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Utica
—  City  —
Looking south on Utica's Genesee Street
Nickname(s): Handshake City, Renaissance City, Second Chance City
Location of Utica in the State of New York
Coordinates: 43°5′48″N 75°13′55″W / 43.09667, -75.23194
Country United States
State New York
County Oneida
Incorporated 1832
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor David Roefaro (D)
 • Common Council
Area
 • Total 16.6 sq mi (43.0 km2)
 • Land 16.3 sq mi (42.3 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation 456 ft (139 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 60,651
 • Density 3,710.0/sq mi (1,432.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 13500-13599
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-76540
GNIS feature ID 0968324

Utica is a city in the American 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 in Central New York State. Utica has an extensive park system, with winter and summer sports facilities. Utica and the neighboring city of Rome are principal cities of the Utica–Rome, New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Oneida and Herkimer counties.

Geography and climateEdit

Climate chart for Utica
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
2.76
 
32
13
 
 
2.19
 
35
15
 
 
3.19
 
44
24
 
 
3.58
 
57
34
 
 
3.53
 
71
44
 
 
4.17
 
79
53
 
 
3.85
 
83
58
 
 
3.69
 
81
57
 
 
4.40
 
73
49
 
 
3.36
 
61
39
 
 
4.06
 
48
31
 
 
3.12
 
36
20
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm
source: Weather.com / NWS

The Erie Canal, the Mohawk River, 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 in the Mohawk River Valley region of New York State.

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

Utica has a humid continental climate, which is characterized by cold winters and moderate summers.

Daytime highs during the summer are generally between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (29°C), with some days not reaching 70°F (21°C) being common. Summer nights usually bottom out somewhere between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (16°C). The all time highest recorded temperature for the city was 100°F (38°C), which occurred on July 19, 1953.

Winters in Utica are very cold and snowy, as the area is susceptible to Lake effect snow from the Great Lakes to the west. An example of typical wintertime snowfall amounts is presented below. Daytime highs during the wintertime are typically observed at or just above freezing (32°F to 35°F/0°C to 2°C), with some days not reaching 25°F (-4°C). Winter nights will see temperatures drop to settle between 10°F (-12°C) and 20°F (-7°C). Temperatures in the single digits or below zero are not uncommon for winter nights in Utica. The all time lowest recorded temperature in the city was -28°F (-33°C), which occurred once on February 18, 1979 and again on January 12, 1981.

Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
Season Snowfall
Total (in)
2008-2009 1998-1999 84.6 1988-1989 60.2 1978-1979 119.5 1968-1969 100.0 1958-1959 67.6 1948-1949 75.3 1938-1939 71.5
2007-2008 95.0 1997-1998 108.1 1987-1988 71.7 1977-1978 106.0 1967-1968 68.4 1957-1958 67.1 1947-1948 79.4 1937-1938 38.0
2006-2007 132.6 1996-1997 123.5 1986-1987 85.1 1976-1977 137.4 1966-1967 91.1 1956-1957 54.7 1946-1947 105.9 1936-1937 56.2
2005-2006 106.8 1995-1996 165.7 1985-1986 99.7 1975-1976 107.1 1965-1966 108.5 1955-1956 109.3 1945-1946 41.4 1935-1936 62.4
2004-2005 93.4 1994-1995 74.6 1984-1985 73.3 1974-1975 97.7 1964-1965 87.2 1954-1955 84.6 1944-1945 96.5 1934-1935 48.9
2003-2004 121.4 1993-1994 173.6 1983-1984 85.3 1973-1974 114.4 1963-1964 101.2 1953-1954 64.8 1943-1944 63.5 1933-1934 67.0
2002-2003 139.0 1992-1993 123.5 1982-1983 45.6 1972-1973 102.1 1962-1963 91.5 1952-1953 51.2 1942-1943 66.5 1932-1933 32.4
2001-2002 57.5 1991-1992 63.5 1981-1982 74.4 1971-1972 151.3 1961-1962 60.0 1951-1952 72.2 1941-1942 31.5 1931-1932 61.2
2000-2001 157.0 1990-1991 56.1 1980-1981 58.1 1970-1971 186.5 1960-1961 70.0 1950-1951 56.8 1940-1941 47.0 1930-1931 47.7
1999-2000 67.7 1989-1990 92.4 1979-1980 55.7 1969-1970 118.9 1959-1960 67.2 1949-1950 92.3 1939-1940 71.4 1929-1930 61.1

