Niagara Falls, New York

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Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 55,593. It is across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, Ontario, both named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. It has been considered part of the Buffalo, New York metro area.


[edit] History

The City of Niagara Falls was incorporated on March 17, 1892. Governor Roswell L. Flower signed the bill into law forming the city; Thomas Vincent Welch who was a member of the charter committee and then a New York Assemblyman, but more importantly a second-generation Irishman, was there when the bill was signed, and responsible for asking Governor Flower to sign the bill on St.Patrick's Day. Historically, the city was built up around factories that utilized the power of the falling water for energy. Now the downtown area is a park (Niagara Falls State Park) affording a close-up view of the American, Horseshoe and Bridal Veil Falls. The European migration into the area began in the 17th Century with missionaries and explorers. This influx of newcomers may have been a catalyst for already hostile native tribes to turn to open warfare in competition for the fur trade.

By the end of the 19th Century, the city was a heavy industrial area, due in no small part to the huge power potential offered by the swiftly-flowing Niagara River. The city still has a relatively strong industrial base, but its location is away from the tourist areas.

While its Canadian twin, Niagara Falls, Ontario, began massively building up its tourism industry in the 1990s, allowing for casinos and tall tower hotels, essentially becoming the "Las Vegas of Canada," Niagara Falls, New York, maintained its less commercial and more natural appearance. However, in 2004, the Seneca Nation of Indians opened the Seneca Niagara Casino in the former Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center, thereby establishing sovereign Native American territory in the midst of the city.

[edit] Economy

The economy for the city was originally based around the Falls itself, or at least the power generated by the massive waterfall. This cheap and abundant source of power was the driving force behind the rapid rise of area industry. Around the turn of the 19th century, thousands of immigrants from predominantly European nations such as Italy and Poland came to the area to work the chemical, steel, and manufacturing plants owned by companies such as DOW Chemical or Occidental.

The city's importance declined in the later half of the 20th century for several reasons, perhaps the most devastating being corrupt government, high wages for blue collar workers in comparison to other areas of the country, strength of unions, and high taxes. Goods which had previously been cheap to produce in Niagara Falls could now be produced far cheaper elsewhere. Another major toll was suburban migration, a national trend at the time. The city, which once boasted well over 100,000 people at its peak, has seen its population decline by some 50%, as industries shut down and people left for the employment opportunities of the South and West.

Slow progress is now being made however to bring a new era of economic prosperity to the City of Niagara Falls and the rest of Niagara County. Local and state government officials are beginning to embrace the physical and cultural advantages that the [Niagara region][1] naturally possesses - whether speaking of the Niagara Gorge, burgeoning wine trail, historical landmarks, or Niagara Falls itself. This move away from the city's industrial past to embrace a more sustainable tourism-based economy has led the city to reinvent itself in recent years.

The Falls' current development strategy has embarked on a pragmatic approach to revitalizing vacant and underutilized buildings in the downtown area as high profile catalyst projects with real economic impact. The opening of the new Conference Center Niagara Falls in 2005, the re-development of the United Office Building, the new Theater in the Mist, and other attractions such as the Niagara Aerospace Museum and Niagara Experience Center, and of course, Seneca Niagara Casino, attempt to reposition Niagara Falls as a premiere destination.

Niagara Falls is currently visited by almost ten million people each year and is considered one of the United States' top ten tourist destinations. It is also home to the worldwide headquarters of Precision Plus, the world's largest supplier of vacuum pump replacement parts.

[edit] Notable residents of Niagara Falls

Image:Niagara-Niagara Falls.png
Location within Niagara County.

Due to the socio-economic decline of the city there has been a large increase in the violent street crimes in the city and the local news media have ignored the situation and have not reported the shootings and stabbings that have been going on.

[edit] Geography

Niagara Falls is located at 43°5′39″N, 79°1′2″W (43.094305, -79.017339)GR1.

The city is located at the international boundary between the United States of America and Canada.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.5 km² mi²). 36.4 km² (14.1 mi²) of it is land and 7.1 km² (2.8 mi²) of it (16.37%) is water.

[edit] Demographics

Image:Niagara Falls, New York.jpg
Niagara Falls, New York.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 55,593 people, 24,099 households, and 14,266 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,527.7/km² (3,955.7/mi²). There were 27,837 housing units at an average density of 765.0/km² (1,980.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.21% White, 18.72% African American, 1.64% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.00% of the population.

There were 24,099 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.2% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,800, and the median income for a family was $34,377. Males had a median income of $31,672 versus $22,124 for females.

[edit] Art and culture

When Niagara Falls High School closed in the late 1990s, a new school was built. The new school merged LaSalle and Niagara Falls High Schools. The existing building at Pine Avenue and Portage Road, a large stone structure with a huge set of stone steps like those in Albany, became an Art and Cultural Center.

Niagara University is nearby.

The city has two newspapers, the Niagara Falls Reporter, which is published weekly, and the Niagara Gazette, which is published daily.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Municipalities and Communities of Niagara County, New York
(County Seat: Lockport)
Cities Lockport | Niagara Falls | North Tonawanda
Towns Cambria | Hartland | Lewiston | Lockport | Newfane | Niagara | Pendleton | Porter | Royalton | Somerset | Wilson | Wheatfield
Villages Lewiston | Middleport | Wilson | Youngstown
CDPs Gasport | Olcott | Ransomville | Rapids | South Lockport
Reservations Tonawanda Reservation | Tuscarora Reservation
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Niagara Falls, New York

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