Syracuse, New York

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City of Syracuse
Syracuse skyline, from downtown at left to Carrier Dome at
Syracuse University at right, from northwest
Image:Syracuse seal.gif
Nickname: "The Salt City"
Location of Syracuse within the state of New York
Coordinates: 43°02′49″N, 76°08′39″W
Mayor Matthew Driscoll
 - City 66.4 km²  (25.6 sq mi)
 - Land 65 km²  (25 sq mi)
 - Water 1.4 km² (0.6 sq mi)  2.15%
Elevation 116 m  (380 ft)
 - City (2000) 147,306
 - Density 2,266.8/km² (5,871/sq mi)
 - Urban 402,267
 - Metro 732,117
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
Look up Syracuse in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
This is the article about the city in New York State. For the city in Sicily, see Syracuse, Sicily, for all other meanings, see Syracuse (disambiguation).

Syracuse (IPA: [ˈsɛɹəkjuːs], sometimes pronounced [ˈsɪɹəkjuːs] or [ˈsiɹəkjuːs] by non-natives) is a city in Central New York, USA. According to the U.S. Census, in 2000 the city population was 147,306, and its metropolitan area had a population of 732,117. It is the county seat of Onondaga County and the economic and educational hub of Central New York, a region with over a million inhabitants. Syracuse is also well provided with convention sites, with a downtown convention complex and the Empire Expo Center directly west of the city, which hosts the annual Great New York State Fair. Syracuse was named after the original Syracuse, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily, Italy, with which it shares some similarities, including a formerly important salt industry and a neighboring town of Salina.

The city has functioned as a major crossroads over the last two centuries, first between the Erie Canal and its branch canals, then of the railway network. Today, Syracuse is located by the intersection of Upstate New York's two major interstate highways, and its airport is the largest in the region.

Internationally, the city today is best known as the home of Syracuse University.


[edit] History

The Syracuse area was first seen by Europeans when French missionaries came to the area in the 1600s. A group of Jesuit priests, soldiers, and coureurs des bois (including Pierre Esprit Radisson) set up a mission, known as Saint Marie Among the Iroquois or Ste. Marie de Gannentaha, on the northeast shore of Onondaga Lake, at the invitation of the Onondaga Nation, one of the five constituent members of the Iroquois confederacy.

The mission was short lived, as the Mohawk Nation hinted to the Onondaga that they should sever their ties to the French, or the Onondaga's guests would suffer some horrible fate. The men in the mission caught wind of this and left under cover of a cold night in March. Their entire stay was less than two years. The remains of the mission have been located underneath a restaurant in nearby Liverpool. There is now a living history museum in Liverpool that recreates the mission.

Just after the Revolutionary War, more settlers came to the area, mostly to trade with the Onondaga Nation. Ephraim Webster left the Continental Army to settle in the area in 1784, and Asa Danforth, another revolutionary war hero, arrived afterward. Salt was discovered in several swamps in Syracuse, which brought more settlers to the area, and eventually gave the city the nickname "Salt City".

Syracuse during its golden years. This picture is of South Salina Street circa 1915.

The original settlement went through several name changes until 1824, first being called Salt Point (1780), then Webster's Landing (1786), Bogardus Corners (1796), Milan (1809), South Salina (1812), Cossits’ Corners (1814), and Corinth (1817). The U.S. Postal Service rejected the name Corinth upon its application for a post office, stating there was already a post office by this name in New York. Due to similarities such as a salt industry and a neighboring village named Salina, the name Syracuse was chosen, after Syracuse, Italy.

In 1825, the Village of Syracuse was officially incorporated. Five years later, the Erie Canal, which ran through the village, was completed. In 1848, Syracuse merged with nearby Salina to become the City of Syracuse. The opening of the canal caused a steep increase in the sale of salt, not simply due to the improved and lower cost of transportation, but because the canal caused New York farms to change from wheat to pork, and curing pork required salt. As salt production climbed, the processing became increasingly mechanized, and local industry became more generalized; population grew to 5,000 by 1850, from 250 in 1820, making it the twelfth largest city in the Union.

