany Convention Center is a proposed convention center to be located in downtown Albany, New York. The complex was initially proposed by Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings in 1994, though no real action was taken until 2002; the project has been controversial from the beginning...

; as of August 2010, the Albany Convention Center Authority had already purchased 75% of the land needed to build the downtown project.

Geography

Albany is located about 150 miles (241.4 km) north of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 on the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

. It has a total area of 21.8 square miles (56.5 km²), of which 21.4 square miles (55.4 km²) is land and 0.4 square miles (1 km²) (1.8%) is water. The city is bordered on the north by the town of Colonie (along with the village of Menands
Menands, New York
Menands is a village in Albany County, New York, United States. The population was 3,990 at the 2010 census. The village is named after Louis Menand...

), on the west by the town of Guilderland
Guilderland, New York
Guilderland is a town in Albany County, New York, United States. In the 2010 census, the town had a population of 35,303. The town is named for the Gelderland province in the Netherlands....

, and on the south by the town of Bethlehem
Bethlehem, New York
Bethlehem is a town in Albany County, New York, USA. The population was 33,656 at the 2010 census. The town is south of Albany. Bethlehem includes the following hamlets: Delmar, Elsmere, Slingerlands, Glenmont, Selkirk, South and North Bethlehem. U.S. Route 9W passes through the town...

. The Hudson River represents the city's eastern border. Patroon Creek
Patroon Creek
Patroon Creek is a stream in Albany County, New York, United States and is a tributary of the Hudson River which flows south to New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. The creek's source is Rensselaer Lake in the western section of the city of Albany and flows along the northern border of said city...

, along the northern border, and the Normans Kill, along the southern border, are the two major streams in the city. The former Foxes Creek, Beaver Kill, and Rutten Kill still exist, but were diverted underground in the 19th century. There are four lakes within city limits: Buckingham Lake
Buckingham Lake
Buckingham Lake, commonly referred to as Buckingham Pond or Rafts Pond, is a body of water located in a residential area of Albany, New York. It has a surface area of and a mean depth of three feet. The lake is adjacent to Buckingham Lake Park, a small recreation area with picnic tables and...

; Rensselaer Lake
Rensselaer Lake
Rensselaer Lake is an artificial lake in Albany, New York, United States named for Major-General Stephen Van Rensselaer, last patroon of Rensselaerswyck. The lake was Albany's first municipally-owned source of water. It is part of a park and the state's Albany Pine Bush Preserve...

 and Tivoli Lake
Tivoli Lake
Tivoli Lake is a body of water in Albany, New York. It has a surface area of and a mean depth of ....

 along Patroon Creek; and Washington Park Lake
Washington Park Lake
Washington Park Lake is a body of water in Albany, New York located in the southwestern corner of Washington Park. It has a surface area of and a mean depth of . The deepest sections of the lake are just over deep. The lake is roughly long and wide.  Next to the lake is the Washington Park...

, which was formed by damming the Beaver Kill.

The highest natural point in Albany is an unnamed hill in the northwest corner of the city (near the intersection of Old State Road and New Karner Road
New York State Route 155
New York State Route 155 is a 17-mile long state highway located entirely within Albany County in the Capital District of New York. The western terminus of the route is at NY 85A in Voorheesville...

), at 324 feet (98.8 m) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

. The lowest point is sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

 at the Hudson River (the average water elevation is 2 foot (0.6096 m)), which is still technically an estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 at Albany and is affected by the Atlantic tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

. The interior of Albany consists of rolling hills which were once part of the Albany Pine Bush, an area of pitch pine
Pitch Pine
The Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida, is a small-to-medium sized pine, native to eastern North America. This species occasionally hybridizes with other pine species such as Loblolly Pine , Shortleaf Pine , and Pond Pine The Pitch Pine, Pinus rigida, is a small-to-medium sized (6-30 meters or 20-100 feet)...

 and scrub oak, and has arid, sandy soil that is a remnant of the ancient Lake Albany
Lake Albany
Glacial Lake Albany was a prehistoric North American proglacial lake that formed during the end of the Wisconsinan glaciation. It existed between 15,000 and 12,600 years ago and was created when meltwater from a retreating glacier, along with water from rivers such as the IroMohawk, became ice...

. Due to development, the Pine Bush has shrunk from an original 25000 acres (10,117.2 ha) to 6000 acres (2,428.1 ha) today. A preserve was set up by the State Legislature in 1988 and is located on the western edge of the city, spilling into Guilderland and Colonie; it is the only sizable inland pine barrens
Pine barrens
Pine barrens, pine plains, sand plains, or pinelands occur throughout the northeastern U.S. from New Jersey to Maine as well as the Midwest and Canada....

 sand dunes
Dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

 in the United States, and is home to many endangered species, including the Karner Blue butterfly
Karner Blue
The Karner Blue, Lycaeides melissa samuelis, is a small, blue butterfly found in small areas of New Jersey, the Great Lakes region, southern New Hampshire, and the Capital District region of New York. The butterfly, whose lifecycle depends on the wild blue lupine flower , is classified as an...

.

Climate

Albany is located in the humid continental
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 climate zone (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

: Dfb), and has cold, snowy winters, and hot, wet summers; the city experiences four distinct seasons. Albany is located in plant hardiness zone
Hardiness zone
A hardiness zone is a geographically defined area in which a specific category of plant life is capable of growing, as defined by climatic conditions, including its ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone...

 5a near downtown and 5b at its western end. Albany receives 38.6 inches (98 cm) of rain per year, with 137 days of at least 0.01 inch (0.0254 cm) of precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 each year. Snowfall is significant, totaling 62.7 inches (159.3 cm) annually, but with less accumulation than the lake-effect areas to the north and west, as it is further from Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario
Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded on the north and southwest by the Canadian province of Ontario, and on the south by the American state of New York. Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was named for the lake. In the Wyandot language, ontarío means...

. Albany is close enough to the Atlantic coast
Atlantic Coast
The Atlantic Coast is any coast fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The term differentiates the coasts of countries or continents with coastlines on more than one body of water, such as North America, South America, Africa and Europe.-See also:*Indian Ocean...

 to receive heavy snow from Nor'easter
Nor'easter
A nor'easter is a type of macro-scale storm along the East Coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada, so named because the storm travels to the northeast from the south and the winds come from the northeast, especially in the coastal areas of the Northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada...

s and the city occasionally receives Alberta clipper
Alberta clipper
An Alberta clipper is a fast moving low pressure area which generally affects the central provinces of Canada and parts of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Most clippers occur between December and February, but can also occur occasionally in the month of November...

s. Winters can be very cold with fluctuating conditions; temperatures often drop below 0 °F (-17.8 °C) at night. Summers in Albany can contain stretches of excessive heat and humidity, with temperatures above 90 °F (32.2 °C). Record temperature extremes range from -28 F on January 19, 1971, to greater than 100 °F (37.8 °C) on September 3, 1953.

Cityscape

Neighborhoods

Albany's neighborhoods are varied demographically, geographically, architecturally, and historically. Downtown Albany
Downtown Albany Historic District
The Downtown Albany Historic District is a 19-block, area of Albany, New York, United States, centered around the junction of State and North and South Pearl streets . It is the oldest settled area of the city, originally planned and settled in the 17th century, and the nucleus of its later...

 is the city's oldest neighborhood, centered on State Street, one of Albany's oldest streets and its original main street
Main Street
Main Street is the metonym for a generic street name of the primary retail street of a village, town, or small city in many parts of the world...

. Today downtown consists mostly of office buildings inhabited by state agencies, though a recent push to bring in permanent residents has led to proposed apartments and condominiums, many of which have failed to get past the proposal phase. North and south of Downtown are old residential communities often consisting of row houses. North is Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill, and North Albany; to the south is the super-neighborhood of the South End, which consists of a multitude of smaller neighborhoods including the Mansion District
Mansion Historic District
The Mansion Historic District, sometimes referred to as Mansion Hill, is located south of Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York, United States. It takes its name from the nearby New York State Executive Mansion, which overlooks it. It is a , 16-block area with almost 500 buildings...

, the Pastures
Pastures Historic District
The Pastures Historic District is a residential neighborhood located south of downtown Albany, New York, United States. Its include all or part of a 13-block area....

, Kenwood
Kenwood, Albany, New York
Kenwood is a neighborhood in the city of Albany, New York. Prior to annexation by the city in 1916 a hamlet in the neighboring town of Bethlehem, also in Albany County. The hamlet once spanned both sides of the Normans Kill along the Albany and Bethlehem Turnpike...

, Groesbeckville
Groesbeckville, Albany, New York
Groesbeckville is a former a hamlet in the town of Bethlehem outside the city limits of Albany, New York. The hamlet was named for a prominent Albany family, the Groesbecks. It has been a part of Albany's South End neighborhood since being annexed in 1870...

, Delaware Avenue, and Krank Park. These neighborhoods tend to have more minorities and lower-income residents than the western, more suburbanized sections of the city.