Source: NBC-WKTV 2[1]

DemographicsEdit

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 2,972
1830 8,323 180.0%
1840 12,782 53.6%
1850 17,565 37.4%
1860 22,529 28.3%
1870 28,804 27.9%
1880 33,914 17.7%
1890 44,007 29.8%
1900 56,383 28.1%
1910 74,419 32.0%
1920 94,156 26.5%
1930 101,740 8.1%
1940 100,518 −1.2%
1950 100,489 0%
1960 100,410 −0.1%
1970 91,611 −8.8%
1980 75,632 −17.4%
1990 68,637 −9.2%
2000 60,651 −11.6%
Est. 2007 58,475 −3.6%

As of the 2000 census,[2] there were 60,651 people, 25,100 households, and 14,231 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,710.0 people per square mile (1,432.3/km²). There were 29,186 housing units at an average density of 1,785.3/sq mi (689.2/km²). 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.

GovernmentEdit

The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The Common Council consists of nine members. Six are elected from single member wards. The other three are elected at large.

HistoryEdit

Utica NY c1909 LOC pan 6a14200
1909 panorama
BalcerAdded by Balcer

Early historyEdit

Utica is located where it is because it was next to the shallowest spot along the Mohawk River that made it the best place for fording across. Also due to an Iroquois Indian crossroads and fording location it made trade exceedingly easy for local merchants. With a shallow spot on the river and that as already inhabited by trading partners, the location was ideal for a settlement.[3]

Utica was first settled by Europeans in 1773, on the site of Fort Schuyler which was built in 1758. The fort was named Fort Schuyler after Col. Philip Schuyler, a hero of the French and Indian War. After the French and Indian War the fort was abandoned and then during the American Revolution the original settlement (Yunę́ˀnare•θ[4] in Tuscarora) was destroyed by Tories and Native Americans. The settlement eventually became known as Old Fort Schuyler when a military fort in nearby Fort Stanwix in Rome, New York, was renamed Fort Schuyler during the American Revolution and evolved into a village.

In 1794, a road was built to Albany, New York known as State Road. By 1797 the road was extended and completed to the Genesee River and the full road was known as it is now, Genesee Road. The creation of the Seneca Turnpike was the first significant factor in the growth and development of Utica, as this small settlement became the resting and relocating area on the Mohawk River for goods and people moving into Western New York and past the Great Lakes. [5]

Moses Bagg, a blacksmith, built a small tavern near Old Fort Schuyler to accommodate weary travelers waiting for their horse's shoes to be repaired. After just a few years this small shanty tavern became a two story inn and pub known as Bagg's Hotel. The first bridge over the Mohawk River was erected in the summer of 1792 by a Long Island carpenter who had settled in Utica, Apollos Cooper, although local and regional architects that had seen the bridge were very skeptical to use it, and the bridge was soon destroyed in the spring floods. [6]

The perhaps apocryphal account of Utica's naming suggests that around a dozen citizens of the Old Fort Schuyler settlement met at the Bagg's Tavern to discuss the name of the emerging village. Unable to settle on one particular name, Erastus Clark's entrant of "Utica" was drawn from several suggestions, and the village thereafter became associated with Utica, Tunisia, the ancient Carthaginian city.