A continuing struggle Syracuse faces is renovating former industrial areas into usable space today. One successful example is Franklin Square.

As Syracuse grew in wealth and sophistication, it became a hot spot for the growing abolitionist movement. On October 1, 1851, a freed slave known only as Jerry was arrested under the Fugitive Slave Law. The anti-slavery Liberty Party was holding its state convention in the city, and when word of the arrest spread, several hundred abolitionists broke into the city jail and freed Jerry. The event came to be known as the Jerry Rescue. During the Civil War, Syracuse was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

The salt industry declined after the Civil War, but a new manufacturing industry arose in its place. Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, numerous businesses and stores were established, including the Franklin Automobile Company, which produced the first air-cooled engine in the world, and the Craftsman Workshops, the center of Gustav Stickley's handmade furniture empire.

Syracuse University was chartered in 1870 as a Methodist-Episcopal institution; it has grown from a few classrooms located in downtown Syracuse into a major research institution.

World War II sparked significant industrial expansion in the area: specialty steel, fasteners, custom machining. After the war, two of the Big Three automobile manufacturers (General Motors & Chrysler) had major operations in the area. Syracuse was headquarters for Carrier Air Conditioning, Crouse-Hinds traffic signal manufacturing, and General Electric had its main television manufacturing plant at Electronics Parkway in Syracuse.

Many of Syracuse's landmark buildings were demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, and several new museums and government buildings were built. Syracuse's population peaked at 221,000 in 1950. In the 1980s, many immigrants from Africa and Central America moved to Syracuse, under the auspices of several religious charities. However, these new Syracusans could not make up for the flow of residents out of Syracuse to either its suburbs or out of state due to job loss. The city's population slowly decreases every year.

The manufacturing industry in Syracuse began to falter in the 1970s. Many small businesses failed during this time, which contributed to an already increasing unemployment rate. General Electric moved its manufacturing operations to Singapore. The Carrier Corporation moved its headquarters out of Syracuse and outsourced manufacturing to Asian locations. Nevertheless, the Syracuse metropolitan area population has remained stable, even growing by 2.5 percent since 1970. While this growth rate beats much of Upstate New York, it is far below the national average during that period.

[edit] Geography and climate

[edit] Geography

Syracuse is located at 43°2′49″N, 76°8′40″W (43.046899, -76.144423)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 66.4 km² (25.6 mi²). 65.0 km² (25.1 mi²) of it is land and 1.4 km² (0.6 mi²) of it (2.15%) is water.

The city is seen as the northeast gateway to the Finger Lakes Region. The city has many neighborhoods which were originally various villages that joined the city over the years. Although the central part of Syracuse is flat, many of its neighborhoods are located on small hills such as University Hill and Tipperary Hill. Land to the north of Syracuse is generally flat while land to the south is hilly.

About 27 percent of Syracuse's land area is covered by 890,000 trees — a higher percentage than in Albany, Rochester or Buffalo. This is despite the Labor Day Storm of 1998, a derecho which destroyed approximately 30,000 trees. The sugar maple accounts for 14.2 percent of Syracuse's trees, followed by the Northern white cedar (9.8 percent) and the European buckthorn (6.8 percent). The most common street tree is the Norway maple (24.3 percent) followed by the honeylocust (9.3 percent). The densest tree cover in Syracuse is in the two Valley neighborhoods, with 46.6 percent of their land covered by trees. The lowest tree cover percentage is found downtown, which consists of only 4.6 percent trees.<ref>Weiner, Mark: "Census of trees sees healthy population - Syracuse, one of Upstate's leafiest cities, is coming back after the devastating 1998 Labor Day Storm", Post-Standard, 27 April 2001</ref>

Syracuse's main water source is Skaneateles Lake, one of the country's cleanest lakes, located about 20 miles (30 km) southwest of the city. Incoming water is left unfiltered, and only a trivial amount of chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth. For periods of drought, there is also a backup line which uses water from Lake Ontario.<ref>City of Syracuse - Executive Summary (2003)</ref> Onondaga Lake's water is not drinkable due to industrial pollution and inadequate sewage systems which spanned many decades.

