Albany, New York

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A medley of different scenes to represent the diversity of the city. At top is a photo of the city's skyline, juxtaposing modern towers from the 1960s with older buildings dating back to the 19th century. Above center, right shows cookie-cutter, single-family houses, all two-stories with porches. Below center, right shows the marquee of a buff- and red-brick theater; marquee reads "PALACE". Bottom is a panoramic view of an open courtyard split by reflecting pools and surrounded by four modern, glass and concrete towers on left and one taller tower on right; in center is a Romanesque, granite, five-story capitol building. Below center, left shows a city street populated with old brick buildings. Above center, left shows a modern, glass and concrete tower surrounded by a shorter building of the same style.
Clockwise from top: Albany skyline from Rensselaer; middle-class housing in the Helderberg neighborhood; Palace Theatre ; Empire State Plaza from the Cultural Education Center; North Pearl Street at Columbia Street; and the State Quad at SUNY Albany.

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Name origin: Named for the Scottish Duke of Albany, whose title comes from the Gaelic name for Scotland: Alba Motto: Assiduity[Note 1] Country United States State New York Region Capital District County Albany Landmark Empire State Plaza River Hudson Coordinates Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Highest point Unnamed hill  - elevation 324 ft (99 m)  - coordinates Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Lowest point Sea level (at the Hudson River)  - elevation 0 ft (0 m) Area 21.8 sq mi (56 km²)  - land 21.4 sq mi (55 km²)  - water 0.4 sq mi (1 km²)  - metro 6,570 sq mi (17,016 km²) Population 97,856 (2010)  - metro 857,592 Density 5,488.1 /sq mi (2,119 /km²) Settled 1614 Incorporation as city 1686 Government Albany City Hall  - location 24 Eagle Street  - coordinates Lua error: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. Mayor Gerald Jennings (D) Timezone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)  - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4) ZIP Code 12201-12, 12214, 12220, 12222-32 Area code 518 FIPS code 36-01000 GNIS feature ID 0977310 Demonym Albanian <tr><td colspan="2">
Boundaries of and major thoroughfares through Albany


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Wikimedia Commons: Albany, New York Website:

Albany (Script error: No such module "IPAc-en". Script error: No such module "Respell".) is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. Roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River.

Prior to the recession of the 1990s, Albany was home to two Fortune 500 companies: KeyBank and Fleet Bank. Both banks have since moved or merged with other banks.[2]

It is home to the AHL ice hockey team the Albany Devils.

Albany is served by the Albany International Airport.


Aerial view of Albany looking northeast

The Empire State Plaza has many state agency office buildings. It fills almost any view of Albany. Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and architect Wallace Harrison led its construction between 1965 and 1978. The complex is a big example of late American modernism in architecture.[3] It remains a controversial building project both for displacing city residents and for its architectural style. The most recognizable part of the complex is the Erastus Corning Tower. The tower is the tallest building in New York outside of New York City.[3] The 19th-century New York State Capitol at the opposite (north) end of the plaza is the seat of the New York State Legislature and the home of the Governor of New York, currently Andrew Cuomo.[4]

File:Dutch Rowhouses Albany 1789.jpg
This 1789 etching shows the Dutch influence on the architecture of early Albany.

Albany's initial architecture incorporated many Dutch influences, followed soon after by those of the English. The Quackenbush House, a Dutch Colonial brick mansion, was built c. 1736;[5] Schuyler Mansion, a Georgian-style mansion, was built in 1765;[6] and the oldest building currently standing in Albany is the 1728 Van Ostrande-Radliff House at 48 Hudson Avenue.[7] 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.[8]

Albany City Hall was opened in 1883. The New York State Capitol was opened in 1899 (after 32 years of construction)[4] at a cost of $25 million, making it the most expensive government building at the time.[9] Albany's Union Station, a major Beaux-Arts design,[10] was under construction at the same time; it opened in 1900. In 1912, the Beaux-Arts styled New York State Department of Education Building opened on Washington Avenue near the Capitol. It has a classical exterior, which features a block-long white marble colonnade.[11] The 1920s brought the Art Deco movement, which is illustrated by the Home Savings Bank Building (1927) on North Pearl Street[12] and the Alfred E. Smith Building (1930) on South Swan Street,[13] two of Albany's tallest high-rises.[14]

Architecture from the 1960s and 1970s is well represented in the city, especially at the W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus (1950s and 1960s) and on the uptown campus of the SUNY Albany college (1962–1971). The state office campus was planned in the 1950s by governor W. Averell Harriman to offer more parking and easier access for state employees.[15] 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, noted American architect Edward Durell Stone designed the SUNY Albany campus from 1954-1956 with 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.[16]


  1. In this instance, assiduity means, "the quality of acting with constant and careful attention."[1]


  1. Nearing, Brian (2004-11-30). "Three Cheers for the Orange, White, and Blue". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. p. B1. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
  2. McEneny (2006), p. 193
  3. 3.0 3.1 Waite (1993), pp. 81–82
  4. 4.0 4.1 Waite (1993), pp. 68–70
  5. Brooke, Cornelia E. (1972-02-04). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Quackenbush House". Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  6. Waite (1993), pp. 48–49
  7. Grondahl, Paul (2008-12-23). "This Old House Under Our Noses". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  8. Scruton, Bruce A. (1986-07-06). "City's Architectural Heritage Diverse, Extensive". Knickerbocker News. Hearst Newspapers (online publisher). p. T52. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  9. "Building Big: New York State Capitol". Public Broadcasting Service. 2001. Retrieved 2010-06-19.
  10. Waite (1993), p. 106
  11. Waite (1993), pp. 79–80
  12. Waite (1993), p. 98
  13. Waite (1993), p. 82
  14. "Albany: Buildings of the City". Emporis. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  15. McGuire, Mark (1997-09-28). "Dirt, Not Ivy, Covers This Campus". Times Union (Albany). Hearst Newspapers. p. A1. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  16. Waite (1993), pp. 241–242

Further reading

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