West of Downtown is the Empire State Plaza, which effectively cuts Downtown off from the gentrified
Gentrification
Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated with movement. Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size...

 neighborhoods of Center Square, Hudson/Park, Lark Street, and Washington Park. Collectively referred to as mid-town, these neighborhoods are often compared to New York City's Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village
Greenwich Village, , , , .in New York often simply called "the Village", is a largely residential neighborhood on the west side of Lower Manhattan in New York City. A large majority of the district is home to upper middle class families...

 for their eclectic mix of residential and commercial uses, including bars, night clubs, restaurants, and unique stores. Albany's gay culture is vibrant in this area. Nearby Park South, a nine-block area surrounding New Scotland Avenue is undergoing an urban renewal as existing housing units are removed or renovated and new office, commercial, and apartment buildings are added. New construction includes expansion of Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center is the name of the umbrella organization over the Albany Medical Center Hospital and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York...

, one of the largest employers in Albany. Nearby is University Heights, a united campus consisting of Albany Medical Center Hospital
Albany Medical Center Hospital
300px|thumb|Albany Medical CenterAlbany Medical Center Hospital is a hospital located in Albany, New York. The 650-Bed, Level-I Trauma Center was founded in 1849, ten years after the College. It serves over 2 million residents.-External links:...

, Albany Medical College
Albany Medical College
Albany Medical College is a medical school located in Albany, New York, United States. It was founded in 1839 by Amos Dean, Dr. Thomas Hun and others, and is one of the oldest medical schools in the nation...

, Albany Law School
Albany Law School
Albany Law School is an ABA accredited law school based in Albany, New York. It was founded in 1851 by Amos Dean , Amasa Parker, Ira Harris and others....

, Albany College of Pharmacy, and the Sage College of Albany
Sage College of Albany
Sage College of Albany, SCA for short, is located at 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York, 12208. Along with Russell Sage College and the Sage Graduate School, it is one of the three colleges that make up The Sage Colleges. It is also home to Sage After Work, which offers a variety of...

.

Western neighborhoods, such as Pine Hills
Pine Hills, Albany, New York
Pine Hills is a neighborhood in Albany, New York, generally defined as the area from Manning Boulevard to the west, Woodlawn Avenue to the south, Lake Avenue to the east, and Washington Avenue to the north. The neighborhood consists mainly of freestanding multi-unit, duplex, and semi-detached...

, Delaware Avenue, Whitehall, Helderberg, New Scotland, and Beverwyck, tend to have larger lots and more suburban surroundings. The eastern section of Pine Hills is a popular living choice for college students due to its proximity to the campuses of the College of Saint Rose and University at Albany. Further west, the neighborhoods become more affluent and are dominated almost exclusively by single-family dwellings. These neighborhoods, such as Melrose, Western Pine Hills, New Albany, Eagle Hill, Westland Park, Campus, and Buckingham Pond more closely resemble neighboring areas of the suburban towns than they do the downtown parts of the city. Further west is the W. Averell Harriman State Office Campus and the University at Albany's main campus.

Parks and recreation

Albany has more than 60 public parks and recreation areas. Washington Park
Washington Park Historic District (Albany, New York)
Washington Park in Albany, New York is the city's premier park and the site of many festivals and gatherings. As public property it dates back to the city charter in 1686, and has seen many uses including that of gunpowder storage, square/parade grounds, and cemetery...

 was organized as the Middle Public Square in 1806. Its current location has been public property since the Dongan Charter of 1686 gave the city title to all property not privately owned. Washington Park was designed by John Bogart
John Bogart
John Bogart was an American civil engineer and politician from New York. He was New York State Engineer and Surveyor from 1888 to 1891.-Life:...

 and John Cuyler in 1870, and opened for public use the following year. The original lake house, designed by Frederick W. Brown, was added in 1876. The park had previously been used as a cemetery; its graves were moved to Albany Rural Cemetery
Albany Rural Cemetery
The Albany Rural Cemetery was established October 7, 1844, in Menands, New York, just outside of the city of Albany, New York. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful, pastoral cemeteries in the United States, at over . Many historical American figures are buried there.-History:On April 2,...

. Washington Park is a popular place to exercise and play sports; skate during the winter; people-watch during Tulip Fest
Tulip Festival (Albany, New York)
The Tulip Festival, also known as TulipFest, is held in Albany, New York every spring at Washington Park. The tradition stems from when Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd got a city ordinance passed declaring the tulip as Albany's official flower on July 1, 1948. In addition, he sent a request to Queen...

; and attend plays at the amphitheater during the summer.

Other parks in Albany include Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park (Albany)
Lincoln Park is an urban park in Albany, New York, with a unique history, from being the site of a skirmish in 1626 between the Dutch and Mohawks to brickyards and breweries to being Albany's first public playground. The park features Albany's only outdoor non-wading swimming pool, along with...

, Buckingham Park, the Corning Preserve, and the Pine Bush. Lincoln Park, southwest of the Empire State Plaza, was organized in 1886 and was originally known as Beaver Park. Today, the park has a pool that is open during the summer months. Buckingham Lake Park
Buckingham Lake
Buckingham Lake, commonly referred to as Buckingham Pond or Rafts Pond, is a body of water located in a residential area of Albany, New York. It has a surface area of and a mean depth of three feet. The lake is adjacent to Buckingham Lake Park, a small recreation area with picnic tables and...

 is between Manning Boulevard and Route 85
New York State Route 85
New York State Route 85 is a state highway in Albany County, New York, in the United States. It is long and runs from County Route 351 and CR 353 in Rensselaerville to Interstate 90 exit 4 in Albany. It also has a loop route, NY 85A, which connects NY 85 to...

 in the Buckingham Pond neighborhood; it contains a pond with fountains, a footpath, a playground, and picnic tables. The Albany Riverfront Park at the Corning Preserve has an 800-seat amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

 that hosts events in non-winter months, most notably the Alive at 5 summer concert series. The Preserve's visitors center details the ecology of the Hudson River and the local environment. The park has a bike trail and boat launch and was effectively separated from downtown by Interstate 787
Interstate 787
Interstate 787 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New York. I-787 is the main highway for those traveling into and out of downtown Albany. The southern terminus is at the Interstate 87/New York State Thruway exit 23 toll plaza southwest of downtown Albany...

 until the opening of the Hudson River Way
Hudson River Way
The Hudson River Way is a pedestrian bridge that links Broadway in downtown Albany, New York with the Corning Preserve on the bank of the Hudson River. The bridge crosses Interstate 787.- History :...

 in 2002.

Other public parks include Westland Hill Park, Hoffman Park, Beverwyck Park, Ridgefield Park, and Liberty Park, today a small circular grassy patch in downtown on Hudson Avenue, which is Albany's oldest park. The municipal golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

, New Course at Albany
New Course at Albany
The New Course at Albany, formerly the Capital Hills Golf Course and the Albany Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole golf course located in Albany, New York.-History:...

, was constructed in 1929 as the Albany Municipal Golf Course, later renamed the Capital Hills at Albany, and remodeled in 1991.

Architecture

The Empire State Plaza
Empire State Plaza
The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza is a complex of several state government buildings in downtown Albany, New York....

, a collection of state agency office buildings, dominates almost any view of Albany. Built between 1965 and 1978 at the hand of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and architect Wallace Harrison
Wallace Harrison
Wallace Kirkman Harrison , was an American architect.-Career:Harrison started his professional career with the firm of Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, participating in the construction of Rockefeller Center...

, the complex is a powerful example of late American modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 and remains a controversial building project both for displacing city residents and for its architectural style. The most recognizable aspect of the complex is the Erastus Corning Tower
Erastus Corning Tower
The Erastus Corning Tower, also known as the Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd Tower or simply the Corning Tower, is a skyscraper located in downtown Albany, New York. Completed in 1966 and sided with Vermont Pearl marble and glass, the state office building is part of the Empire State Plaza...

, the tallest building in New York outside of New York City. Juxtaposed at the north end of the Plaza is the 19th-century New York State Capitol
New York State Capitol
The New York State Capitol is the capitol building of the U.S. state of New York. Housing the New York State Legislature, it is located in the state capital city Albany, on State Street in Capitol Park. The building, completed in 1899 at a cost of $25 million , was the most expensive government...

, the seat of the New York State Legislature and the home of the Governor's office
Governor of New York
The Governor of the State of New York is the chief executive of the State of New York. The governor is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military and naval forces. The officeholder is afforded the courtesy title of His/Her...

.

Albany's initial architecture incorporated many Dutch influences, followed soon after by those of the English. The Quackenbush House
Quackenbush House
Quackenbush House is a historic building in Albany, New York. It is a house with a double-pitched gable roof that was built in about 1736. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.-History:...

, a Dutch Colonial brick mansion, was built c. 1736; Schuyler Mansion
Schuyler Mansion
Schuyler Mansion is a historic house at 32 Catherine Street in Albany, New York, United States. The brick mansion is now a museum and an official National Historic Landmark. It was constructed from 1761 to 1762 for Philip Schuyler, later a general in the Continental Army and early U.S. Senator,...

, a Georgian
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

-style mansion, was built in 1765; and the oldest building currently standing in Albany is the 1728 Van Ostrande-Radliff House at 48 Hudson Avenue. Albany's housing varies greatly, with mostly row houses in the older sections of town, closer to the river. Housing type quickly changes as one travels westward, beginning with two-family homes of the late 19th century, and one-family homes built after World War II in the western end of the city.

Albany City Hall
Albany City Hall
Albany City Hall is the seat of government of the city of Albany, New York. It houses the office of the mayor, the Common Council chamber, the city and traffic courts, as well as other city services. The current building was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in his particular Romanesque style and...

, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson was a prominent American architect who designed buildings in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other cities. The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque...

, was opened in 1883. The New York State Capitol was opened in 1899 (after 32 years of construction) at a cost of $25 million, making it the most expensive government building at the time. Albany's Union Station
Union Station (Albany, New York)
Union Station, also known as Albany Union Station, is a building in downtown Albany, New York. Built during 1899–1900, it originally served as the city's railroad station but now houses bank offices...

, a major Beaux-Arts design, was under construction at the same time; it opened in 1900. In 1912, the Beaux-Arts styled New York State Department of Education Building
New York State Department of Education Building
The New York State Education Department Building is a state office building in Albany, New York. It currently houses offices of the New York State Education Department and was formerly home to the New York State Museum and New York State Library...

 opened on Washington Avenue near the Capitol. It has a classical exterior, which features a block-long white marble colonnade
Colonnade
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building....

. The 1920s brought the Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 movement, which is illustrated by the Home Savings Bank Building
Home Savings Bank Building
The Home Savings Bank Building is an office building located in downtown Albany, New York at 11 North Pearl Street . At 19 stories and tall, it is the tenth tallest building in the city. When it was completed in 1927, the Home Savings Bank Building was the tallest structure in Albany. However, the...

 (1927) on North Pearl Street and the Alfred E. Smith Building
Alfred E. Smith Building
The Alfred E. Smith Building, known officially as the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building and sometimes called simply the Smith Building, is a structure located in downtown Albany, New York across the street from the New York State Capitol and One Commerce Plaza...

 (1930) on South Swan Street, two of Albany's tallest high-rises.

Architecture from the 1960s and 1970s is well represented in the city, especially at the W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
The W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus is an office park in western Albany, New York, United States that houses sixteen New York State Government office buildings. The land totals roughly and over 3 million square feet of office space, and about 7,000 state employees work there...

 (1950s and 1960s) and on the uptown campus of the University at Albany (1962–1971). The state office campus was planned in the 1950s by governor W. Averell Harriman
W. Averell Harriman
William Averell Harriman was an American Democratic Party politician, businessman, and diplomat. He was the son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman. He served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York...

 to offer more parking and easier access for state employees. The uptown SUNY campus was built in the 1960s under Governor Rockefeller on the site of the city-owned Albany Country Club. Straying from the popular open campus layout
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

, SUNY Albany has a centralized building layout with administrative and classroom buildings at center surrounded by four student housing towers. The design called for much use of concrete and glass, and the style has slender, round-topped columns and pillars reminiscent of those at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Downtown has seen a revival in recent decades, often considered to have begun with Norstar Bank
FleetBoston Financial
FleetBoston Financial was a Boston, Massachusetts–based bank created in 1999 by the merger of Fleet Financial Group and BankBoston. In 2004 it merged with Bank of America; all of its banks and branches were given the Bank of America logo.-History:...

's renovation of the former Union Station as its corporate headquarters in 1986. The Times Union Center (TU Center) was originally slated for suburban Colonie, but was instead built downtown and opened in 1990. Other development in downtown includes the construction of the State Dormitory Authority
Dormitory Authority of the State of New York
The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York provides construction, financing, and allied services which serve the public good of New York State...

 headquarters at 515 Broadway (1998); the State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for the conservation, improvement, and protection of natural resources within the U.S. state of New York. It was founded in 1970, replacing the previous Conservation Department...

 building, with its iconic green dome, at 625 Broadway (2001); the State Comptroller
New York State Comptroller
The New York State Comptroller is a state cabinet officer of the U.S. state of New York. The duties of the comptroller include auditing government operations and operating the state's retirement system.-History:...

 headquarters on State Street (2001); the Hudson River Way
Hudson River Way
The Hudson River Way is a pedestrian bridge that links Broadway in downtown Albany, New York with the Corning Preserve on the bank of the Hudson River. The bridge crosses Interstate 787.- History :...

 (2002), a pedestrian bridge connecting Broadway to the Corning Preserve; and 677 Broadway (2005), "the first privately owned downtown office building in a generation".

City of immigrants

Historically, Albany's population has been mixed. First dominated by the Dutch and Germans, it was overtaken by the English in the early 19th century. Irish immigrants soon outnumbered most other ethnicities by the mid-19th century, just as Italians
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 and Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 started moving in. The mid-to-late 20th century saw a rise in the African American population. As historian (and Albany Assemblyman) John McEneny puts it, "Dutch and Yankee, German and Irish, Polish and Italian, black and Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

—over the centuries Albany's heritage has reflected a succession of immigrant nationalities. Its streets have echoed with a dozen languages, its neighborhoods adapting to the distinctive life-style and changing economic fortunes of each new group."

Until after the Revolution, Albany's population consisted mostly of Dutch descendants. Settlers moving in from New England tipped the balance toward the British in the early 19th century. Jobs on the turnpikes, canals, and railroads brought in floods of Irish immigrants
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 in the early 19th century, especially in the 1840s during the Irish potato famine, solidifying the city's Irish base; Albany elected its first Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic
Irish Catholic is a term used to describe people who are both Roman Catholic and Irish .Note: the term is not used to describe a variant of Catholicism. More particularly, it is not a separate creed or sect in the sense that "Anglo-Catholic", "Old Catholic", "Eastern Orthodox Catholic" might be...

 mayor (Michael Nolan
Michael N. Nolan
Michael Allen Nicholas was a U.S. Representative from New York State as well as mayor of Albany, New York's capital...

) two years before Boston did. Polish
Polish American
A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

 and Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

 immigrants began arriving in Albany in the latter part of the 19th century. Their numbers were smaller than in many other eastern cities mainly because most of them had found jobs at General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 in Schenectady. The Jewish community, present since the days of Beverwijck, also saw a rise in population during the 19th century. Albany saw an influx of Chinese
Chinese American
Chinese Americans represent Americans of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans constitute one group of overseas Chinese and also a subgroup of East Asian Americans, which is further a subgroup of Asian Americans...

 and east Asian immigrants in the downtown section of the city at this time, though that population has since spread out significantly. Immigration all but halted after the Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

, but Albany did see its last large immigration pattern by African Americans moving in from the American South to fill industrial positions before World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. As a percentage, the black community has grown substantially since then: African Americans made up 3 percent of the population in 1950, 6 percent in 1960, 12 percent in 1970, and 30 percent in 2010. This is mainly due to middle class white families moving to the suburbs and black families remaining within city limits during the same time period.

Modern overview

As of the 2010 census, there were 97,856 people residing in the city. The population of the metro area in 2009 was estimated to be 857,592. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 in 2010 was 4,572.7 per square mile (1,779.2/km²). There were 46,362 housing units at an average density of 2,166.4 per square mile (842.9/km²); 5,205 of these units (11.2%) were vacant. The racial makeup of the city residents was 57.01% white
Definitions of whiteness in the United States
The cultural boundaries separating White Americans from other racial or ethnic categories are contested and always changing.David R. Roediger argues that the construction of the white race in the United States was an effort to mentally distance slaveowners from slaves...

; 30.77% black or African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

; 0.30% Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 or Native Alaskan
Alaska Natives
Alaska Natives are the indigenous peoples of Alaska. They include: Aleut, Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures.-History:In 1912 the Alaska Native Brotherhood was founded...

; 5.00% Asian; 0.06% Native Hawaiian
Native Hawaiians
Native Hawaiians refers to the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants. Native Hawaiians trace their ancestry back to the original Polynesian settlers of Hawaii.According to the U.S...

 or Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander
Pacific Islander , is a geographic term to describe the indigenous inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania: Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, these three regions, together with their islands consist of:Polynesia:...

; 3.17% from other races; and 3.70% from two or more races. A total of 8.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 of any race.

As of the 2000 census, the top five ancestry groups in the city were Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 (18.1%), Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 (12.4%), German (10.4%), English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 (5.2%), and Polish (4.3%); 33.1% of the population reported "other ancestries". The population had 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 31.4 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males. Some 81.3% of the population had completed high school or earned an equivalency diploma.

There were 40,709 households in 2000, out of which 22.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.3% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 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 income for a household in the city in 2000 was $, and the median income for a family was $ (male, year-round worker) and $ (female, year-round worker). The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $. About 16.0% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line
Poverty threshold
The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income deemed necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in a given country...

, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over. The rate of reported violent crimes for 2008 (1,095 incidents per 100,000 residents) is more than double the rate for similarly sized US cities. Reported property crimes (4,669 incidents per 100,000 residents) are somewhat lower.

Demographically speaking, the population of Albany and the Capital District mirrors the characteristics of the United States consumer population as a whole better than any other major municipality in the country. According to a 2004 study conducted by the Acxiom Corporation
Acxiom
Acxiom is a global interactive marketing services company that uses consumer data, analytics, information technology, data aggregation, data integration, and consulting solutions to help companies conduct direct marketing programs...

, Albany and its environs are the top-ranked standard test market for new business and retail products. Albany, Rochester, and Syracuse all scored within the top five.