Onondaga Creek, a waterway that runs through downtown, flows northward through the city. There are plans and aspirations to create a creek walk that will connect the Lakefront and Inner Harbor to Franklin Square, Armory Square, The Valley, and ultimately the Onondaga Nation. The creek is navigable, yet can be quite a challenge as its channelized nature speeds up its flow.

[edit] Climate

Image:Syracuse Weather Statistics.png
Some of Syracuse's statistical weather averages
Syracuse is known for its snowfall. With 115.6 inches (293.6 cm) average,<ref>"Snowfall - Average Total In Inches", NOAA, 23 June 2004</ref> the Syracuse metro area receives more snow on average than any other large city in the United States.<ref>Cappella, Chris: "Answers: 10 snowiest 'cities' aren't all in New York", USA Today, 3 October 2003</ref> Research has even shown that Syracuse is the snowiest large city in the world.<ref>Kirst, Sean: "We won't buckle under the Snowbelt's blows", Post-Standard, 14 March 2005</ref> Syracuse continually wins the Golden Snowball Award, among Upstate cities. Its record so far is 192.1 inches (487.9 cm). The high snowfall is a result of the fact that the city receives both lake effect and nor'easter snow. Snow most often falls in small (about 1-3 inches/2-8 cm), almost daily doses, over a period of several days. Larger snowfalls do occur from time-to-time, and even more so in the northern suburbs.

One notable blizzard was the Blizzard of 1993, during which 42.9 inches (109 cm) fell on the city within 48 hours, with 35.6 inches (90.4 cm) falling within the first 24 hours. Syracuse received more snow than any other city in the country during this storm, which shattered a total of eight local records, including most the snow in a single snowstorm.<ref>Staff Reports: "A Storm for the records - Blizzard of 1993 brought 42.9 inches", Post-Standard, 31 December 2003</ref> Ironically, virtually no snow fell during the Blizzard of 2006, where the Catskills and New York City saw over two feet (60 cm) of snow fall in about one day.

Syracuse's hottest month is historically July, with an average high temperature of 82 °F (28 °C), while its coldest month is historically January, with an average low temperature of 14 °F (-10 °C). Record highs and lows are 102 °F (39 °C) on July 9, 1936 and -41 °F (-41 °C) on March 3, 1938, respectively.

Syracuse's summers have also broken records in the first decade of the 21st Century. The summers of 2005 and 2002 were, respectively, the hottest and second-hottest summers on record.<ref>Weiner, Mark: "Season soars into record - Warmest summer may affect our winter", Post-Standard, 22 September 2005</ref>

[edit] Demographics

Syracuse Compared
(monetary values in United States dollars)
2000 CensusSyracuseNY StateU.S.
Total population147, 30618,976,457281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000-10.4%+5.5%+13.1%
Population density5,871/mi²402/mi²80/mi²
Median household income (1999)$25,000$43,393$41,994
Per capita income$15,168$23,389$21,587
Bachelor's degree or higher23%27%24%
Foreign born8%20%11%

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 147,306 people, 59,482 households, and 30,335 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,266.8/km² (5,871.0/mi²). There were 68,192 housing units at an average density of 1,049.4/km² (2,717.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.26% White, 25.35% African American, 1.13% Native American, 3.37% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.23% from other races, and 3.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.27% of the population.

Syracuse has historically enjoyed a relatively diverse ethnic population, including sizable Italian-American, Polish-American and Irish-American communities. Currently the city has a growing Latino population, and is also a resettlement center for refugees from Bosnia, Cuba, Sudan (the "Lost Boys") as well as Somali Bantu refugees.

There were 59,482 households out of which 30.46% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 12.65% were married couples living together, 14.84% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.58% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 3.11.