Utica was incorporated as a village in 1798. Utica expanded its borders in subsequent charters in 1805 and 1817.[7] Expansion and growth continued to occur in Utica; by 1817 the population had reached 2,860 people. Genesee Street was packed with shops and storefronts, a prosperous stagecoach line had expanded its business, a fully established bank was founded by Alexander Johnson, a newspaper company The Utica Observer established by William McLean, five churches as well as two hotels were all located within this center square of Utica. [3]

Welsh in UticaEdit

Utica witnessed the development of one of the largest and certainly the most influential Welsh community in the United States. Suffering from poor harvests in 1789 and 1802 and dreaming of land ownership, the initial settlement of five Welsh families soon attracted other agricultural migrants, settling Steuben, Utica and Remsen townships. Adapting their traditional agricultural methods, the Welsh became the first to introduce dairying into the region and Welsh butter became a valued commodity on the New York market. Drawing on the size of the local ethnic community and the printing industry of Utica became the cultural center of Welsh-American life by 1830. The Welsh-American publishing industry included 19 different publishers who published 240 Welsh language imprints, 4 denominational periodicals and the influential newspaper Y Drych. However, the Welsh community in Utica was never very large and was often dwarfed by other ethnicities, most notably the Italians and the Polish.

Erie Canal & Textile eraEdit

UticaNY 1855
Bird's-eye view of Utica in 1855
YassieAdded by Yassie

Utica's location on the Erie Canal stimulated its industrial development. The middle section of the Canal, from Rome to Salina, was the first portion to open in 1820. The Chenango Canal, connecting Utica and Binghamton, opened in 1836, and provided a further stimulus for economic development by providing water transportation of coal from Northeast Pennsylvania.

Utica was well positioned to benefit from the Erie Canal, the civil engineering marvel of its time. Utica’s population with the creation of the canals began to skyrocket. The population began to increase threefold over a span of ten years since the first section of the canal opened in 1819. Utica was the virtual half-way point for canal travelers, thus making the town the perfect stop-over point. During the planning stage of the canal the cotton looms that would make Utica famous were in their infancy, and a vigorous real estate market in the town had ballooned lot prices tenfold since 1800. An anonymous traveler noted that by 1829, about five years after the canal's completion, Utica had become "a really beautiful place . . . [and Utica's State Street] in no respect inferior to [Broadway] in New York." Utica, along with other burgeoning towns such as Syracuse, would benefit from the fact that the Erie Canal ran directly through town.[8]

By the late 19th century, Utica had become a transportation hub and a commercial center of considerable note, but was not like the heavy industrial towns in New England. Utica, in particular, was limited in its capability to produce industrial goods because the Mohawk River did not run fast enough to turn the industrial machines. Upon investigating the New England style of steam production, they found how to use coal in their manufacturing. Now with the recently completed Chenango Canal that connected Utica to the coal field in Pennsylvania, there was a vast supply readily available. Because of the Embargo Act of 1807 that cut off the English textile production, the Northeast had a firm grasp on the textile industry. With investments from local entrepreneurs Utica’s textile industry was starting to really take off [9].

The city still served as a Northeast crossroads, hosting the day's most celebrated personalities. Samuel Clemens lectured to a sold-out Utica crowd in 1870, where Clemens noted in personal correspondence that he brought down the house "like an avalanche."[10] It was during this time that Utica hosted the 1884 New York State Republican Convention, an event covered in great detail in Edmund Morris' Pulitzer Prize winning biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, in which Morris describes Utica at this time as "a shabby canal-town in the middle of the Mohawk Valley."[11]. Senator Roscoe Conkling, a leading GOP lawmaker of the Stalwart political faction, resided in the city at this time, and figured as the region's most historically significant politician until local native James Schoolcraft Sherman was elected the 27th Vice President of the United States, serving under President William Howard Taft.

Loom to boom eraEdit

In the wake of the demise of the textile industry, Utica became a major player in the tool and die industry, which thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eventually declining in the late 20th century. Like the textile industry before it, the machine tool industry largely forsook Utica for the American South, with one notable example being The Chicago Pneumatic Company, which shuttered its extensive manufacturing facility in Utica in 1997 and relocated to Rock Hill, South Carolina.

