Troy
From top, left to right: View of Troy from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute campus; Rice Building; Monument Square and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument; A CDTA bus stop on Congress Street; Skyline of Troy
Official seal of Troy
Etymology: Classical Troy
Nickname: 
The Collar City
Motto(s): 
Ilium fuit, Troja est (Latin for "Ilium was, Troy is" also translates as "Troy was, Troy is")
Map of Troy and its major thoroughfares
Map of Troy and its major thoroughfares
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Troy is located in New York
Troy
Troy
Troy is located in the United States
Troy
Troy
Coordinates: 42°43′54″N 73°41′33″W / 42.73167°N 73.69250°W / 42.73167; -73.69250
Country United States
State New York
CountyRensselaer
Settled1787
Named forAncient Troy
Government
 • TypeTroy City Hall
 • BodyTroy City Council
 • MayorCarmella Mantello (R)
 • Council PresidentSusan Steele (D)
Area
 • City11.06 sq mi (28.64 km2)
 • Land10.36 sq mi (26.83 km2)
 • Water0.70 sq mi (1.81 km2)
Highest elevation
500 ft (200 m)
Lowest elevation
0 ft (0 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City51,401
 • Density4,962.92/sq mi (1,916.11/km2)
 • Metro
1,170,483
DemonymTrojan
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
12179–12182
Area code518
FIPS code36-083-75484
FIPS code36-75484
GNIS feature ID0967902
Wikimedia CommonsTroy, New York
Websitewww.troyny.gov

Troy is a city in the United States state of New York and is the county seat of Rensselaer County, New York. It's famous for being the home of Uncle Sam, known as the person who supplied beef for the United States Army during the War of 1812. It's also known for the home of Garnet Douglass Baltimore, who is known as the first African-American to become an engineer and graduated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1881. It is located on the western edge of that county on the eastern bank of the Hudson River just northeast of the capital city of Albany. Troy has close ties to Albany, New York and nearby Schenectady, forming a region popularly called the Capital District.

The city is one of the three major centers for the Albany metropolitan statistical area, which has a population of 1,170,483. At the 2020 census, the population of Troy was 51,401.[2] However, there are several smaller cities close to it, such as Cohoes, Saratoga Springs, and Hudson.

Troy is home to a number of institutions of higher learning: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest private engineering and technical university in the US, founded in 1824; Hudson Valley Community College, part of the sprawling University of the State of New York system that offers both two-year and four-year degrees; the Sage Colleges, which consists of the Russell Sage College headquarters in downtown Troy, an Albany campus, and a graduate-level division, and the Emma Willard School, an all-girls residential high school started by Emma Willard, a women's education activist who sought to create a school for girls equal to that available to their male counterparts. The Emma Willard School was the setting for scenes from the Al Pacino motion picture Scent of a Woman (1992) and the Kevin Kline film The Emperor's Club (2002). In addition, the city's abundance of preserved Victorian architecture has made it a desired place for filming of such productions as the HBO series “The Gilded Age” and such motion pictures as "Ironweed" (1987), "The Age of Innocence" (1993), "The Time Machine" (2002), and "Motherless Brooklyn" (2019), among numerous others.

Due to the confluence of major waterways and a geography that supported water power, the American Industrial Revolution took hold in this area, making Troy reputedly the fourth-wealthiest city in America around the turn of the 20th Century. Troy, originally known as Ashley's Ferry, is noted for a wealth of Victorian architecture downtown and elaborate private homes in various neighborhoods clustered along the river and on an undulating series of hills.

Several churches have a concentrated collection of stained-glass windows by the iconic glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Troy also is home to the musically world-renowned Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, which dates from the 1870s and is regarded as having superb acoustics in a combination of restored and well-preserved performance spaces that regularly are used for recording musical performances.

The area long had been occupied by the Mahican Indian tribe, but Dutch settlement began in the mid-17th Century. The patroon, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, who in the Dutch ascendancy ruled the region, called the region "Pafraets Dael" after his mother. The Dutch colony was conquered by the English in 1664. In 1707, Derick van der Heyden purchased a farm near today's downtown area. In 1771, Abraham J. Lansing had his farm in today's Lansingburgh neighborhood of the city laid out into lots.[3] Sixteen years later, Van der Heyden's grandson Jacob had his extensive holdings surveyed and laid out into lots. He named the new village Vanderheyden or Vanderheyden Farms.