Image:Syracuse Race Statistics.png
Syracuse's racial makeup in 2000
In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,000, and the median income for a family was $33,026. Males had a median income of $30,312 versus $23,997 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,168. About 21.7% of families and 27.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.1% of those under age 18 and 12.4% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Economy

Image:Syracuse MONY.jpg
AXA is not one of the region's top ten employers, but the towers bearing its name are a prominent piece of the Syracuse skyline

Syracuse's economy has faced challenges over the past decades as industrial jobs have left the area. The number of local and state government jobs also have been declining for several years. Syracuse's top employers are now primarily in education and in the service industry. University Hill is Syracuse's fastest growing neighborhood, fueled by expansions by Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University, as well as dozens of small medical office complexes.

[edit] Top employers

The top employers in the Syracuse region and the size of their workforce, as of January 1, 2006:

(source: Syracuse Post Standard)

Bristol-Myers Squibb, founded by alums of nearby Hamilton College, has a complex near the Eastwood district.<ref>Bristol-Myers Squibb's Syracuse Campus</ref> Time Warner Cable has based one of its divisions in Syracuse.<ref>Time Warner Cable's Syracuse Division</ref>

Today the Syracuse area has few extremely large employers, but rather many smaller ones, which provides for a certain amount of stability. Additionally, eight of the area's top eleven employers are in education or the service industry, which tend to be much more stable than the manufacturing industry.

The Syracuse area's unemployment rate of 5.0 percent is comparable to the national one of 4.8 (March, 2006). Throughout 2006, the area has continued to gain jobs over the previous year's figures. During February and March 2006, the area's job growth rate tied with New York City for the highest in the state.<ref>Moriarty, Rick: "CNY Leads in Job Growth", Post-Standard, 21 April 2006</ref>

[edit] Destiny USA

Main article: Destiny USA

Plans are underway for the current Carousel Center to be expanded. The proposed "Destiny USA" would be among the largest malls in the country and is expected to contain the present mall, hotels, and various attractions. Pyramid Companies, the project's backer, claims that this will bring thousands of new jobs to the area and turn Syracuse into a huge metropolis and tourist destination.

[edit] Neighborhoods

Image:Syracuse Neighborhoods Labeled.gif
The 26 Syracuse neighborhoods

The City of Syracuse officially recognizes 26 neighborhoods within its boundaries. Some of these have small additional neighborhoods and districts inside of them. In addition, Syracuse also owns and operates Syracuse Hancock International Airport, located on the territory of four towns north of the city.

Syracuse's neighborhoods reflect the historically divided population. Traditionally, German- and Italian-Americans settled on its northside; Polish- and Irish-Americans on its westside; Jewish-Americans on the eastside; and African-Americans on its southside.

[edit] Business districts

Besides the dominant Carousel Center shopping mall in the Syracuse's Lakefront neighborhood, many of the city's more traditional neighborhoods continue to have active business districts:

  • Downtown: Armory Square has replaced South Salina Street as the main retail and dining area of Downtown Syracuse. Armory Square has around 30 dining establishments, around 20 pubs, bars and clubs, and over 50 other retail stores. Similarly, but on a smaller scale, there is the Hanover Square area as well.
  • Eastwood: Calling itself "the village within the city", this former village still has a retail corridor along James Street.
  • Little Italy: A neighborhood with Italian origins, Little Italy (part of the Near Northeast neighborhood) has several blocks of bakeries, restaurants, pizzerias, shops, and services.
  • University Hill: Marshall Street, along with its terminus South Crouse Avenue, is lined with stores, bars, and restaurants, primarily to cater the student population on "The Hill", as well as the over 25,000 people who work there daily. Additionally, East Genesee Street at the northwestern corner of the neighborhood has several retail establishments as well.
  • Westcott: This neighborhood, located east of University Hill, is also inhabited by many students. Westcott Street offers small stores and restaurants for their needs.

Armory Square
Hanover Square
Tipperary Hill
Franklin Square
Inner Harbor
Little Italy
Marshall Street

Image:Syracuse Neighborhoods Labeled.gif

[edit] Colleges and universities

Syracuse University's stairway to the Hall of Languages. This is where the monument to the students lost on Pan Am Flight 103 is located.