By the mid-20th century, virtually all of the textile mills closed and migrated to the American South. In the 1930s through the 1950s Utica became nationally if not internationally known as "Sin City" for the extent of its corruption and control by the political machine of Rufus P. Elefante.[12][13][14]

In the early and mid-20th century, Utica had become a major manufacturing center for radios, manufactured by the General Electric company, which, at one time, employed some 8,000 workers there, and was once known as: "The radio capital of the world." However, by the mid-1960s, General Electric had moved its radio manufacturing to the Far East. In the early 1990s, GE's Light Military Electronics operation in Utica was sold to Lockheed Martin and soon closed altogether.

Rust Belt eraEdit

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. Suburban Utica, particularly the towns of New Hartford and Whitesboro, 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," although recently notable efforts have been made to revitalize the Downtown and Oneida Square areas of Utica by planning the construction of quality apartment housing. The city's economy is heavily dependent on commercial growth in its suburbs, a trend that is characterized by development of green sites in neighboring villages and does little to revitalize the city itself. Because of the decline of industry and employment in the post-World War II era, Utica became known 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 in the 21st centuryEdit

Utica Railroad Station
Boehlert Center at Union Station
MarcbelaAdded by Marcbela

City leaders and local entrepreneurs tried to build on the city's losses. In 1996 the former GE-Lockheed facility was purchased by Oneida County's Industrial Development Association for lease to ConMed Corporation (founded by Utica local Eugene Corasanti) for use as a manufacturing facility and the company's worldwide headquarters, bringing 500 new jobs to the area.[15] The Boehlert Center at the newly restored, historic Union Station in downtown Utica is a regional transportation hub for Amtrak and the Adirondack Scenic Railway.

Despite the obvious economic growth in its suburbs, Utica continues to be the focus of regional economic revitalization efforts, most notably in the area of arts and entertainment. The recent expansion of the Stanley Theatre and the popularity of Utica College Pioneer Men's Division III Hockey continue to attract people to a downtown that was quite desolate in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. Night life in Utica has been significantly affected with the recent Saranac Thursday Night party with proceeds being donated to the United Way. Since its inception in 1998, the festivities, which include beer, soft drinks, food, and live music, has continued to draw thousands to Utica's westside brewery district, invigorating nearby taverns and eateries.

Recognizing this trend, current Mayor David Roefaro gave Utica the moniker "Renaissance City." [16]

Roefaro has also been working to propel the city’s green agenda. By partnering with neighboring colleges, spearheaded by Cornell University, Roefaro has created a program called, “Rust 2 Green,” which is one aspect of a citywide Master Plan he has unveiled with residents.

"Second Chance City"Edit

The arrival of a large number of Bosnian immigrants over the past several years has stanched a population loss that had been steady for more than three decades.[17] Bosnian immigrants now constitute about 10% of the total population of Utica. Other recent immigrant groups have arrived from Somalia, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma (Maynemar) and Iraq.

This influx of refugees from many war-torn nations and politically oppressive regimes has drawn mainstream national media attention, from The New York Times (see citation above) to Reader's Digest. Reader's Digest dubbed Utica the "Second Chance City" in an article chronicling the crucial role that immigrants have traditionally played in invigorating Utica's political, economic, and social life; the article argues that Utica now hosts thousands of immigrants that have taken advantage of the city's social services benefits, welfare, public and private sector affordable housing, and entry-level skilled manufacturing jobs to start a new life, a trend that began nearly thirty years ago.[18]