In 1789, Troy adopted its present name following a vote of the people. Troy was incorporated as a town two years later, and extended east across the county to the Vermont state line. In 1796, Troy became a village and in 1816, it became a city. Lansingburgh, to the north, was voluntarily annexed to become part of Troy in 1900.

History

1500 to 1700: the Mohican and the Skiwia Native Americans

Main article: History of Troy, New York

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Mohican Indians had a number of settlements along the Hudson River near its confluence with the Mohawk River. The land comprising the Poesten Kill and Wynants Kill areas -- "kill" being the Dutch word for "creek" or small stream -- were owned by two Mohican groups. The land around the Poesten Kill was owned by Skiwias and was called Panhooseck. The area around the Wynants Kill, known as Paanpack, was owned by Peyhaunet. The land between the creeks, which makes up most of today's downtown and South Troy neighborhood along the Hudson River, was owned by Annape. South of the Wynants Kill and into present-day Town of North Greenbush, the land was owned by Pachquolapiet. These parcels of land were sold to the Dutch between 1630 and 1657, and each purchase was overseen and signed by Skiwias, the sachem -- the political leader of the indigenous people -- at the time. In total, more than 75 individual Mohicans were involved in deed signings in the 17th Century.

1700: The Dutch and the British

The site of the city was a part of Rensselaerswyck, a patroonship created by Kiliaen van Rensselaer. Dirck Van der Heyden was one of the first settlers. In 1707, he purchased a farm of 65 acres (26 ha), which in 1787 was laid out as a village.

The 1800s: Canals, shipping, early industrialization

The name Troy, after the legendary Greek city of Troy made famous in Homer's Iliad, was adopted in 1789, before which the tiny community had been known as Ashley's Ferry. The area was formed into the Town of Troy in 1791 from part of the Manor of Rensselaerswyck. The township included today's towns of Brunswick and Grafton. Troy became a village in 1801 then was chartered as a city in 1816. In the post–Revolutionary War years, as Central New York was first settled, a strong trend to classical names existed, and Troy's naming fits the same pattern as the New York cities of Syracuse, Rome, Utica, Ithaca, and the towns of Sempronius and Manlius, and dozens of other similarly named towns to the west of Troy. Troy's Latin motto is Ilium fuit, Troja est, which means "Ilium was, Troy is".[a]

Northern and Western New York was a theater of the War of 1812, and militia and regular army forces were led by Stephen Van Rensselaer of Troy. Quartermaster supplies were shipped through Troy. A local butcher and meatpacker named Samuel Wilson supplied the military, and according to local lore, stamped the meat barrels "U.S." which alternately was interpreted as "United States" and "Uncle Sam," meaning Wilson. Troy has since claimed to be the historical home of Uncle Sam, who is buried in the historic Oakwood Cemetery located on the northern outskirts of the city and the burial site of numerous local luminaries. The iconic Uncle Sam caricature was created by political newspaper cartoonist Thomas Nast.

On December 23, 1823, The Troy Sentinel newspaper was the first publisher of the world-famous Christmas poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (also known as "The Night Before Christmas" or "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). The poem was published anonymously. Its author has long been believed to have been Clement Clarke Moore, but now is regarded by some as having been Henry Livingston Jr.

Scientific and technical proficiency was supported by the presence of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), one of the highest-ranked engineering schools in the country.[4] RPI originally was sponsored by Stephen Van Rensselaer, one of the most prominent members of that family of Dutch colonial origins. RPI was founded in 1824, and eventually absorbed the campus of the short-lived liberal arts-based Troy University, which closed in 1862 during the Civil War. Rensselaer founded RPI for the "application of science to the common purposes of life," and it is the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world.[5] The institute is known for its success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.[6]