Syracuse's major research university, and its largest employer, is Syracuse University, located on University Hill. It had an enrollment of 18,734 students (12,905 undergraduates, 5,829 graduates and law students) for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Surrounding Syracuse University are two State University (SUNY) schools, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Also in Syracuse are Le Moyne College on the city's eastern border, and Onondaga Community College, which has its main campus in the city's Elmwood neighborhood, along with two smaller campuses downtown and in Liverpool. A branch of SUNY's Empire State College is located in downtown Syracuse, along with a campus of the nationwide Bryant & Stratton College. A campus of ITT Technical Institute also calls the Syracuse metropolitan area home, also located in Liverpool.

Other colleges and universities in the area include Cornell University and Ithaca College in Ithaca, Hamilton College in Clinton, Oswego State University in Oswego, SUNY Cortland in Cortland, Morrisville State College in Morrisville, Colgate University in Hamilton, Cazenovia College in Cazenovia, Wells College in Aurora, and both Utica College and SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica.

[edit] Arts and culture

Image:Syracuse Niagara Mohawk.jpg
The Niagara Mohawk Building (now owned by National Grid), an example of art deco.

An up-to-date directory and events calendar covering all of the visual and performing arts in Syracuse is available at

[edit] Performing arts

Syracuse is home to the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO), founded in 1961. The SSO has 75 musicians and is under direction of Daniel Hege; one of its former Music Directors was Frederik Prausnitz. The orchestra performs over 200 concerts annually for an audience of over 250,000.

The Clinton String Quartet has been a New York String Quartet for over 15 years and is based in the Syracuse, New York area. All four members are also members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concert performances, they perform corporate events, black tie functions, commmunity events and weddings.

The Syracuse Opera Company is a professional opera company that generally performs three pieces each season. It was founded in 1963 as the Opera Chorus of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and became independent in 1973. During the 2005/2006 season it will perform Tosca, HMS Pinafore and The Marriage of Figaro. In addition to its full performances, there are also several free outdoor concerts annually in Armory Square, Thornden Park, and elsewhere. The company has an annual budget of $1 million and is the only professional opera company in Upstate New York.

Syracuse Stage, with its many world premieres and productions that have moved to Broadway, creates often experimental and creative theater. The venue was designed by its most famous former artistic director Arthur Storch. Offering eight plays during its 31st Season (2005-2006), it is now in its tenth season under current artistic director Robert Moss.

The Redhouse is Syracuse's newest venture into professional theatre. Opened in 2004, The Redhouse is a small theatre housed in a converted hotel, that not only performs pieces of stage work, but also holds performances by national recording artists, as well as screening independent films.

[edit] Museums & art galleries

Group of statues displayed outside the Everson Museum of Art

The Everson Museum of Art, which opened in 1968 in a building designed by I.M. Pei, features one of the most extensive pottery collections in the United States along with works of American art, dating from the 18th century to the present. This collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, and video.

The Erie Canal Museum is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Erie Canal and its role in Syracuse's growth.

The International Mask and Puppet Museum is a museum in Little Italy focusing on masks and puppets, the later of which are also used in educational performances for children.

The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology is a museum located in the Armory Square neighborhood that features exhibits in science and technology and also houses the city's only IMAX theater.

The Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center, located at 321 Montgomery Street downtown, features exhibits on the past of the Syracuse region, and contains historical archives relating to the area's history.

The Warehouse Gallery is located at 350 West Fayette Street in The Warehouse. It is a part of the Coalition of Museum And Art Centers (CMAC). This new contemporary art center exhibits, commissions, and promotes work by emerging and accomplished artists in a variety of media. The programming attempts to engage the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our times.

The Delavan Art Gallery is located at 501 West Fayette Street in an old farm equipment factory. It has a 3800 square feet of exhibit space, and, on several other floors in the building, houses the studios of a number of area artists. It has shows which usually open on the first Thursday of the month. It showcases a wide variety of work, from multi-media sculputre to hyperealism.

The Point of Contact Gallery is located at 914 East Genesee Street. The newest member of the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers at Syracuse University, it is a space dedicated to the exploration of the verbal and visual arts and home of the Point of Contact Art Collection. It is a cross-disciplinary open forum for the essential discussion of contemporary art. A showcase for contemporary artists from around the world, with a strong prevalence from Latin America. The Point of Contact collection comprises over 200 original pieces created especially for "Point of Contact", the book series, since 1975. Photography, collage, drawings, paintings and three-dimensional works form this rare collection.