Nightlife and entertainment

Albany's geographic situation—roughly equidistant between New York City to the south and Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 to the north, as well as Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 to the west and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 to the east—makes it a convenient stop for nationally touring artists and acts. The Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre (Albany, New York)
The Palace Theatre is an entertainment venue, in downtown Albany, New York, located on the corner of Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street . The 2,844 seat theater is owned by the City of Albany and presents various music, drama, film and comedy performances...

 and The Egg
The Egg (building)
The Egg is a performing arts venue in Albany, New York.Named for the shape it resembles, it was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz as part of the Empire State Plaza project, and built between 1966 and 1978. It is located in the northeast corner of the Plaza...

 provide mid-sized forums for music, theater, and spoken word performances, with the Capital Repertory Theatre filling the small-sized niche. The TU Center serves as the city's largest musical venue for nationally and internationally prominent bands, and hosts trade shows, sporting events, and other large-scale community gatherings. While some praise the cultural contributions of Albany and the greater Capital District, others suggest that the city has a "cultural identity crisis" due to its massive geography and the need for a car (and driving time) to experience most of what the area has to offer, a necessity not seen in larger metropolitan areas like New York and Boston.

In recent years, the city's government has invested resources to cultivate venues and neighborhoods that attract after-hours business. Madison Avenue, Pearl Street, Delaware Avenue and Lark Street
Lark Street
Lark Street is a historic street in Albany, New York. It is part of the "Arbor Hill, "Center Square", "Park South", and "Hudson/Park" neighborhoods, and is located one block east of Washington Park. Lark Street is home to many independently owned shops, coffee houses, restaurants, art galleries,...

 serve as the most active entertainment areas in the city. Many restaurants, clubs, and bars have opened since the mid 1990s, revitalizing numerous areas that had once been abandoned; various establishments have reclaimed old row houses, businesses, and even a pump station
Albany Pump Station
The Albany Pump Station, originally the Quackenbush Pumping Station of the Albany Water Works, is located in Quackenbush Square on Broadway in the city of Albany, New York, United States...

. The bar scene generally incorporates three main strips. The downtown scene is focused on Pearl Street, stretching about two blocks. Up State Street, past the business district, is the Lark Street strip, home to smaller bars that fit into the neighborhood's artistic and eclectic style. Lastly, the midtown strip, with several bars located on Western and Madison Avenues, centers around the campuses of the College of Saint Rose and SUNY Albany's downtown campus. The midtown strip generally draws a younger crowd, as it is popular to the local college students.

Last call
Last call (bar term)
In a bar, a last call is an announcement made shortly before the bar closes for the night, informing patrons of their last chance to buy alcoholic beverages. There are various means to make this signal, like ringing a bell, flashing the lights, or announcing orally.Last call times are often...

 in Albany is 4:00 am nightly per New York law that sets that time as last call throughout the state by default, though counties may set an earlier time individual municipalities may not. Even though more than half of the state's counties have an earlier closing time, Albany County, as with all counties in the Capital District, have retained the 4:00 am last call time.

Festivals

The Tulip Festival
Tulip Festival (Albany, New York)
The Tulip Festival, also known as TulipFest, is held in Albany, New York every spring at Washington Park. The tradition stems from when Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd got a city ordinance passed declaring the tulip as Albany's official flower on July 1, 1948. In addition, he sent a request to Queen...

, one of Albany's largest festivals, is set in Washington Park and celebrates the city's Dutch heritage. This traditional Albany event marks the beginning of spring as thousands of tulips bloom in the park in early May. Attendance to the festival in 2010 was approximately 80,000. Alive at 5 is a free, weekly concert series held downtown during the summer on Thursdays. With 10 concerts in 2010 total attendance was roughly 100,000. The Price Chopper Fabulous Fourth and Fireworks Festival at the Empire State Plaza celebrates Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

 with musical performances and the region's largest fireworks display. Freihofer's Run for Women
Freihofer's Run for Women
Freihofer's Run for Women is an annual five-kilometer road running competition for women that is usually held in late May or early June in Albany, New York, United States. First held in 1979, the race has grown into a sizable event that holds IAAF Silver Label Road Race status and had 3,927...

 is a 5-kilometer run
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

 through the city that draws more than 4,000 participants from across the country; it is an annual event that began in 1978.

Smaller events include the African American Family Day Arts Festival each August at the Empire State Plaza; the Latin Fest, held each August at the Corning Preserve; the Albany Jazz Festival, an annual end-of-summer event held at the Corning Preserve; Lark Fest, a music and art festival held each fall; and the Capital Pride Parade and Festival, a major gay pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

 event, held each June. The once-popular First Night, celebrating the New Year holiday
New Year's Day
New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome...

 each December 31, was replaced by the Albany Winterfest in 2006 due to declining interest; Winterfest occurs each year on December 30.

Museums and historic sites

Because of Albany's historical and political significance, the city has numerous museums, historical buildings, and historic districts. Albany is home to the New York State Museum
New York State Museum
The New York State Museum is a research-backed institution in Albany, New York, United States. It is located on Madison Avenue, attached to the south side of the Empire State Plaza, facing onto the plaza and towards the New York State Capitol...

 and New York State Archives
New York State Archives
The New York State Archives is a unit of the Office of Cultural Education within the New York State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany, New York, United States...

, both open to the public. The USS Slater (DE-766), a decommissioned World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 destroyer escort
Destroyer escort
A destroyer escort is the classification for a smaller, lightly armed warship designed to be used to escort convoys of merchant marine ships, primarily of the United States Merchant Marine in World War II. It is employed primarily for anti-submarine warfare, but also provides some protection...

 that was restored in 1998, is a museum ship
Museum ship
A museum ship, or sometimes memorial ship, is a ship that has been preserved and converted into a museum open to the public, for educational or memorial purposes...

 docked in the Hudson River at Quay Street. It is the only ship of its kind still afloat. The Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, located at the corner of Clinton Avenue and Broadway at Quackenbush Square, hosts a museum, gift shop, and the Henry Hudson Planetarium; Quackenbush Square is the docking point for the Albany Aqua Ducks, a company that offers boat and trolley tours of the city.

Albany is home to 57 listings on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and five National Historic Landmarks. The Ten Broeck Mansion
Ten Broeck Mansion
The Ten Broeck Mansion in Albany, New York was built in 1797. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. A decade later it was included as a contributing property to the Arbor Hill Historic District – Ten Broeck Triangle when that neighborhood was listed on the...

, a 1797 Federal-style
Federal architecture
Federal-style architecture is the name for the classicizing architecture built in the United States between c. 1780 and 1830, and particularly from 1785 to 1815. This style shares its name with its era, the Federal Period. The name Federal style is also used in association with furniture design...

 mansion (later renovated in the Greek-Revival style
Greek Revival architecture
The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture...

) built for Abraham Ten Broeck
Abraham Ten Broeck
Abraham Ten Broeck was a New York politician, businessman, and militia Brigadier General of Dutch descent. He was twice Mayor of Albany, New York and built one of the largest mansions in the area that still stands more than 200 years later.-Early life:Ten Broeck was the son of Dirck Ten Broeck...

 (mayor of Albany 1779–1783 and 1796–1798) is currently a historic house museum and the headquarters of the Albany County Historical Association; it was added to the NRHP in 1971. Later known as "Arbor Hill", it gave the current neighborhood its name.

Literature and film

Albany has been the subject, inspiration, or location for many written and cinematic works. Many non-fiction works have been written on the city. One of the city's more notable claims to fame is Ironweed
Ironweed
Ironweed is a 1983 novel by William Kennedy. It received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and is the third book in Kennedy's Albany Cycle...

(1983), the 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. It originated as the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, which was awarded between 1918 and 1947.-1910s:...

 book by Albany native William Kennedy
William Kennedy (author)
William Joseph Kennedy is an American writer and journalist born and raised in Albany, New York. Many of his novels feature the interaction of members of the fictional Irish-American Phelan family, and make use of incidents of Albany's history and the supernatural...

. Ironweed was the third in a series of books by Kennedy known as the "Albany Cycle". The elusive author Trevanian
Trevanian
Rodney William Whitaker was an American film scholar and writer who wrote several successful novels under the pen name Trevanian. Whitaker also published works as Nicholas Seare, Beñat Le Cagot and Edoard Moran...

 also grew up in Albany and wrote The Crazyladies of Pearl Street (2005), about a North Albany neighborhood along Pearl Street. The book is considered a semi-autobiographical memoir. Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maguire
Gregory Maguire is an American writer. He is the author of the novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and many other novels for adults and children...

, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, is a parallel novel published in 1995 written by Gregory Maguire and illustrated by Douglas Smith. It is a revisionist look at the land and characters of Oz from L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, its sequels, and the...

(inspiration for the Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 hit Wicked
Wicked (musical)
Wicked is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West , a parallel novel of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard...

), grew up in North Albany and graduated from SUNY Albany in 1976.

In 1987, the film version of Ironweed
Ironweed (film)
Ironweed is a 1987 film directed by Argentine-born Brazilian Héctor Babenco.The picture is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title by William Kennedy and concerns the relationship of a homeless couple: Francis, an alcoholic, and Helen, a terminally ill woman during the Great...

premiered at the Palace Theatre
Palace Theatre (Albany, New York)
The Palace Theatre is an entertainment venue, in downtown Albany, New York, located on the corner of Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street . The 2,844 seat theater is owned by the City of Albany and presents various music, drama, film and comedy performances...