Financial success and flaming destruction

Through much of the 19th and into the early 20th centuries, Troy was one of the most prosperous cities in the United States. Prior to its rise as an industrial center, it was the transshipment point for meat and vegetables from Vermont and New York, which were sent by the Hudson River to New York City. The trade was vastly increased after the construction of the Erie Canal, with its eastern terminus directly across the Hudson River from Troy at Cohoes in 1825. Another artery constructed was the Champlain Canal. In 1916, Troy Federal Lock opened as one of the first modern locks along the present-day canal system.[7]

Troy has nearly been destroyed by fire three times. What was known as the Great Troy Fire of 1862 burned down the W. & L. E. Gurley Company factory, which later that year was replaced by the new W. & L. E. Gurley Building, now a National Historic Landmark: Gurley & Sons remains a worldwide leader in precision instrumentation to this day.

Troy's one-time great wealth was produced in the steel industry, with the first American Bessemer converter erected on the Wynantskill Creek, a stream with falls in a small valley at the south end of the city.[8] The industry first used charcoal and iron ore from the nearby Adirondack Mountains. Later, ore and coal from the Midwest were shipped via the Erie Canal to Troy and were processed before being sent down the Hudson River to New York City. The iron and steel also were used by the extensive federal arsenal located -- as it is today -- across the Hudson at Watervliet, a community then called West Troy. After the Civil War, the steel production industry moved west to be closer to raw materials. The presence of iron and steel also made it possible for Troy to be an early site in the development of iron storefronts and steel structural supports in architecture, and some significant early examples remain in the city.

Pioneering in the world of sports

Troy was an early home of professional baseball and was the host of two major league teams. The first team to call Troy home was the Troy Haymakers, a National Association team operating in 1871-72. One of its major players was Williams H. Craver, a Civil War veteran who was a noted catcher and also managed the team. Its last manager was Jimmy Wood, recognized as the first Canadian to play professional baseball. The Troy Haymakers team folded, and the city subsequently had no team for seven seasons. Then, from 1879 to 1882, Troy rebounded as home to the National League's Troy Trojans. They not only were competitive in the league, they fielded a young Dan Brouthers who went on to become baseball's first great slugger.

Today's sports scene is quite different.The Tri-City ValleyCats, a minor league professional baseball team, calls the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium at Hudson Valley Community College home. The RPI Engineers are an NCAA Division III sports participant except in ice hockey where it plays at the Division I level and won various championships including the national title in 1954 and 1985.

The Hudson Valley CC Vikings participate in Region III of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference. Russell Sage College's Gators compete at the NCAA Division III level in numerous sports and in, among various conferences, the Empire 8 Conference.

Politics, Commerce and growth abound

In 1892, poll watcher Robert Ross was shot dead and his brother was wounded by operatives of Mayor Edward Murphy, later a U.S. senator, after uncovering a man committing voter fraud. The convicted murderer, Bartholomew "Bat" Shea, was executed in 1896, although another man, John McGough, later admitted he had been the shooter.[9]

The initial emphasis on heavier industry later spawned a wide variety of highly engineered mechanical and scientific equipment. Troy was the home of W. & L. E. Gurley, Co., makers of precision instruments. Gurley's theodolites were used to survey much of the American West after the Civil War and were highly regarded until laser and digital technology eclipsed the telescope and compass technology in the 1970s. Bells manufactured by Troy's Meneely Bell Company ring all over the world. Troy also was home to a manufacturer of racing shells that used impregnated paper in a process that presaged the later use of fiberglass, Kevlar, and carbon-fiber composites.

In 1900, Troy annexed Lansingburgh, a former town and village whose standing dates back prior to the War of Independence, in Rensselaer County. Lansingburgh is thus often referred to as "North Troy." However, prior to the annexation that portion of Troy north of Division Street was called North Troy and the neighborhood south of Washington Park was referred to as South 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.

In the early 1900s, the New York Central Railroad was formed from earlier railroads and established its "Water Level Route" from New York City to Chicago, via Albany. A Beaux-Arts station was constructed c. 1903. A short New York Central branch from Rensselaer connected at Troy. Also serving the station was the Boston and Maine Railroad to/from Boston and the Delaware and Hudson Railroad to/from Canada. The railroads quickly made obsolete the 1800s-constructed canals along the Mohawk. The former NYC operates today as CSX for freight service and Amtrak for passenger service, the latter operating from Albany–Rensselaer station, directly opposite downtown Albany on the east side of the Hudson River. The end of rail passenger service to Troy occurred when the Boston and Maine dropped its Boston–Troy run in January 1958. The Troy Union Station was demolished in 1958.