[edit] Recreation

The City of Syracuse maintains over 170 parks, fields, and recreation areas, totaling over 1000 acres.<ref>City of Syracuse Department of Parks</ref> Burnet Park includes the first public golf course in the United States (1901) and Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Other major parks include Thornden Park, Schiller Park, Sunnycrest Park, and the joined Onondaga and Kirk Parks. There are 12 public pools, three public ice rinks, and two public nine-hole golf courses in the city.

Right outside the city proper, along Onondaga Lake, is Onondaga Lake Park, a park that surrounds most of the lake itself. The adjacent Onondaga Lake Parkways is closed to vehicular traffic several hours on Sundays during the summer months, so it can be used for walking, running, biking, and rollerblading. During the holiday season, the park hosts Lights on the Lake, a two-mile drive-through light show.

[edit] Transportation

[edit] Public transportation

Syracuse is served by the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, or CNYRTA. The CNYRTA operates bus service in Syracuse and its suburbs, as well as to outlying metropolitan area cities such as Auburn, Fulton, and Oswego.

OnTrack is the Syracuse commuter train line. The line runs from Colvin Street on the city's South Side via Syracuse University and Armory Square to the Carousel Center. Financing was finally approved in April 2004 to build a bridge over Park Street that would allow OnTrack to reach the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center, Regional Market, and Alliance Bank Stadium. This service sees roughly 60 riders a day,<ref>Smith, Kristin: "OnTrack is lacking passengers in Syracuse" News 10 Now, 24 May 2004</ref> and is used mostly by Syracuse University students. OnTrack was launched in 1994, and has experienced periods of growth and decline. As of December 2005, the Park Street Bridge has not been built. A direct link to the transportation center might profit the line as a result of passengers arriving without cars. OnTrack's already-completed platform is adjacent to Amtrak's.

The Pyramid Companies have also proposed a monorail linking the university to the airport via downtown, their proposed DestiNY Resort, the transportation center, and their proposed DestiNY Technology Park. The cost of such a line has been estimated at $750 million.

Local millionaire Tom McDonald has also proposed an aerial tramway system, called Salt City Aerial Transit (S.C.A.T.), to link the university to the transportation center using a similar route. The first segment from SU to Downtown has been estimated to cost $5 million, which McDonald plans to raise the money himself. Due to the perceived low operating costs, the system could run continuously.

[edit] Commute

According to the 2000 Census, this is how people aged 16 and over commute to work:

  • 65.9% drive alone
  • 13.7% carpool
  • 10.1% walk
  • 6.8% use public buses (CENTRO)
  • 0.6% bike
  • 0.2% use a taxicab
  • 0.013% use elevated rail (OnTrack)

Syracuse currently ranks 50th in the United States for high transit ridership and 12th for most pedestrian commuters.

[edit] Rail

The city lies on Amtrak's Empire Service, Lake Shore Limited, and Maple Leaf lines.

The Empire Service runs several times daily from Niagara Falls to New York Penn Station, with major stops in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany along the way.

The Lake Shore Limited connects Syracuse to the same cities as above (except Niagara Falls), but continues westward from Buffalo to Chicago via Cleveland and Toledo. This train completes one roundtrip daily.

Also completing one roundtrip a day, the Maple Leaf follows the path of the Empire Service train, but continues to Toronto.

Amtrak's station is part of the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center.

[edit] Bus

Greyhound Lines and Trailways provide long-distance bus service. Both also use the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center in the north of the city.

[edit] Air service

Syracuse is served by the Syracuse Hancock International Airport in nearby Salina, near Mattydale. The airport is served by 17 airlines (9 major), which provide non-stop flights to destinations as far away as Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as several daily flights to other important airline hubs and business centers such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Six cargo carriers also serve the airport.

[edit] Roads

Syracuse's four interstate highways link the city with its suburbs and other cities throughout the country.