. The movie starred Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

 and Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

, each of whom were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances; much of the filming was done on location in Albany. Most recently the downtown area was the site of filming for the action-thriller Salt, starring Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

, and the action-comedy The Other Guys
The Other Guys
The Other Guys is a 2010 American action comedy film directed and co-written by Adam McKay, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and featuring Dwayne Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton, Eva Mendes, Steve Coogan, and Ray Stevenson...

, starring Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
John William "Will" Ferrell is an American comedian, impressionist, actor, and writer. Ferrell first established himself in the late 1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in the comedy films Old School, Elf, Anchorman, Talladega...

 and Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg
Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg is an American actor, film and television producer, and former rapper. He was known as Marky Mark in his earlier years, and became famous for his 1991 debut as a musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. He was named No. 1 on VH1's 40 Hottest Hotties of...

.

Education

The City School District of Albany (CSDA) operates the city's public school system, which consists of 18 schools and learning centers, in addition to 11 charter school
Charter school
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter...

s. The number of students in CSDA has steadily decreased since 2000. In the 2008–09 school year, 7,899 students were enrolled in the public school system. The district had an average class size of 18, an 81-percent graduation rate, and a 5-percent dropout rate. The district's 2010–11 budget is $202.8 million. Although considered by the state to be one of the lowest-achieving high schools in New York, Albany High was listed as the nation's 976th best high school in a 2010 Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

/Washington Post
report.
Albany has a number of private schools, including the coed Bishop Maginn High School
Bishop Maginn High School
Bishop Maginn High School is a Catholic high school in Albany, New York. It is coeducational and open to students of all faiths.The school belongs to the school system of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany...

 and Albany Free School
Albany Free School
The Free School Professional Memberships & Affiliations:Member School:* Northeast Association of Independent Democratic Schools * Alternative Education Resource Organization * International Democratic Education Network...

; the all-boys
Single-sex education
Single-sex education, also known as single-gender education, is the practice of conducting education where male and female students attend separate classes or in separate buildings or schools. The practice was predominant before the mid-twentieth century, particularly in secondary education and...

 Albany Academy
The Albany Academy
The Albany Academy is an independent college preparatory day school for boys in Albany, New York, USA, enrolling students from Preschool to Grade 12. It was established in 1813 by a charter signed by Mayor Philip Schuyler Van Rensselaer and the city council of Albany...

 and La Salle School; and the all-girls Academy of the Holy Names and Albany Academy for Girls
Albany Academy for Girls
Albany Academy for Girls is an independent college-preparatory day school for girls in Albany, New York, USA, enrolling students from Preschool to Grade 12. Founded in 1814 by Ebenezer Foote as the Albany Female Academy, AAG is the oldest independent girls day school in the United States...

.

Albany has a long history in higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 and was ranked third in a Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

survey called "The Best Places With The Best Education" in 2005; it ranked top on Forbes "IQ Campuses" list as part of its 150 Cheap Places to Live series in 2006. The Albany Medical College
Albany Medical College
Albany Medical College is a medical school located in Albany, New York, United States. It was founded in 1839 by Amos Dean, Dr. Thomas Hun and others, and is one of the oldest medical schools in the nation...

 (private
Private university
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

), today part of Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center is the name of the umbrella organization over the Albany Medical Center Hospital and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York...

, was founded in 1838. Albany Law School
Albany Law School
Albany Law School is an ABA accredited law school based in Albany, New York. It was founded in 1851 by Amos Dean , Amasa Parker, Ira Harris and others....

 (private) is the oldest law school
Law school in the United States
In the United States, a law school is an institution where students obtain a professional education in law after first obtaining an undergraduate degree.Law schools in the U.S...

 in New York and the fourth oldest in the country; it was opened in 1851. President William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 was an alumnus. The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private, independent college dedicated to the advancement of health...

 (private) is the second oldest pharmacy school
Pharmacy school
The basic requirement for pharmacists to be considered for registration is an undergraduate or postgraduate Pharmacy degree from a recognized university. In most countries this involves a four- or five-year course to attain a Master of Pharmacy...

 in New York and the fifteenth oldest in the United States. The New York State Normal School, one of the oldest teachers colleges in the United States, opened in 1905; it was later known as the State Teachers College. It eventually evolved into the University at Albany, also known as SUNY Albany (public
Public university
A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

), which inherited the Normal School's original downtown campus on Western Avenue. The center of the campus moved to its current Uptown Campus in the west end of the city in 1970. SUNY Albany is the flagship campus of the State University of New York
State University of New York
The State University of New York, abbreviated SUNY , is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 465,000 students, plus...

 and one of only four university centers in the system. Other colleges and universities in Albany include Empire State College
Empire State College
Empire State College, one of the thirteen arts and science colleges of the State University of New York, is a multi-site institution offering associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. It is primarily oriented towards the adult learner...

, The College of Saint Rose
The College of Saint Rose
The College of Saint Rose is a private, independent, coeducational college in Albany, New York, founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The College enrolls a total of approximately 5,000 students ....

, Excelsior College
Excelsior College
Excelsior College is a private, non-profit institution of higher education in Albany, New York. It is a constituent member of The University of the State of New York, and has its own charter and Board of Trustees. Excelsior College offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level...

, Maria College, Mildred Elley
Mildred Elley
Mildred Elley is a private two-year college with campuses in Albany, New York and Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Founded in 1917 by Augusta Mildred Elley, a local woman who was educated at a college in New York City, the school initially educated women for secretarial positions...

, and Sage College of Albany
Sage College of Albany
Sage College of Albany, SCA for short, is located at 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York, 12208. Along with Russell Sage College and the Sage Graduate School, it is one of the three colleges that make up The Sage Colleges. It is also home to Sage After Work, which offers a variety of...

. Nearby Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College, a SUNY associated two-year college, is located in Troy in Rensselaer County, New York. Although about eighty percent of the students are from the local area, the remainder are from other parts of New York, other states and from some 30 countries around the...

 (HVCC) fills the community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

 niche in the Albany-Troy area. The effect of the campuses on the city's population is substantial: Combining the student bodies of all the aforementioned campuses (except HVCC) results in 63,149 students, or almost 70 percent of the 2008 estimate of Albany's permanent population.

Economy

Albany's economy, along with that of the Capital District in general, is heavily dependent on government, health care
Health care in the United States
Health care in the United States is provided by many separate legal entities. Health care facilities are largely owned and operated by the private sector...

, and education
Education in the United States
Education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: federal, state, and local. Child education is compulsory.Public education is universally available...

. Because of these typically steady economic bases, the local economy has been relatively immune to national economic recessions in the past. More than 25 percent of the city's population works in government-related positions. The current recession has been more difficult to deal with because of the many issues on Wall Street, from which the state government receives much of its tax revenue. In March 2010, the Albany area had the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in New York, at 7.8%, compared to 9.4% in New York as a whole.

Due to lower tax revenue and high spending, state government has experienced a significant budget gap, forcing a hiring freeze in 2009 and discussions of furlough
Furlough
In the United States a furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of some employees due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole...

s and layoff
Layoff
Layoff , also called redundancy in the UK, is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or a group of employees for business reasons, such as when certain positions are no longer necessary or when a business slow-down occurs...

s in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The effect is felt at local universities, which have seen their endowments
Financial endowment
A financial endowment is a transfer of money or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust....

 shrink. The healthcare system, however, has seen growth due to an aging baby boomer population. Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center
Albany Medical Center is the name of the umbrella organization over the Albany Medical Center Hospital and Albany Medical College in Albany, New York...

 and St. Peter's Healthcare Services, both headquartered in Albany, were the city's second and fourth largest employers in 2006. Albany brings in many workers from outside the city. Its estimated daytime population is more than 162,000, which is almost 80% more than the 2008 population estimate.

A growing fourth sector of the area's economic base is the emerging high-tech industry
High tech
High tech is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently available. It is often used in reference to micro-electronics, rather than other technologies. The adjective form is hyphenated: high-tech or high-technology...

 in and around Albany. The city is at the center of a 19-county region in eastern New York self-branded as "Tech Valley
Tech Valley
Tech Valley is a marketing name for the eastern part of the US state of New York. It includes the Hudson Valley and Capital District, along with portions of the Mohawk Valley and North Country...

". Albany is increasingly seen as a leader in nanotechnology, with the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering , on the campus of the University at Albany is a global education, research, development and technology deployment resource for students and researchers in nanotechnology...

 being respected as a national leader in the field. In 2006, Small Times
Small Times
Small Times is an online news magazine dedicated to tracking developments in the microtechnology and nanotechnology industries.Small Times was established in 2001 as the media arm of Ardesta, a so-called "business accelerator". Ardesta invested in and incubated startups in the MEMS, microsystems...

magazine ranked the college as the best in the country for micro- and nanotechnology; the school was also ranked top in education, facilities, and industry outreach. In 2009, chipmaker
Integrated circuit
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material...

 GlobalFoundries
GLOBALFOUNDRIES
GlobalFoundries Inc. is the world's third largest independent semiconductor foundry, with its headquarters located in Milpitas, California. GlobalFoundries was created by the divestiture of the manufacturing side of AMD on March 2, 2009, and was expanded through its merger with Chartered...

 broke ground on a $4.6 billion chip manufacturing complex in nearby Malta
Malta, New York
Malta is a town in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The town is in the central part of the county and is south of Saratoga Springs. The population was 13,005 at the 2000 census.- History :The town was first settled before 1865....