Troy's Union Depot c. 1900

In addition to the strong presence of the early American steel industry, Troy also was a manufacturing center for shirts, shirtwaists, detachable collars and cuffs. In 1825, local resident Hannah Lord Montague was tired of cleaning her blacksmith-husband's shirts. She cut off the collars of his shirts since only the collar was soiled, bound the edges and attached strings to hold them in place. This also allowed the collars and cuffs to be starched separately. Montague's idea caught on and changed the fashion for American men's dress for a century. Her patented collars and cuffs first were manufactured by Maullin & Blanchard, which eventually was absorbed by Cluett, Peabody & Company. Cluett's Arrow brand shirts still are worn by men across the country.[10] The large labor force required by the shirt manufacturing industry also produced in 1864 the nation's first female labor union, the Collar Laundry Union, founded in Troy by Kate Mullany. On February 23, 1864, 300 members of the union went on strike. After six days, the laundry owners gave in to their demands and raised wages 25%. Further developments arose in the industry when, in 1933, Sanford Cluett invented a process he called Sanforization, a process that shrinks cotton fabrics thoroughly and permanently. Cluett, Peabody's last main plant in Troy, was closed in the 1980s, but the industrial output of the plant had long been transferred to facilities in the South.

In 1906, the city supplied itself with water from a 33-inch riveted-steel main from the Tomhannock Reservoir. A 30-inch cast-iron main was added in 1914.[11] In 2023, the city completed the first phase of installation of two 36-inch pipes totaling approximately 8 miles between the reservoir and the City’s Water Treatment Plant as part of a multi-year project to fully replace the existing century-old transmission line.[1] The project began in 2021. [2] [3][4]

When the iron and steel industry moved westward to Pennsylvania around Pittsburgh to be closer to iron ore from Lake Erie and nearby coal and coke needed for the Bessemer process, and with a similar downturn in the collar industry, Troy's prosperity began to fade. After the passage of Prohibition, and given the strict control of Albany by the O'Connell political machine, Troy became a way station for an illegal alcohol trade from Canada to New York City. Likewise, the stricter control of morality laws in the neighboring New England states encouraged the development of openly operating speakeasies and brothels in Troy. Gangsters such as "Legs Diamond" conducted their business in Troy, giving the city a somewhat colorful reputation through World War II. A few of the buildings from that era have since been converted into restaurants, such as the former Old Daly Inn.

Kurt Vonnegut lived in Troy and the area,[citation needed] and many of his novels include mentions of "Ilium" (an alternate name for Troy) or surrounding locations. Vonnegut wrote Player Piano in 1952, based on his experiences working as a public relations writer at nearby General Electric. His 1963 novel, Cat's Cradle, was written in the city and is set in Ilium. His recurring main character, Kilgore Trout, is a resident of Cohoes, just across the Hudson River from Troy.

2000 to today

Like many old industrial cities, Troy has had to deal with the loss of its manufacturing base, loss of population and wealth to the suburbs, and to other parts of the country. This led to dilapidation and disinvestment until later efforts were made to preserve Troy's architectural and cultural past.

As of 2014, Troy is updating its citywide comprehensive plan for the first time in more than 50 years.[12] The two-year process is known as "Realize Troy" and was initiated by the Troy Redevelopment Foundation (with members from the Emma Willard School, RPI, Russell Sage College, and St. Peter's Health Partners). Urban Strategies Inc. (Toronto) is planning Troy's redevelopment.[12][13]

Troy, as viewed from across the Hudson River looking east, c. 1909

Geography

Neighborhoods of Troy

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.0 square miles (28 km2), of which 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (5.44%) is covered by water.

