Utica, New York

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This article is about Utica in New York, USA. For other places with this name, see Utica.

Utica, New York is a city in the State of New York and the county seat of Oneida County.

The City of Utica is situated within the region referred to as the Mohawk Valley and the Leatherstocking Region in Eastern New York State. Utica has an extensive park system, with winter and summer sports facilities.

Like many industrial towns and cities in the northeastern Rust Belt, Utica has experienced a major reduction in manufacturing activity in the past several decades, and is in serious financial trouble; many public services have been curtailed to save money. Suburbs in Utica have begun to experience suburban sprawl; this is common in many Upstate New York cities, which are suffering from what the Sierra Club termed "sprawl without growth."

The arrival of a large number of Bosnian immigrants over the past several years has thwarted a population loss that had been steady for more than three decades. Bosnian immigrants now constitute about 10% of the total population of Utica. The city's economy is heavily dependent on commercial growth in its suburbs.


[edit] History

Utica was founded in 1704 by Joseph Crandall. Utica was first settled in 1773, on the site of Fort Schuyler which was built in 1758 and abandoned after the French and Indian War. The city's name, which was said to have been picked at random from a hat, originates from the classical North African city of Utica (in present-day Tunisia), where the republican Cato the Younger died in his struggles against Julius Caesar. During the American Revolution the original settlement was destroyed in an attack by Tories and Native Americans, but was rebuilt after the Revolution. Utica was incorporated as a city in 1832

Utica's location on the Erie Canal stimulated its industrial development which was further enhanced as railroads and other canals were built. The middle section of the Erie Canal, from Rome, New York to Salina, was the first portion to open in 1820, and elaborate celebrations were held all over the county. The First Maternal Association was founded in Utica in 1824.

The Utica Psychiatric Center, the first psychiatric center in New York State, has been open in Utica since 1843.

Utica has always been known by its settlers as "The City that God Forgot." In the 1980s and early 1990s, some of Utica's residents could be seen driving cars with bumper stickers that read "Last One Out of Utica, Please Turn Out The Lights," clearly taking a more humorous stand on their city's rapid population loss and continued economic struggles.

Utica was ruled by Democratic Party machine politics for nearly 50 years following World War II. Although Utica had numerous mayors in the postwar period, the real boss of the city was Rufus Elefante. Elefante never held elected political office, but he and his cronies ran almost every aspect of the city's business from Marino's restaurant. He derived his power from Utica's large Italian-American immigrant population. The Italians received political favors from Elefante, and in exchange they voted in a block according to his wishes. At one time Utica was commonly referred to as "Sin City".

[edit] Geography

The Erie Canal, the Mohawk River, the New York Barge Canal, and the New York State Thruway pass through the north part of the city. The city is adjacent to the border of Herkimer County, New York.

Utica is located at 43°5′48″N, 75°13′55″W (43.096569, -75.231887)GR1 in the Mohawk River Valley region of New York State.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.0 km² (16.6 mi²). 42.3 km² (16.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.7 km² (0.3 mi²) of it (1.57%) is water.

[edit] Snowfall

Average Season Snowfall : 98.9"

2004-05 Final Snowfall Total: 93.4" 2005-06 Final Snowfall Total: 106.8"

[edit] Demographics

Historical populations[1]

1840 12,782
1850 17,565
1860 22,529
1870 28,804
1880 33,914
1890 44,007
1900 56,383
1910 74,419
1920 94,156
1930 101,740
1940 100,518
1950 100,489
1960 100,410*
1970 91,611*
1980 75,632*
1990 68,637*
2000 60,651
2003 59,947 (Est.)
* Source document from Oneida County, not Census Bureau. Document here.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 60,651 people, 25,100 households, and 14,231 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,432.3/km² (3,710.0/mi²). There were 29,186 housing units at an average density of 689.2/km² (1,785.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.42% White, 12.92% African American, 0.28% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.16% from other races, and 2.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.79% of the population.