. In 2010,
Forbes ranked Albany fifteenth on its "Most Innovative Metros" list. In late 2010, the Capital District was noted for being "one of the fastest growing areas in the country for technology jobs".

In 2006
Forbes ranked the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA the 18th best place for business in the nation. It was the second highest ranking in the Northeastern United States
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 and the highest in the state. In 2009, Albany and its environs were listed number 30 in the nation on
Forbes "Best Bang-For-The-Buck" list, a study that looked at the stability of the housing and job markets, cost of living, and commute times. In the same study, the area was ranked fourth best for rate of foreclosure
Foreclosure
Foreclosure is the legal process by which a mortgage lender , or other lien holder, obtains a termination of a mortgage borrower 's equitable right of redemption, either by court order or by operation of law...

s. Albany was among the 25 strongest housing markets in the United States during the tough economic conditions of 2008. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Capital District's gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (GDP) was $32.345 billion in 2008, up 3.4 percent from the year before. The region ranked 42nd in growth rate.

Government

Albany has a mayor-council form of government, which currently functions under a charter adopted in 1998. The 1998 charter completely overwrote the original 17th-century Dongan Charter
Dongan Charter
The Dongan Charter is the 1686 document incorporating Albany, New York as a city. Albany's charter was issued by Governor Thomas Dongan of the Province of New York, a few months after Governor Dongan issued a similarly worded, but less detailed charter for the city of New York. The city of Albany...

. However, in an effort to keep Dongan in effect, the new charter was applied strictly as an amendment to Dongan, meaning Dongan is technically still in effect, giving Albany the distinction of having the oldest active city charter in the United States and "arguably the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

." The mayor, who is elected every four years, heads the executive branch
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 of city government. The current mayor, Gerald Jennings
Gerald Jennings
Gerald David "Jerry" Jennings is the mayor of Albany, New York, United States. A Democrat, Jennings won a shocking upset in the 1993 mayoral primary over Harold Joyce, who had the Democratic Party’s formal endorsement and had only recently been its chairman. In 1993, he won the general election,...

, was first elected in 1993. The Common Council represents the legislative branch
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 of city government and is made up of fifteen council members (each elected from one ward
Wards of the United States
In the United States, a ward is an optional division of a city or town, especially an electoral district, for administrative and representative purposes...

) and an at-large
At-Large
At-large is a designation for representative members of a governing body who are elected or appointed to represent the whole membership of the body , rather than a subset of that membership...

 Common Council President. The current president is Carolyn McLaughlin; she began her term in January 2010.

While Albany has its own city government, it has also been the seat of Albany County since the county's formation in 1683 and the capital of New York since 1797. As such, the city is home to all branches of the county and state governments, as well as its own. Albany City Hall
Albany City Hall
Albany City Hall is the seat of government of the city of Albany, New York. It houses the office of the mayor, the Common Council chamber, the city and traffic courts, as well as other city services. The current building was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in his particular Romanesque style and...

 sits on Eagle Street, opposite the State Capitol, and the Albany County Office Building is on State Street. The state government has offices scattered throughout the city.

Albany is in the 21st Congressional district
New York's 21st congressional district
The 21st Congressional District of New York is a congressional district for the United States House of Representatives that contains most of the Capital District of New York. It includes all or parts of Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie counties...

, represented by Paul Tonko
Paul Tonko
Paul David Tonko is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district is located in the heart of the Capital District...

 (D) in the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

. The city is represented by Chuck Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Gillibrand
Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik Gillibrand is an attorney and the junior United States Senator from the state of New York and a member of the Democratic Party...

 (D) in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. On the state level, the city is in the 46th district in the New York Senate, represented by Neil Breslin
Neil Breslin
Neil Breslin is a member of the New York State Senate. A Democrat, he represents Albany, New York. His district follows the Albany County, New York boundaries exactly....

 (D). In the New York Assembly, about two-thirds of the western portion of the city is in the 104th district, represented by John McEneny
John McEneny
John "Jack" McEneny is an American politician of the Democratic Party, and is currently a member of the New York State Assembly, representing about half of Albany County in the 104th Assembly District....

 (D), and the eastern third is in the 106th district, represented by Ronald Canestrari
Ronald Canestrari
Ronald J. "Ron" Canestrari is an American politician and a Democratic member of the New York State Assembly representing Assembly District 106, which includes parts of Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, sections of the cities of Albany and Troy, and all of the cities of Cohoes and...

 (D). As the seat of Albany County
Albany County, New York
Albany County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York, and is part of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. The name is from the title of the Duke of York and Albany, who became James II of England . As of the 2010 census, the population was 304,204...

, the city is the location of the county's courts including Family Court, County Court, Surrogate Court, Supreme Court
New York Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of the State of New York is the trial-level court of general jurisdiction in thestate court system of New York, United States. There is a supreme court in each of New York State's 62 counties, although some smaller counties share judges with neighboring counties...

, and Court of Appeals
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division is the intermediate appellate court in New York State. The Appellate Division is composed of four departments .*The First Department covers the Bronx The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division is the intermediate...

. Albany is the site of a United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 for the Northern District of New York
United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York serves one of the 94 judicial districts in the United States and one of four in the state of New York. The U.S. Attorney for the district is Richard S. Hartunian...

 courthouse.

Politics

Albany politics have been dominated by the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 since the 1920s; Daniel (Uncle Dan) O'Connell
Daniel P. O'Connell
Daniel Patrick O'Connell was the leader of the Democratic Party political machine in Albany County, New York, from about 1919 until his death....

 established a political machine
Political machine
A political machine is a political organization in which an authoritative boss or small group commands the support of a corps of supporters and businesses , who receive rewards for their efforts...

 in the city with the election of William Stormont Hackett as mayor in 1922. Prior to that, William (Billy) Barnes had set up a Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 machine in the 1890s. Barnes' success is attributed to the fact that he owned two newspapers in Albany and that he was the grandson of Thurlow Weed
Thurlow Weed
Thurlow Weed was a New York newspaper publisher, politician, and party boss. He was the principal political advisor to the prominent New York politician William H...

, the influential newspaper publisher and political boss. O'Connell's organization overcame Barnes' in 1922 and survived well into the 1980s (even after his death), as the machine put forth candidates for whom the electorate dutifully voted. In many instances, votes were outright bought; it was not uncommon for the machine to "buy poor folks' loyalty and trust with a fiver
United States five-dollar bill
The United States five-dollar bill or fiver is a denomination of United States currency. The $5 bill currently features U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's portrait on the front and the Lincoln Memorial on the back. All $5 bills issued today are Federal Reserve Notes...

". Gerald Jennings' upset in the 1993 Democratic mayoral primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 over Harold Joyce, who had the Democratic Party's formal endorsement and had only recently been its county chairman, is often cited as the end of the O'Connell era in Albany. Albany continues to be dominated by the Democratic party as enrollment in the city was 38,862 in 2009 compared to Republican enrollment of 3,487. This gives Democrats a 10–1 advantage in the general election. Every elected city position has been held by a Democrat since 1931.

Religious life

Like most cities of comparable age and size, Albany has well-established Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, and Jewish communities. Albany is home to the oldest Christian congregation in Upstate New York and the Mother Church
Mother Church
In Christianity, the term mother church or Mother Church may have one of the following meanings:# The first mission church in an area, or a pioneer cathedral# A basilica or cathedral# The main chapel of a province of a religious order...

es of two Christian dioceses. , eight churches or religious buildings in the city were listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of which—St. Peter's Episcopal Church
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Albany, New York)
St. Peter's Episcopal Church, also known as St. Peter's Church, in Albany, New York, is a church built in 1859 that was designed by Richard Upjohn and his son Richard M. Upjohn. The architecture is French-style decorated Gothic....

 on State Street—is a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

.

Established in 1642, the congregation of the First Church in Albany (Reformed)
First Church in Albany (Reformed)
First Reformed Church in Albany, New York, also known as First Church in Albany or North Dutch Church, was designed by Philip Hooker and built in 1798. It is a member of the Reformed Church in America...

, also known as the North Dutch Church (located on North Pearl Street), is the second-oldest Reformed Church in America
Reformed Church in America
The Reformed Church in America is a mainline Reformed Protestant denomination in Canada and the United States. It has about 170,000 members, with the total declining in recent decades. From its beginning in 1628 until 1819, it was the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1819, it...

. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Eagle Street and Madison Avenue, built 1852) is the cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholicism in the United States
The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

 diocese, led by Bishop
Bishop (Catholic Church)
In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

 Howard J. Hubbard
Howard James Hubbard
Howard James Hubbard, DD is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the ninth and current Bishop of Albany.-Early life and ministry:...

, and the Cathedral of All Saints (South Swan Street and Elk Street, built 1888) is the cathedral of the Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 diocese, led by Bishop William Love
William Love (bishop)
William Howard "Bill" Love is the 9th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany in the United States. A theological conservative, he is a prominent leader of conservative or traditional Anglicans at a time of disunity and disagreement in the Anglican Communion over theological interpretations of a...

. The city is home to eleven Catholic churches and six Episcopal churches.

