Troy, New York

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Image:Troy NY Fall.jpg
Looking west down Broadway at downtown Troy.

Troy is a city in New York, USA and is the county seat of Rensselaer County. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 49,170; in 1910, the population was 76,813. The city is named after the legendary city of Troy.

The City of Troy is located on the western edge of the county. Troy is home to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage College, and the Emma Willard School, and was the the hometown of Uncle Sam.

Nicknames: "The Collar City", "Home of Uncle Sam"


[edit] History

The site of the city was a part of the Van Rensselaer grant of 1629. Dirck Van der Heyden was one of the first settlers. In 1707, he purchased a farm of 65 acres (26 hectares) which in 1787 was laid out as a village.

The name Troy (after the legendary city of Troy, made famous in Homer's Iliad) was adopted in 1789, and the region was formed into the "Town of Troy" in 1791 from part of the Rensselaerwyck Manor. Troy became a village in 1801 and was chartered as a city in 1816.

Troy has been nearly destroyed by fire three times. In 1892, there were election riots there during which Robert Ross was murdered. One of his alleged slayers, "Bat" Shea, was executed in 1896.

In 1900 Troy annexed Lansingburgh, a former town and village in Rensselaer County. Lansingburgh is thus often referred to as "North Troy". To avoid confusion with streets in Troy following the annexation, Lansingburgh's numbered streets were renamed: its 1st Street, 2nd Street, 3rd Street, etc., became North Troy's 101st Street, 102nd Street, 103rd Street, etc. Lansingburgh was home to the Lansingburgh Academy.

Through much of the 19th and into the early 20th century, Troy was not only one of the most prosperous cities in New York State, but also one of the most prosperous cities in the entire country. It was one of the centers of the American iron industry, as well as of the "collar and cuff" industry, the latter exemplified by Cluett, Peabody & Company. Cluett's "Arrow shirts" are still worn by men across the country, although Cluett's itself is no more. Bells manufactured by the Meneely Bell Company ring all over the world. People came from far and wide to shop at Frear's Department Store, which was one of the largest in the state.

[edit] Other Notable Historical Events in Troy

Image:Original Brueggers.jpg
The original Brueggers Bagel shop still found in downtown Troy, New York.

[edit] Notable Troy Residents

  • Samuel Wilson, a Troy butcher and meatpacker during the time of the War of 1812, who is believed by many to have been the inspiration for the personification of the United States known as Uncle Sam.
  • William Marcy, a notable politician of his era, who resided in Troy. Marcy was an associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court, was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the United States Senate, serving from 1831 until 1833 and later became Governor of New York, a position he held from 1833 until 1839. Marcy served as United States Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President James K. Polk and United States Secretary of State under President Franklin Pierce. Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York, and the Town of Marcy in Oneida County are named after him.
  • John Morrissey, "undefeated boxing champion" (According to the Troy Record) Irish mobster, founder of Saratoga Race Course, U.S. Representative from New York and later State Senator, emigrated to Troy from Tipperary, Ireland in 1854 at the age of 3. He died in 1877 and was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery.
  • King Kelly, born in Troy, major league baseball player<ref name="The Baseball Encyclopedia"> [1969] (1979) Reichler, Joseph L.: The Baseball Encyclopedia, 4th edition, New York: Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 0-02-578970-8. </ref>

[edit] Geography

Troy is located at 42°44′18″N, 73°40′51″W (42.738278, -73.680809)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.5 km² (11.0 mi²). 27.0 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 mi²) of it (5.44%) is water.

With a picturesque river waterfront, Troy is located several miles north of Albany near the juncture of the Erie and Champlain canals, via the Hudson River and is the terminus of the New York Barge Canal. It is the distributing center for a large area.

The city is south of Washington County and is situated in the center of beautiful surrounding countryside. On the east are the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, south is the valley of the Hudson, west the valley of the Mohawk, and on the north the Adirondack Mountains.

[edit] Demographics

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 49,170 people, 19,996 households, and 10,737 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,823.7/km² (4,721.8/mi²). There were 23,093 housing units at an average density of 856.5/km² (2,217.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.22% White, 11.41% African American, 0.28% Native American, 3.49% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.20% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.33% of the population.

According the Census Bureau, the largest self-reported ethnic groups in Troy are: Irish (23%), Italian (13%), German (11%), French (8%), English (7%), and Polish (5%).