Arts, history, and cultureEdit

  • The Children’s Museum — Open throughout the year, The Children's Museum of History, Natural History, Science and Technology is a hands-on learning center with emphasis on local history, environmental science, the arts, and space science that attracts local visitors and global tourists. Located in the historic Baggs Square section of downtown Utica, the five story brick building, constructed in 1890, was originally a dry goods company. Four of its floors, each 6000 square feet, contain 100's of interactive exhibits. It is a NYS and Federally designated historic building.
  • The Landmarks Society of Greater Utica
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute — Founded in 1919 as "an artistic, musical and social center", The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art features a renowned permanent collection, rotating exhibitions and community art education for adults, teens and children. The Institute is named for three generations of one Utica family, whose philanthropy and civic pride is still enjoyed today. The campus, located on 10 acres in downtown Utica, features a variety of restored historic homes surrounding an International-style gallery building (circa 1960) designed by world famous architect Philip Johnson (who considered it to be his finest work), and Fountain Elms a superb Victorian-era Italianate mansion, once the home of the Williams family. These landmark buildings were connected by the construction of the Education Wing in 1995. In 2000, PrattMWP was opened to offer a nationally accredited college program in association with Pratt Institute of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • Oneida County Historical Society — Founded in 1876, The Oneida County Historical Society collects and commemorates the history of Central New York in general and County of Oneida in particular.
  • Players of Utica
  • Sculpture Space — Sculpture Space is unique in North America as the only international, artist-in-residency program dedicated exclusively to professional sculptors. Founded in 1975 in the former Utica Steam Engine and Boiler Works building, the organization selects 20 artists each year for two-month, funded residencies which have helped to advance the careers of more than 400 national and international artists. Annual events include the CHAIRity Auction and a Mardi Gras Party.
  • The Stanley Center for the Arts — The Stanley Center for the Arts is located in a fully-restored 2,945 seat Mexican-baroque movie palace (circa 1928), which was designed by prolific theater architect Thomas Lamb for the Mastbaum chain of theaters. The theatre, originally named for Stanley Mastbaum, is currently a vital piece of the regional arts scene as the home of The Great Artist Series, Broadway Theater League, Utica Symphony, and touring shows. The Stanley is owned and operated by The Central New York Community Arts Council (CNYCAC). That same organization was responsible both for its rescue from the wrecking ball in 1974 as well as the professional, historically-sensitive restoration to its former grandeur. CNYCAC recently completed a major stage house and facility expansion project. The theatre reopened in the spring of 2008, immediately hosting live music acts and performances by the Broadway Theatre League.
  • Utica Memorial Auditorium — The Utica Memorial Auditorium, or AUD is a 4,000 seat multi-purpose arena (circa 1959) that was fully renovated in the 1990s. The "new" Madison Square Garden in New York City, was modeled after the Utica Memorial Auditorium. The Utica Devils, one-time farm affiliate of the NHL New Jersey Devils, featured several future NHL stars. The "Utica Aud" now hosts the Utica College Pioneers Division III Hockey Program. The men's hockey program set a NCAA Division III Men's Hockey attendance record for the 2007-2008, averaging 2,791 fans per game.[19]
  • The Utica Public Library — The origins of the Utica Public Library date back to 1825, when it was a private lending collection. By 1899 it was decided to build a permanent facility, and Thomas R. and Frederick T. Proctor donated the land on Genesee Street, W.P. White started the building fund, and the citizens of Utica voted to help finance the project. Utica native Arthur Jackson of the New York City firm Carrère and Hastings won the architectural competition to design the building. Important features include its red brick and Indiana limestone façade, barrel vaulted main hall, grand staircases, large pediment over the entranceway, two-story columns and the impressive front grounds. The Utica Public Library building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[20] By the 1980s, major improvements to the building itself were required, along with the installation of an on-line computer system to electronically access the holdings of the local library, all the libraries in the Mid-York Library System, and some area colleges. These projects were all completed by the early 2000s. On December 12, 2004 the Utica Public Library celebrated its Centennial Anniversary of the building, and today boasts over 192,000 items in the collection. In 2008, it was the site of the first annualMayor's Charity Ball.