A significant Jewish presence has existed in Albany since as early as 1658, and today includes many synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

s; there are two Conservative
Conservative Judaism
Conservative Judaism is a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s.Conservative Judaism has its roots in the school of thought known as Positive-Historical Judaism,...

, a Chabad-Lubavitch
Chabad
Chabad or Chabad-Lubavitch is a major branch of Hasidic Judaism.Chabad may also refer to:*Chabad-Strashelye, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism*Chabad-Kapust or Kapust, a defunct branch of the Chabad school of Hasidic Judaism...

, an Orthodox
Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism , is the approach to Judaism which adheres to the traditional interpretation and application of the laws and ethics of the Torah as legislated in the Talmudic texts by the Sanhedrin and subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and...

, and two Reform
Reform Judaism
Reform Judaism refers to various beliefs, practices and organizations associated with the Reform Jewish movement in North America, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. In general, it maintains that Judaism and Jewish traditions should be modernized and should be compatible with participation in the...

 synagogues. Albany is also home to one of the few Karaite
Karaite Judaism
Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme legal authority in Halakhah, as well as in theology...

 synagogues outside Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The city has a membership of between 12,000 and 13,000.

Exact numbers on religious denominations in Albany are not readily available. Demographic statistics in the United States depend heavily on the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, which cannot ask about religious affiliation as part of its decennial census
United States Census
The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by the United States Constitution. The population is enumerated every 10 years and the results are used to allocate Congressional seats , electoral votes, and government program funding. The United States Census Bureau The United States Census...

. It does compile some national and state-wide religious statistics, but these are not representative of a city the size of Albany. One report from 2000 offers religious affiliations for Albany County. According to the data, 59.2% of Albany County residents identified as Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

: 47% are Roman Catholic
Roman Catholicism in the United States
The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

, 8.4% are mainline Protestants, 2.7% are Evangelical Protestants
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

, and 1.1% are Eastern or Oriental
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

 Orthodox Christians. Residents who practice Judaism make up 4.2% of the population and Muslims represent 0.2%. Note that these values are county-wide; city values could be significantly different.

Media

The Times Union is Albany's primary daily newspaper and the only one based close to the city; its headquarters moved from within city limits to suburban Colonie in the 1960s after a dispute with Mayor Corning over land needed for expansion. Its circulation totals about 73,000 on weekdays and 143,000 on Sundays. Serving Albany to a lesser degree are The Daily Gazette, based in Schenectady, and The Record, of Troy. Metroland
Metroland (newspaper)
Metroland is an alternative newspaper that is published weekly in Albany, New York and mainly serves the Capital District area. Distributed free of charge, the paper offers local arts and music scene coverage, news and feature articles, and political columns with a mostly liberal bent...

is the alternative newsweekly in the area, publishing each Thursday, while The Business Review
American City Business Journals
American City Business Journals is an American newspaper chain based in Charlotte, North Carolina owned by Advance Publications. It has a range of media including 41 primary metropolitan weekly publications, which reach 4 million readers with business community related news, and Bizjournals, the...

is a business weekly published each Friday. The Legislative Gazette
Legislative Gazette
The Legislative Gazette is a weekly newspaper covering New York state government and politics located in Albany, New York. Published on Mondays from September through June, the publication bills itself as "The weekly newspaper of the New York state government".The Gazette prints original articles...

, another weekly newspaper, focuses exclusively on issues related to the Legislature and the state government.

The Albany-Schenectady-Troy media market
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

 is the 63rd largest in the country in terms of radio
Radio in the United States
Radio is one of the major mass media of the United States.-History:The beginning of regular commercially licensed sound broadcasting in the United States in 1920 ended the print monopoly over the media and opened the doors to the more immediate and pervasive electronic media...

 and the 57th largest in terms of television
Television in the United States
Television is one of the major mass media of the United States. Ninety-nine percent of American households have at least one television and the majority of households have more than one...

 audiences. It is a broadcast market with historical significance. The pioneering influence of General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

 in Schenectady directly contributed to the area emerging as the birthplace of station-based television with WRGB
WRGB
WRGB, channel 6, is a television station located in Schenectady, New York, USA. WRGB is owned by Freedom Communications, and is the CBS affiliate for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy television market...

; the station was also the first affiliate of NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

. In 1947, the region was home to the first independently owned and operated commercial FM radio station in the United States: W47A. WGY was the second commercial radio station in New York and the twelfth in the nation. The Capital District is home to ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 affiliate WTEN
WTEN
WTEN is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Capital District of New York State and Western New England that is licensed to Albany. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 26 from a transmitter southwest of the Voorheesville section of New Scotland...

, CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 affiliate WRGB
WRGB
WRGB, channel 6, is a television station located in Schenectady, New York, USA. WRGB is owned by Freedom Communications, and is the CBS affiliate for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy television market...

, Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 affiliate WXXA, and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 affiliate WNYT; Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable
Time Warner Cable is an American cable television company that operates in 28 states and has 31 operating divisions...

 hosts Your News Now, the area's only local 24-hour news channel. The area has numerous radio stations.

Transportation

The Northway (Interstate 87
Interstate 87
Interstate 87 is a Interstate Highway located entirely within New York State in the United States of America. I-87 is the longest intrastate Interstate highway in the Interstate Highway System. Its southern end is at the Bronx approaches of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in New York City...

 north of the New York State Thruway
New York State Thruway
The New York State Thruway is a system of limited-access highways located within the state of New York in the United States. The system, known officially as the Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway for former New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, is operated by the New York State Thruway Authority and...

) connects Albany by car to Canada at Champlain
Champlain (town), New York
Champlain is a town in Clinton County, New York, United States. The population was 5,754 at the 2010 census. The town is named after Lake Champlain....

; Autoroute 15
Quebec Autoroute 15
Autoroute 15 is a highway in western Quebec, Canada...

 continues into Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, linking Albany to Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

. Interstate 90
Interstate 90
Interstate 90 is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States at . It is the northernmost coast-to-coast interstate, and parallels US 20 for the most part. Its western terminus is in Seattle, at Edgar Martinez Drive S. near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, and its eastern terminus is in...

 connects Albany to both Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

 and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, via the New York State Thruway and the Mass Pike respectively. South of Albany, I-87 becomes part of the Thruway and ends at Interstate 278
Interstate 278
Interstate 278 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in New Jersey and New York, United States. The road runs from U.S. Route 1/9 in Linden, New Jersey to the Bruckner Interchange in the New York City borough of the Bronx...

 in the Bronx. Albany is literally at the crossroad of I-87 and I-90, creating a junction between Buffalo and Boston, and Montreal and New York. Interstate 787
Interstate 787
Interstate 787 is an auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of New York. I-787 is the main highway for those traveling into and out of downtown Albany. The southern terminus is at the Interstate 87/New York State Thruway exit 23 toll plaza southwest of downtown Albany...

 links Albany to Watervliet, Colonie, and Menands; by way of Route 7
New York State Route 7
New York State Route 7 is a 180-mile long New York State Highway that runs from the New York/Pennsylvania border south of Binghamton, New York to the New York/Vermont border east of Hoosick. Most of the road runs along the Susquehanna Valley, closely paralleling Interstate 88 throughout...

, I-787 connects to the Northway, offering Saratoga County residents a rather direct, albeit congested
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

 route to and from Albany during rush hour
Rush hour
A rush hour or peak hour is a part of the day during which traffic congestion on roads and crowding on public transport is at its highest. Normally, this happens twice a day—once in the morning and once in the evening, the times during when the most people commute...

.

Albany, long an important Hudson River port, today serves domestic and international ships and barges through the Port of Albany-Rensselaer
Port of Albany-Rensselaer
The Port of Albany–Rensselaer, widely known as the Port of Albany, is a port of entry in the United States with facilities on both sides of the Hudson River in Albany and Rensselaer, New York. Private and public port facilities have existed in both cities since the 17th century, with an increas in...

, located on both sides of the river. The port has the largest mobile harbor crane in the state of New York. The New York State Barge Canal, the ultimate successor of the Erie Canal, is in use today, largely by tourist and private boats.

With the closure of Union Station
Union Station (Albany, New York)
Union Station, also known as Albany Union Station, is a building in downtown Albany, New York. Built during 1899–1900, it originally served as the city's railroad station but now houses bank offices...

 on Broadway, area passenger-rail service is provided by Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 at the Albany-Rensselaer station
Albany-Rensselaer (Amtrak station)
The Albany – Rensselaer Rail Station is a long-distance rail terminal in Rensselaer, New York, located 1.5 miles from downtown Albany across the Hudson River. , the station was Amtrak's tenth-busiest station and by 2010 it had become the ninth-busiest...

 in Rensselaer. In 2009, the station saw more than 720,000 passengers, making it Amtrak's second-busiest in New York, behind New York's Penn Station
Pennsylvania Station (New York City)
Pennsylvania Station—commonly known as Penn Station—is the major intercity train station and a major commuter rail hub in New York City. It is one of the busiest rail stations in the world, and a hub for inbound and outbound railroad traffic in New York City. The New York City Subway system also...

.

