Get to know Albany, NY

Located about 150 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River, is capital of New York and a county seat.  Originally a Dutch settlement, it became an English settlement in 1664, naming it after the Duke of Albany.  It has the oldest active city charter in the United States, dating back to the 17th century Dongan Charter.  Albany became the permanent capital of New York state in 1797, after the capital site bounced around the state prior to the Revolutionary War.  It served as a transportation and trade hub between the 18th and 19th centuries due to its favorable location on the Hudson River.  It was also the home of one of the world’s first commercial airports.  In 1908, The Albany Municipal Airport opened as the first municipal airport in the United States.  From 1996-1998, the airport saw massive upgrades and modernization, resulting in what today is Albany International Airport.  It has been a Democratic stronghold since the 1920’s when the Democrat political machine set in.  The city’s economy is largely dependent on government jobs, but health care, education, and more recently technology all serve as important industries too.  Notable events in Albany include the annual Tulip Festival that celebrates the beginning of spring and the Dutch heritage of the city, and Alive at 5, a weekly concert series held on Thursdays in the summer for free.  The city was backdrop of several  films, including Salt and The Other Guys. It served as the inspiration for the book and following film adaptation of Albany native William Kennedy’s Ironweed.  Notable residents have included authors Herman Melville, Henry James, and Gregory Maguire, whose work inspired the Broadway musical Wicked.

Quick Facts

Population (2015): 98,469

Median Household Income (2015): $40,949

Median Property Value (2015): 171,400

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