Troy is located several miles north of Albany near the junction 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.[14]

The city is on the central part of the western border of Rensselaer County. The Hudson River makes up the western border of the city and the county's border with Albany County. The city borders within Rensselaer County, Schaghticoke to the north, Brunswick to the east, and North Greenbush to the south; to the west, the city borders the Albany County town of Colonie, the villages of Menands and Green Island, and the cities of Watervliet and Cohoes. To the northwest, Troy borders the Saratoga County village of Waterford within the town of Waterford.

The western edge of the city is flat along the river, and then steeply slopes to higher terrain to the east. The average elevation is 50 feet, with the highest elevation being 500 feet in the eastern part of the city. The city is longer than it is wide, with the southern part wider than the northern section of the city (the formerly separate city of Lansingburgh). Several kills (Dutch for creek) pass through Troy and empty into the Hudson. The Poesten Kill and Wynants Kill are the two largest, and both have several small lakes and waterfalls along their routes in the city. Several lakes and reservoirs are within the city, including Ida Lake, Burden Pond, Lansingburgh Reservoir, Bradley Lake, Smarts Pond, and Wright Lake.

Climate

Troy has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa). The average temperature throughout the year is 50.9 °F (10.5 °C), with the highest average temperature in July being 74.9 °F (23.8 °C), and January being the coldest month with an average temperature of 25.5 °F (−3.6 °C). The annual precipitation is 42.09 inches (1,069 mm).

Climate data for Troy, New York (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1932–2018)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
(19)
75
(24)
86
(30)
92
(33)
97
(36)
96
(36)
101
(38)
99
(37)
96
(36)
89
(32)
83
(28)
72
(22)
101
(38)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 55.6
(13.1)
54.8
(12.7)
65.4
(18.6)
82.9
(28.3)
88.4
(31.3)
92.5
(33.6)
93.0
(33.9)
92.6
(33.7)
89.2
(31.8)
79.0
(26.1)
69.7
(20.9)
57.6
(14.2)
95.4
(35.2)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 34.2
(1.2)
37.1
(2.8)
46.0
(7.8)
60.2
(15.7)
72.5
(22.5)
80.5
(26.9)
85.6
(29.8)
84.1
(28.9)
77.2
(25.1)
63.7
(17.6)
51.0
(10.6)
39.7
(4.3)
61.0
(16.1)
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.5
(−3.6)
27.7
(−2.4)
36.1
(2.3)
48.9
(9.4)
60.9
(16.1)
69.7
(20.9)
74.9
(23.8)
73.1
(22.8)
65.8
(18.8)
53.4
(11.9)
42.1
(5.6)
32.2
(0.1)
50.9
(10.5)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 16.9
(−8.4)
18.2
(−7.7)
26.2
(−3.2)
37.7
(3.2)
49.3
(9.6)
59.0
(15.0)
64.1
(17.8)
62.2
(16.8)
54.4
(12.4)
43.2
(6.2)
33.2
(0.7)
24.7
(−4.1)
40.8
(4.9)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −4.8
(−20.4)
−1.4
(−18.6)
8.0
(−13.3)
25.4
(−3.7)
34.9
(1.6)
46.2
(7.9)
53.3
(11.8)
50.1
(10.1)
40.2
(4.6)
29.4
(−1.4)
19.2
(−7.1)
6.7
(−14.1)
−7.5
(−21.9)
Record low °F (°C) −23
(−31)
−17
(−27)
−11
(−24)
13
(−11)
20
(−7)
38
(3)
45
(7)
35
(2)
29
(−2)
20
(−7)
10
(−12)
−15
(−26)
−23
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.65
(67)
2.43
(62)
2.91
(74)
3.09
(78)
3.79
(96)
4.61
(117)
4.64
(118)
3.92
(100)
3.83
(97)
4.23
(107)
2.84
(72)
3.15
(80)
42.09
(1,069)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.1 8.1 9.2 11.3 12.1 11.4 11.4 10.1 9.5 11.9 10.2 10.3 125.6
Source: NOAA[15][16]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18205,264
183011,556119.5%
184019,33467.3%
185028,78548.9%
186039,23536.3%
187046,46518.4%
188056,74722.1%
189060,9567.4%
190060,651−0.5%
191076,81326.6%
192071,996−6.3%
193072,7631.1%
194070,304−3.4%
195072,3112.9%
196067,492−6.7%
197062,918−6.8%
198056,638−10.0%
199054,269−4.2%
200049,170−9.4%
201050,1292.0%
202051,4012.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[17] 2020[2]
This section needs to be updated. The reason given is: Newer information is available from the 2020 Census report.. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2021)