Albany's nearest airport is Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport
Albany International Airport is a public use airport located six nautical miles northwest of the central business district of Albany, in Albany County, New York, United States. It is owned by the Albany County Airport Authority....

 in Colonie. Seven major airlines service Albany: Air Canada
Air Canada
Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

 (which offers the airport's only international destination, Toronto), Cape Air
Cape Air
Hyannis Air Service, Inc., operating as Cape Air, is an airline headquartered at Barnstable Municipal Airport in Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States. It operates scheduled passenger services in the Northeast, Florida, the Caribbean, Mid-Atlantic States, Midwest, and Micronesia...

, Continental Express
Continental Express
Continental Express is the operating brand name used by a number of independently owned regional airlines providing regional jet feeder service under agreement with Continental Airlines...

, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

, United Air Lines, and US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

; Million Air
Million Air
Million Air is an aviation company that operates fixed base operators across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The Million Air Brand of FBOs has been providing general aviation service since 2006...

 is the local fixed base operator
Fixed base operator
A Fixed-base operator or commonly abbreviated FBO is a term developed in the United States after the passage of the Air Commerce Act of 1926...

. In 2010, Albany had the highest average airfare in New York, though the per-mile cost on its busiest routes was second-lowest in the state.

The Capital District Transportation Authority
Capital District Transportation Authority
The Capital District Transportation Authority is a public benefit organization that provides transportation in the Capital District of New York State...

 (CDTA) provides bus service throughout Albany and the surrounding area, including Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs. The city was once served by an urban streetcar service
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 maintained by the United Traction Company. As in many American cities, after the advent of the automobile, light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 services declined in Albany and were replaced by bus and taxi services. Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

, Trailways
Trailways Transportation System
The Trailways Transportation System is an American group of 80 independent bus companies that have entered into a franchising agreement. The company is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia.- History :...

, and Peter Pan
Peter Pan Bus Lines
Peter Pan Bus Lines is a long-distance bus carrier headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. It operates in the northeastern United States. Over four million passengers per year travel on Peter Pan's bus routes....

 buses all serve a downtown terminal.

Sports

Albany has no major league professional sports teams, and minor league teams
Minor league
Minor leagues are professional sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in those sports. Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues, often competing in smaller cities. This term is used in North America with regard to several organizations competing in...

 have low support. The only minor league
Minor league
Minor leagues are professional sports leagues which are not regarded as the premier leagues in those sports. Minor league teams tend to play in smaller, less elaborate venues, often competing in smaller cities. This term is used in North America with regard to several organizations competing in...

 team currently active are the Albany Devils
Albany Devils
The Albany Devils are a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League , founded in 2010. The top AHL affiliate of the National Hockey League 's New Jersey Devils, the team has as its home the Times Union Center in Albany, New York...

 ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 team, which moved to the city for the 2010–2011 season. They play in the American Hockey League
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

 and are affiliated with the New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils are a professional ice hockey team based in Newark, New Jersey, United States. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

. The Devils replaced the Albany River Rats
Albany River Rats
The Albany River Rats were an ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. They played in Albany, New York at the Times Union Center.- Founding to 2010 :...

, who played in the Capital Region from 1990 to 2010, when they relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

.

The Albany Firebirds played in the Arena Football League
Arena Football League
The Arena Football League is the highest level of professional indoor American football in the United States. It is currently the second longest running professional football league in the United States, after the National Football League. It was founded in 1987 by Jim Foster...

 from 1990 to 2000, while a second team, originally known as the Albany Conquest
Albany Conquest
The Albany Firebirds are a professional arena football team of the af2 based in Albany, New York. Albany was granted an expansion team in 2002 and began play as the Albany Conquest. The Firebirds play their home games at the Times Union Center...

 and later the Firebirds, played in af2
Af2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

, the AFL's developmental league, from 2002 to 2009. The Tri-City ValleyCats short season
Short season
Short season refers to a form of class A minor league baseball in which only about 75 games are played each season, as opposed to the typical 140 games for an affiliated minor league team at a higher level...

 minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 team have played at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is a stadium in North Greenbush, New York. It is primarily used for baseball and is the home field of the Tri-City Valley Cats minor league baseball team...

 on the Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College
Hudson Valley Community College, a SUNY associated two-year college, is located in Troy in Rensselaer County, New York. Although about eighty percent of the students are from the local area, the remainder are from other parts of New York, other states and from some 30 countries around the...

 campus in North Greenbush
North Greenbush, New York
North Greenbush is a town in Rensselaer County, New York, United States. North Greenbush is located in the western part of the county. The population was 10,805 at the 2000 census....

 since 2002. Prior to the ValleyCats' arrival, the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs
Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs
The Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs were a minor league baseball team based in Albany, New York from 1995 to 2002. The team played at Heritage Park in Colonie. The Diamond Dogs competed in the Northeast League from 1995-98 and then in the Northern League when the two leagues merged prior to the 1999...

 (1995–2002) played at Heritage Park in Colonie; due to financial pressures, and facing impending competition from the ValleyCats, the franchise folded in 2002. The local basketball team is the Albany Legends
Albany Legends
The Albany Legends are a professional basketball team in the International Basketball League .-2010 season:The team was established in 2010 by an independent and locally owned organization, a year after the Albany Patroons went defunct...

 (International Basketball League
International Basketball League
The International Basketball League was a short lived professional basketball league in the United States. The IBL was headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The league started in 1999 and ended in 2001.-History:...

), who play in the Washington Avenue Armory
Washington Avenue Armory
The Washington Avenue Armory, officially known as the Washington Avenue Armory Sports and Convention Arena and listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Washington Avenue Armory, is now a multi-purpose arena in Albany, New York. It was the home of the Albany Legends of the...

. The Albany Patroons
Albany Patroons
The Albany Patroons were a professional basketball team that played in the Continental Basketball Association ....

 were two basketball teams that played at the Armory. Both folded due to financial problems.

With the large number of local colleges and universities around Albany, college sports are popular. The University at Albany's Great Danes
Albany Great Danes
The Albany Great Danes are the intercollegiate athletic programs of the University at Albany, SUNY. The University's intercollegiate athletics date back to the late 1890s, but its development was hampered for several decades by inadequate facilities, uncertain financial support, and the relatively...

 currently play at the Division I level in all sports. The football team is a member of the Northeast Conference
Northeast Conference
The Northeast Conference is a college athletic conference whose schools are members of the NCAA. The NCAA designates the Northeast Conference to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for Division I Men's Football and to Division I Sports for all other sports.Founded in 1981 as the ECAC-Metro...

 (NEC), while all other sports teams play as members of the America East Conference
America East Conference
The America East Conference is a NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose members are located mainly in the northeastern United States. The conference was known as the ECAC North from 1979 to 1988 and the North Atlantic Conference from the fall semester of 1988 to the end of the spring...

 (AEC). In 2006, UAlbany became the first SUNY
State University of New York
The State University of New York, abbreviated SUNY , is a system of public institutions of higher education in New York, United States. It is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the United States, with a total enrollment of 465,000 students, plus...

-affiliated school to send a team to the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. UAlbany has also hosted the New York Giants
New York Giants
The New York Giants are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York City metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

 training camp since 1996. The Siena Saints have seen a rise in popularity after their men's basketball team
Siena Saints men's basketball
The Siena Saints men's basketball team represents Siena College in Loudonville, New York, United States. The Division I program competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Saints are coached by Mitch Buonaguro who just completed his first season as head coach at Siena after serving as...

 made it to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship
The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship is a single-elimination tournament held each spring in the United States, featuring 68 college basketball teams, to determine the national championship in the top tier of college basketball...

 (March Madness) in 2008, 2009, and 2010. All 18 Saints teams are Division I and play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is a college athletic conference which operates in the northeastern United States. MAAC teams compete in the NCAA's Division I. Most of the members are Catholic or formerly Catholic institutions; the only exception is the private but secular Rider...

 (MAAC). Although Siena's campus is in nearby Colonie, the men's basketball team plays at the TU Center.

Sister cities

Albany has five official sister city agreements and two other twin-city relationships. The city of Nijmegen, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 connected with Albany following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. To show its gratitude for post-war assistance, the city sent Albany 50,000 tulip bulbs in 1948; this act led to the establishment of the annual Tulip Festival. Most of the other connections were made in the 1980s during Mayor Whalen's term in office as part of his cultural expansion program. The official sister cities are:
  • Nassau
    Nassau, Bahamas
    Nassau is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The city has a population of 248,948 , 70 percent of the entire population of The Bahamas...

    , Bahamas
    The Bahamas
    The Bahamas , officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a nation consisting of 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets . It is located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba and Hispaniola , northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and southeast of the United States...

    ;
  •  
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

    ;
  •  
    Quebec City
    Quebec City
    Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    ;
  •  Tula
    Tula, Russia
    Tula is an industrial city and the administrative center of Tula Oblast, Russia. It is located south of Moscow, on the Upa River. Population: -History:...

    , Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    ; and
  •  Verona, Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    .

The additional twin-city relationships are with:
  •  
    Ghent
    Ghent
    Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

    , Belgium
    Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

     Extremadura
    Extremadura
    Extremadura is an autonomous community of western Spain whose capital city is Mérida. Its component provinces are Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by Portugal to the west...

     (province
    Autonomous communities of Spain
    An autonomous community In other languages of Spain:*Catalan/Valencian .*Galician .*Basque . The second article of the constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government and declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation".Political power in Spain is...

    ), Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    .

See also



External links

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