Interstate 81 (Ontario Highway 401 in Canada to Knoxville) runs north-south through Syracuse, and provides access to Canada, Pennsylvania and points south. Its downtown portion is extremely narrow, only consisting of four lanes and essentially no onramps. It forms a physical and psychological border between downtown and University Hill, an issue both Syracuse University and local politicians are trying to address. Moreover, it essentially marks the boundary between two State Senate districts.

Interstate 90 (Seattle to Boston), also known as the New York State Thruway runs east-west, just north of the city. It is a toll highway that provides access to Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, and the north-south (Interstate 87) part of the Thruway which leads to New York City.

Interstate 690 runs east-west through the city, and provides access to Interstate 90, as well as to Syracuse's northwestern and eastern suburbs. A spur off I-690 directly west of the city, NY-695, provides freeway access to the southwestern suburbs. It meets Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse in a highly-complex and incomplete intersection. Most of its routing through the city directly replaced elevated rail lines, a fact quite notable by the city's former main rail terminal, where the freeway spans the width between the terminal and its outermost platform. In 1981 artist Duke Epolito erected sculptures of "passengers" on the far platform. The piece is entitled "Waiting for a Night Train."

Interstate 481 forms an eastern loop around the city and continues to the northwest as NY-481 to Fulton and Oswego, on the shore of Lake Ontario.

U.S. Highway 11 (Quebec route 223 in Canada to New Orleans) passes through Syracuse, including downtown, and it follows the route of Salina and State Streets.

U.S. Highway 20 (Boston to Newport, Oregon) passes south of Syracuse.

[edit] Government

Image:Matt Driscoll.jpg
Matthew Driscoll, 52nd Mayor of Syracuse
Image:Syracuse Courthouse.jpg
Courthouse at Columbus Circle

[edit] Executive

The city is headed by an elected mayor who is limited to two four-year terms. The incumbent is former Syracuse Common Council President Matthew Driscoll, who first assumed the position in 2001 after the former mayor, Roy Bernardi, resigned upon his appointment by President George W. Bush to a position in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. After serving the remaining term, Driscoll was re-elected that year, and again in 2005.

[edit] Legislative

The legislative branch of Syracuse is the Syracuse Common Council. It consists of a president and nine members, currently:

  • Hon. Bethaida González (D) - President
  • Hon. Van B. Robinson (D) - Councilor at Large
  • Hon. William M. Ryan (D) - Councilor at Large
  • Hon. Kathleen Joy Callahan (D) - Councilor at Large
  • Hon. Stephanie A. Miner (D) - Councilor at Large
  • Hon. Jeff DeFrancisco (R) - 1st District
  • Hon. Patrick J. Hogan (D) - 2nd District (endorsed by the Republican party)
  • Hon. Ryan McMahon (R) - 3rd District
  • Hon. Thomas M. Seals (D) - 4th District
  • Hon. William J. Simmons (D) - 5th District

[edit] Judicial

The Onondaga County Supreme and County Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction for Syracuse. It is also the administrative court for the Fifth District of the New York State Unified Court System. Judges for these courts are elected at-large.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York also has its chambers in Syracuse.

[edit] Media

[edit] Newspapers

Syracuse has one major daily morning newspaper, The Post-Standard. Up until 2001, Syracuse also had an evening paper, The Herald-Journal. Besides a Syracuse/Onondaga County edition, The Post-Standard publishes three additional editions: Cayuga, Madison, and Oswego for the other three counties of the metropolitan area, plus an additional edition on Sundays. It has six news bureaus throughout Central New York, as well as one in Albany (state capital) and Washington, DC.

Before the merger with the evening paper, the Post-Standard was named among the "10 best newspapers in America with a circulation of under 100,000" by Al Neuharth of USA Today (run by a competing organization). Since the merger, circulation has increased to over 120,000. Even outside of its four-county delivery area, the paper is available in many convenience stores and supermarkets from the Canadian to the Pennsylvanian border. The newspaper partly caters to this audience as well, covering many stories from the Ithaca, Utica, and Watertown areas. Since opening a new printing press in 2002, the paper calls itself "America's Most Colorful Newspaper," as almost every page contains color. The Post-Standard partners with to provide its content online.