At the 2010 census, 50,129 people, 20,121 households and 10,947 families were residing in the city.[18] The population density was 4,840.1 people/sq mi, with 23,474 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 69.7% White, 16.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.4% Asian, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 7.9% of the population.[18]

The median household income in 2013 was $37,805 (NY average of $57,369), and the median family income was $47,827 (NYS average of $70,485). The median per capita income for the city was $20,872 (NY average of $32,514). About 27.3% of the population were living in poverty as of 2013.[19]

Since then, Troy's population size has increased to 51,401 with 19,899 households, taken from the 2020 census[20] The racial makeup of the city increased in the percentage of African Americans to 17.5% whereas the number of White residents decreased to 63.5%. The rest of the population was reported to be 0.1% Native American, 4.8% Asian, 9.6% Latino or Hispanic, and 7.3% two or more races.[20] The majority of Troy's population consists of women (51.4%) whereas males makeup the remaining 48.6%. Troy residents under the age of 5 were reported to be 5.2%, under the age of 18 were 19.6%, and 65 years and over were 11.4%.[21] People with a disability, under age 65 years were 13.3% and those without health insurance (under age 65 years) was outlined to be 5.9%. The population of veterans in 2020 was 1,907 Troy locals, which coincided with those who had disabilities. The number of foreign born persons, between 2015 and 2019, was 8.0%.[21]

Economically in 2020, the city's median household income had increased to $45,728 per family, with each family reporting to have 2.25 persons residing in them. The per capita income in past 12 months (in 2019 dollars), taken 2015–2019 was $25,689 with 24.4% of the population living in poverty. The poverty rate overall has decreased 3.3% since 2013.[22]

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2015–2019 61.3%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2015–2019 58.9%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c) 94,979
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000)(c) 531,774
Total manufacturers shipments, 2012 ($1,000)(c) 88,832
Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c) 487,476
Total retail sales per capita, 2012(c) $9,760

The education rate of Troy locals, 25 years or more, with a high school graduate or higher is 86.8% whereas the amount of persons with a bachelor's degree or higher is 26.8%. Additionally, due to the increasing age of the internet, the percentage of households with a computer from 2015 to 2019 has increased to 88.5% and those with a broadband Internet subscription lies at 81.5%.

Religion

The city is also home to numerous churches (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant), three synagogues, and one mosque.

Economy

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2009)

Troy is known as the "Collar City" due to its history in shirt, collar, and other textile production. Until the early 1990s, Troy was home to several textile manufacturers, including Cluett, Peabody, a subsidiary of the nation's largest publicly held textile manufacturer West Point-Pepperell Inc. The detachable collar was first established in Troy in 1820 by a Mrs. Montague.[23] Her husband was a prominent blacksmith who complained to his wife that after coming home from work he had no clean white shirts for the next day. Mrs. Montague solved this problem by cutting collars off of her husbands shirts, and reattaching clean ones for him to wear when needed. This created the important industry of detachable collars and shirts in Troy. It also created the need for buttons, as a detachable collar often left gaps between the shirt and the collar, and buttons were used to snap collars in place. Other types of apparel invented in this time were Bishop collars, which were an upright modification of the turn-down collar, dickeys, detached shirt bosoms, and separate cuffs. This industry also gave rise to the laundry industry, when the first laundry store Troy Laundry was opened at 66 North Second St (Fifth Avenue today), and later on, the laundry industry in Troy would spark the creation of the first female union in the country.[24] For close to a hundred years, Cluett, Peabody & Company was the largest industry in town, with a variety of products including detachable collars, arrow shirts, and other apparel. Around the early 20th century, Troy was responsible for making 90% of the collars worn in America. This was also the birthplace of the "white collar" social class, which was a more upscale working class community and the "blue collar" social class, which consisted of mostly factory workers. The industry had mostly died out by the 1960s, when most business had either gone out of business or moved south for cheaper land and labor costs. At one point, Troy was also the second-largest producer of iron in the country, surpassed only by the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Troy, like many older industrial cities, has been battered by industrial decline and the migration of jobs to the suburbs. Nevertheless, the presence of RPI is helping Troy develop a small high-technology sector, particularly in video game development. The downtown core also has a smattering of advertising and architecture firms, and other creative businesses attracted by the area's distinctive architecture. Uncle Sam Atrium is an enclosed urban shopping mall, office space, and parking garage in downtown Troy. RPI is the city's largest private employer.