There were 25,100 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,916, and the median income for a family was $33,818. Males had a median income of $27,126 versus $21,676 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,248. About 19.8% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Music

Utica contains several different music venues. Utica Monday Nite features exceptional Blues and Jazz musicians from the area.

[edit] Additional facts about Utica

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 60,651. A 2003 estimate projected that Utica's population had shrunk to 59,947. Utica is the largest city in the United States the begins with "U".

Frank Woolworth opened the first of many of his 5 and 10-cent Woolworth stores on February 22, 1879 in Utica.

Utica is the site of the Boilermaker Road Race and the Running Hall of Fame. Universities in Utica include Utica College, State University of New York Institute of Technology, Pratt at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, and Mohawk Valley Community College. Nearby colleges include Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, New York, and Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. The Stanley Theater of Utica is one of the best known theatres in the eastern U.S.

Several widely distributed beers are brewed at the historic F.X. Matt Brewery including The Saranac line of beers, and Utica Club which was the first beer to be sold in the United States after Prohibition was repealed. Other famous sites include Utica Zoo, Munson Williams Art Museum, Children's Museum, Baggs Square and the Oriskany Monument.

The "Union Suit"- a type of red-colored long underwear jumpsuit with a buttoned flap on the backside was invented in Utica.

The first color newspaper, "The Utica Saturday Globe" was published in Utica.

Utica is the birth place of Isaac Singer, former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, and James Schoolcraft Sherman, the 27th Vice President of the United States.

The current mayor is Timothy Julian, who took office in 2000. He was re-elected in 2003 for a full four-year term.

The Utica Zoo is home to the world's largest watering can. The 2,000 pound can is 15 feet 6 inches in height and 12 feet in diameter.

Throughout the summer, Utica has a celebration of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, History and Heritage, called Utica Monday Nite.

On the second week of July, Utica hosts the Boilermaker 15K road race, the largest and most competitive race of its kind in the United States.

Charity Promotions USA Inc., founded in 2003, is the only motorcycle, snowmobile, and recreational enthusiast (hot rods, RV's, etc) Charity in the country. It's National Headquarters is based out of Utica NY, with satellite offices in Branson Missouri, and Huntington Beach California. The goal of CPUSA Inc is to create a Charity Bike Week in those three (3) locations, with the primary purpose of raising $1 Million Dollars for the regional area. Organizations who qualify, will be included in a fundraising activity during the year. [2]

In the winter, Utica hosts Central New York's largest winter festival, Snowfari. The event draws thousands of winter recreational enthusiasts while raising funds for the Utica Zoo. Snowfari offers regional qualifiers for Winter Empire State Games events, SBX (snowboarder cross), mountain bike races, and The Cardboard Sled Race, to name a few events.

Open throughout the year, The Children's Museum of History, Natural History, Science and Technology attracts local visitors and global tourists.

Utica is the headquarters for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Mohawk Valley. The "club" provides comprehensive youth services for 2300 youth annually and is an affordable child care alternative for youth 6-18 years of age. For more information 315.724.2524.

Utica has many famous athletes to root for. Ex-Major Leaguers Andy Van Slyke, Dave Cash, and Mark Lemke are all from the area. NFL Defensive Lineman Will Smith played at Utica's Proctor High School. Current college athletes include SU standouts Josh Wright, Nick Santiago, Vinny Giruzzi. In NHL hockey, there is Robert Esche of the Philadelphia Flyers (Whitesboro), Mark Mowers of the Boston Bruins (Whitesboro), and draftee of the San Jose Sharks Steven Zalewski (New Hartford).

Unique foods that are popular in the area include:

  • Halfmoons (a black and white pastry made with a large (5") dark chocolate cake style cookie iced on one half with white cream frosting and the other half with dark chocolate frosting)
  • Tomato Pie (a type of rectangular thick-crust pizza with a sweet tomato sauce, served cold)
  • Chicken Rigatoni (Chicken Riggies as called by the locals)
  • Greens
Image:Utica crib.jpg
The Utica Crib

The Utica Crib was named for the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica where it was heavily used in the 19th century to confine patients who refused to stay in their beds.

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Utica, New York

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