The New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post are also readily available and widely read in the region.

The Daily Orange, the newspaper of Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students, is read by over 20,000 people daily, and is widely distributed in the University Hill neighborhood and Armory Square. The Dolphin, the weekly student newspaper of Le Moyne College is also available, but read mainly by Le Moyne students.

There is also a weekly free newspaper that focuses on events in Syracuse, the Syracuse New Times.

There are other popular free newspapers, including Eagle Newspaper's downtown edition, the City Eagle, and Table Hopping, which focuses on the restaurant and entertainment scene.

[edit] Television

Syracuse has eight full-power broadcast television stations:

Additionally, networks such as Cornerstone Television, Univision, and MTV2 are broadcast by low-power television stations.<ref>CNY Media: Syracuse TV Stations Transmitters</ref>

Syracuse's cable television provider is Time Warner Cable, which, as a part of its regular and digital offerings, provides a 24-hour local news channel (News 10 Now), local sports channel, public access channel, and an additional PBS channel.

Dish Network and DirecTV also provide local satellite television subscribers with local broadcast stations.

[edit] Religion

Buddhism: Buddhism has its presence in Syracuse with the Zen Center of Syracuse on the Seneca Turnpike; as well as a center on Park Street, on the city's north side.

Christianity: Syracuse has two cathedrals, the Episcopalian St. Paul's Cathedral and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Both are located in the Columbus Circle neighborhood. Both are home to their respective dioceses, the Diocese of Central New York (Episcopalian) and the Diocese of Syracuse (Roman Catholic). Syracuse is also home to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Roman Catholic). In addition there are dozens of churches in Syracuse of nearly every Christian denomination, including Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science, Reformed Presbyterian and Metaphysical Christian. Complete List

Eckankar: The ECK Center of Central New York provides service for Syracuse-area Eckankar believers.

Hinduism: Hindu houses of worship include the Hindu Mandir of Central New York in Syracuse, and the Sikh Foundation of Syracuse, in Liverpool.

Islam: Islam also has a presence in Syracuse, with the Islamic Society of Central New York Mosque on Comstock Avenue and Muhammad's Study Group on West Kennedy Street.

Judaism: There are several Jewish synagogues in Syracuse, including the Temple Society of Concord Temple Beth El, and Temple Adath Yeshurun.

Unitarian Universalism: There are two Unitarian Universalist churches in Syracuse.

A complete list of Syracuse's Houses of Worship

[edit] Sports

Image:SU Football.jpg
Syracuse University's football team is part of the Big East Conference and plays its games in the Carrier Dome.

Main article: Sports in Syracuse

[edit] Professional

Syracuse was from 1946 until 1963 home to the the NBA's Syracuse Nationals, which are now the Philadelphia 76ers. They played seventeen seasons in Syracuse and even won the NBA championship in 1955. The NBA's 24-second clock was invented in and first came into use in Syracuse. In March 2005 the city dedicated a monument to this fact. It is a 125% scaled model of the original shot clock used.

The Syracuse-based Monolith Athletic Club is working to return professional soccer to Syracuse. The Syracuse Salty Dogs existed for two seasons (2002-2004) until folding due to financial problems. The game attendance had been among the highest in the A-League.

[edit] College

Syracuse University sports are by far the most attended sporting events in the Syracuse area. Basketball games often draw over 30,000 fans, and football games over 40,000. The university has bred dozens of famous professional players since starting an athletics program in the late nineteenth century, including all-time greats Jim Brown and Dave Bing, and present professional stars Carmelo Anthony and Donovan McNabb.

[edit] Famous Syracusans

Some very well-known<ref>The previous list of Syracusans was filtered to only include those with over a million Google hits for their name plus their profession.</ref> Syracusans include:

Several other well-known individuals have ties to the Syracuse Metropolitan Area, including The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum, actor Richard Gere, and two-term United States President Grover Cleveland.

[edit] Syracuse in film and television

[edit] Events

[edit] Sister cities

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] External links

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