Arts and culture

Architecture

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Troy is home to Victorian and Belle Époque architecture.

The Hudson and Mohawk Rivers play their part, as does the Erie Canal and its lesser tributary canal systems, and later the railroads that linked Troy to the rest of the Empire State, New York City to the south, and Utica, New York, Syracuse, New York, Rochester, New York, Buffalo, New York, and the myriad of emergent Great Lakes' cities in the burgeoning United States.

The Paine Mansion (Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity House) dining room showing a Tiffany stained glass window, built in buffet, cherry inlaid floors and the choir loft.
Paine Mansion (2017)

Notable buildings

Natives of Troy expressed their passion for building, using the following materials, for an array of building features:

Tiffany and La Farge created magnificent stained-glass windows, transoms and other decorative stained-glass treatments for their customers in Troy. With many examples of intact 19th-century architecture, particularly in its Central Troy Historic District, this has helped to lure several major movies to film in Troy, including Ironweed, The Age of Innocence (filmed partially in the Paine mansion), Scent of a Woman, The Bostonians, The Emperor's Club, and The Time Machine. In addition, the television series The Gilded Age filmed in Troy.[26] There are many buildings in a state of disrepair, but community groups and investors are restoring many of them.

3D panorama map drawn in perspective. It includes streets and a list of locations such as manufacturing businesses, city hall, court house and United States Arsenal.
Map of Troy NY, 1877. Includes list of important locations.

Troy's downtown historic landmarks include Frear's Troy Cash Bazaar, constructed on a steel infrastructure clad in ornately carved white marble; the Corinthian Courthouse constructed of gray granite; the Troy Public Library, built in an elaborate Venetian palazzo style with high-relief carved white marble; the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, designed in the Second Empire style, with a recital hall with highly regarded acoustic properties. There is a rich collection of Colonial, Federal, Italianate, Second Empire, Greek Revival, Egyptian Revival, Gothic Revival and other Romantic period townhouses surrounding the immediate downtown. The Hart-Cluett Mansion displays a Federal facade executed in white marble, quarried in Tuckahoe, New York. Often with foundations of rusticated granite block. Medina sandstone, a deep mud-red color, from Medina, New York, was also used.

As with many American cities, several city blocks in downtown Troy were razed during the 1970s as a part of an attempted urban renewal plan, which was never successfully executed, leaving still vacant areas in the vicinity of Federal Street. Today, however, there have since been much more successful efforts to save the remaining historic downtown structures.

Northern River Street

Part of this effort has been the arrival of the "Antique District" on River Street downtown. Cafes and art galleries are calling the area home. As home to many art, literature, and music lovers, the city hosts many free shows during the summer, on River Street, in parks, and in cafes and coffee shops.

Notable landmarks

Main article: National Register of Historic Places listings in Rensselaer County, New York

Recurring events

Government

City Council meeting in the former City Hall on River Street

Executive branch

The executive branch consists of a mayor who serves as the chief executive officer of the city. The mayor is responsible for the proper administration of all city affairs placed in his/her charge as empowered by the city charter. The mayor enforces the laws of New York State as well as all local laws and ordinances passed by the city council. She or he exercises control over all executive departments of the city government, including the Departments of Finance, Law, Public Safety, Public Works, Public Utilities, and Parks and Recreation.

The mayor's term of office is four years, and an incumbent is prohibited from serving for more than two consecutive terms (eight years).