There were 19,996 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.6% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 17.6% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,844, and the median income for a family was $38,631. Males had a median income of $30,495 versus $25,724 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,796. About 14.3% of families and 19.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.0% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Culture

Troy is best known as a "Victorian City" and is home to countless samples of Victorian architecture and iron work. The city has an impressive number of intact Tiffany stained-glass windows in their original architectural settings. With a still-intact architectural heritage that is representative of urban settings of the late 19th century, cinematographers have found fertile ground for location filming in the city of Troy. Ironweed, Age of Innocence, Scent of a Woman, The Bostonians, The Emperor’s Club, and The Time Machine are just some of the films shot in the city. However, there are many buildings in a state of disrepair, but concerned citizens and community groups and investors are taking a hand in restoring them.

Tragically, as is the case with many American cities, the heart of downtown Troy fell victim to so-called "urban renewal" in the 1970s. The gutting of Troy's business district, which destroyed downtown Troy's vitality, has been a major contributing factor to the city's problems in recent years. However, there is an effort by lawmakers, business owners, and concerned citizens to revitalize the downtown area.

Part of this effort has been the establishment (and some would say success) of its "Antique District," which is located on River Street in downtown Troy. Various cafes, sandwich shops, record stores, and art galleries have also begun to appear and/or gain prominence. In addition, there are numerous projects in the works to fill currently unoccupied buildings and storespace in the downtown area, including clothing stores, an independent film theatre, and other businesses. As a host to many art, literature, and music lovers, the city also hosts an array of free shows during the Summer. Many of these can be seen on River Street, in parks, and in certain cafes and coffee shops.

Many notable artists were born or grew up in Troy, including but not limited to actress Maureen Stapleton and authors Alice Fulton, Don Rittner and Richard Selzer. Past notable residents include Herman Melville, Emma Willard, Russell Sage, and Jane Fonda. Several books by noted author Kurt Vonnegut are set in the fictional city of "Illium", which is modeled after Troy.

Troy has produced at least three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, including Lt. Colonel William J. O'Brien and Sergeant Thomas A. Baker, both from U.S. Army, 105th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division in World War II, and Specialist Fourth Class Peter C. Guenette from U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), in Vietnam.

[edit] Notable Cultural Events

  • The Troy Flag Day Parade, one of the nation's largest. The parade is held in early June.
  • The Uncle Sam Parade, held on or in proximity to Samuel Wilson's birthday (mid-September).
  • The Classics Project, a classical theatre festival produced by Bakerloo Theatre Project. Between fifteen and twenty emerging theatre artists are provided residency with Bakerloo to develop their craft while performing a repertory season of plays by Shakespeare and other great playwrights. The festival occurs during the months of July and August.
  • The Victorian Stroll, an annual holiday event held in December. The event transforms the historic streets of downtown Troy into a magical stage of song, dance, and family enjoyment. The Stroll attracts more than 15,000 visitors from throughout the Northeast. This December will mark its 24th year.
  • The Tri-City Valley Cats, a minor-league Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The team is a part of the New York-Penn League.

[edit] Political structure

The Executive Branch consists of Mayor Harry Tutunjian (Rep.), who defeated Frank LaPosta for the position in November 2003 and began his term January 2004.

Troy's Legislative Branch consists of a City Council. The Council contains 9 elected members, 3 City Council At-Large Representatives and 6 Council District Representatives, with each Representative serving a two-year term. The City Council At-Large Representative who receives the greatest number of votes in the election is designated the City Council President (currently Marjorie Mahar DerGurahian). The Council meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00pm in City Hall, in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor. All meetings are open to the public, and include a public forum period held before official business where citizens can address the Council on all matters directly pertaining to city government.

Current Troy City Council members for period of January 1st 2006 - December 31st 2007: Henry Bauer (At Large; Council President), Carolin Collier (District #6; President ProTem), Marjorie Mahar DerGurahian (At Large), Clement Campana (At Large), Mark Wojcik (District #1), Mark McGrath (District #2), Peter Ryan (District #3), William Dunne (District #4), and Robert Krogh (District #5).

The most powerful local politician is New York State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, a Glens Falls native who resides in the adjoining town of Brunswick. He has brought state funds for a number of local projects since becoming one of the state's two most important legislators over a decade ago.

[edit] Landmarks

Some famous and interesting portions of Troy include:

Image:Troy rocks Prospect Park.JPG
Painted cement slabs spelling out the city's name placed on the western slope of Prospect Park.
Image:Troy Public Library exterior 1.jpg
Exterior of the Troy Public Library.

[edit] References

  • <references/>

[edit] External links

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Troy, New York

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