The current mayor of Troy is Carmella Mantello (R), who is serving her first term, having been elected on November 7, 2023.[40]

Electoral history

Results from the last seven mayoral elections (an asterisk* indicates the incumbent):

Legislative branch

Troy's legislative branch consists of a city council composed of seven elected members: one at-large member who represents the entire city and acts as City Council President, and six district members who represent each of the six districts of Troy. Currently, there are 3 Democrats and 4 Republicans.

Each of the six district council members serves a two-year term, and an incumbent is prohibited from serving for more than four consecutive terms (eight years). The City Council President serves a four-year term, and is prohibited from serving for more than two consecutive terms (eight years).

The council meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm in the City Hall council chambers. All meetings are open to the public and include a public forum period held before official business where residents can address the council on all matters directly pertaining to city government.

The current Troy City Council took office on January 1, 2024, and will serve until December 31, 2025.[5] The members are:

Political boundaries

The City of Troy is divided into thirty (30) election districts, also known as EDs. An ED is the finest granularity political district that can be used, from which all other political districts are formed.

Other political districts that make use of these EDs include City Council Districts, County Legislative Districts, State Assembly Districts, State Senate Districts, and U.S. Congressional Districts.

City Council districts

The 30 EDs are grouped into six Council Districts, as follows:

New York State Senate district

All of the City of Troy is in the 43rd State Senate District, currently represented by Jake Ashby[41]

New York State Assembly district

All of the City of Troy is in the 108th Assembly District, currently represented by John McDonald III[42]

Other districts

All other political districts that exist in Troy consist of the entire city — all 30 EDs:

Education

The Rensselaer School, which later became RPI, was founded in 1824 with funding from Stephen Van Rensselaer, a descendant of the founding patroon, Kiliaen. In 1821, Emma Willard founded the Troy Female Seminary. It was renamed Emma Willard School (America's first girls' high school and a high-academic boarding and day school) in 1895. The former Female Seminary was later reopened in 1916 as Russell Sage College (a comprehensive college for women). All of these institutions still exist today. [citation needed]

In addition, Troy is home to the 10,000-student Hudson Valley Community College (part of the State University of New York system); two public school districts (Troy and Lansingburgh); three private high schools: La Salle Institute (Catholic military-style), Emma Willard School, Catholic Central High School (a regional Catholic high school in Lansingburgh section), and one K-12 charter school system, Troy Prep. [citation needed]

Infrastructure

Transportation

Regional buses

Regional and local buses are operated by Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA).[43] CDTA Blue Line ,Red Line and Purple Line also serves the city of Troy with Bus Rapid Transit, with regional connections to Albany, Cohoes, Waterford, and Watervliet

Roads

US 4 runs north–south through the city along River St and 3rd & 4th St. New York State Route 7 passes east–west through the city on Hoosick St, using the Collar City Bridge to cross the Hudson River. New York State Route 2 also passes east-west on Congress St, crossing the Hudson River at the Congress St Bridge.

Rail

The New York Central Railroad, Delaware and Hudson Railroad, Rutland Railroad and Boston and Maine Railroad provided passenger rail service to Troy. By the late 1950s, only the Boston & Maine passenger service remained. The last Boston and Maine passenger train arrived from Boston, Massachusetts in 1958.[44] Troy Union Station closed and was demolished later that year.[45] Amtrak serves Albany-Rensselaer station, 8.5 miles to the south of Troy.

Fire Department

Troy Fire Department's 119 uniformed personnel operate out of six fire stations located throughout the city and operate five engine companies, a rescue-engine company, two truck companies, three ambulances, a Hazardous Material response unit (Troy Fire Department is the hazardous material response unit for Rensselaer County) and two rescue boats.[citation needed]

Health care

Northeast Health is now the umbrella administration of Troy's two large hospitals (Samaritan Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital).[citation needed]

Notable people

Notes

  1. ^ Ilium fuit is the well-known expression from the Aeneid, where it is the beginning of Parthus' reply to Aeneas. Aeneid, Bk. II., 325. 30 153, and which had come to mean a complete and final end. The second half, Troja est, is a defiant declaratory statement that nevertheless, Troy still lives.

References

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Further reading

Rensselaer County histories

Troy histories