  • The Utica Symphony Orchestra — On March 25, 1932, a group of interested citizens met at the Utica Public Library and founded the Utica Civic Musical Society, now known as the Utica Symphony Orchestra. The Society had a large chorus and symphony orchestra, both under the direction of Berrian R. Shute. George M. Weaver, Jr. served as the first president of the Society. In 1933, Nicholas Gualillo and 60 musicians reorganized into the Utica Symphonic Orchestra. In 1935 the Utica Civic and the Utica Symphonic merged, and from 1935 to 1940, Shute and Gualillo acted as joint conductors of the new Utica Orchestra. This orchestra remained under the auspices of the Civic Musical Society which announced that its chief aim was to broaden the circle of concert goers in Utica and vicinity. In 1983 the name of the organization was changed to Utica Symphony, Inc. The present conductor is Charles Schneider.
  • The Utica Zoo — The Utica Zoo has served the region for over 88 years. Located in Roscoe-Conkling Park, the zoo is part of the Parkway Recreational Complex made possible by the donation of land from Thomas R. Proctor in 1909. The zoo has grown from its small beginnings with three fallow deer to its present collection of over 200 animals. Of the 80 acres of land set aside for the zoo's use, 35 are presently developed. The Zoo is home to the world's largest watering can. The 2,000 pound can is 15 feet 6 inches (4.72 m) in height and 12 feet (3.7 m) in diameter.
  • Utica Monday Nite — Utica Monday Nite was initiated in 1997, with the mission to promote a regional arts economy by making the arts and humanities available and accessible to all Utica residents and visitors from the wider region. Utica Monday Nite presents a summer arts and humanities festival in downtown parks and public spaces on thirteen Monday nights from June through August. Events and activities are offered free to the public.
  • The Hotel Utica — The Hotel Utica (circa 1912) was originally built as a 10-story building of fireproof construction with 200 rooms, four dining rooms, a ballroom, an assembly hall, a restaurant for ladies and a grill and cafe for gentlemen. The top four floors were added in 1926, which increased the total number of rooms to 250. Famous guests included: Judy Garland, Mickey Mantle, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Hopalong Cassidy, Mae West, Bobby Darin, and then current U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. As business declined, the hotel ceased operating in 1972. It then became two adult care residences, the Hunter House and then Loretto Adult Residence. After a period of vacancy, it was purchased by local investors Joseph R. Carucci and Charles N. Gaetano. They undertook a $13 million dollar rehabilitation from 1999-2001 that was patterned on the restoration of The Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. In 2001, The Hotel Utica became a member of The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America. After years of Carucci and Gaetano failing to pay property and school taxes, and falling behind on the remaining $6.3 million on what originally was a $5 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development loan, the hotel remains for sale, and sits currently on the City of Utica's forclosure list. The Hotel Utica is a member of the reservation company Choice Hotels International.
  • Parks System — Utica's Park system began to expand during the late 19th Century. A committee was formed at this time to create more parks within the city. Thomas R. Proctor a local wealthy resident of Utica purchased over 316 acres of land. Proctor then hired well renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to develop his newly acquired land into parks. In 1905, Proctor in turn donated the land to Utica increasing the city park system to 515 acres.[21] The Utica Parks and Parkway Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.[20]

Annual signature eventsEdit

  • America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk —
  • Boilermaker Road Race — Utica is the site of the annual Boilermaker Road Race, the largest 15K road race in the United States.
  • Falling Leaves Road Race
  • RiggieFest — Each April local restaurants serve the area's signature dish, chicken riggies, to thousands of central New Yorkers. The event benefits the YWCA Mohawk Valley. Though it should be noted that like many foods popular to this region (Half Moons, Utica Greens, etc.) "Riggies" are not a common fare in the rest of the country, and in fact, few outside the region have ever heard of them.
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade on Genesee Street, beginning at Oneida Square. Though the parade takes place on Genesee St., the majority of events related to St. Patrick's day occur in west Utica on Varick St, near the site of the old St. Patrick's Irish Catholic church.
  • Snowfari — 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.
  • Utica Monday Nite — Utica Monday Nite is a summer-long celebration of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, History and Heritage reaching from Earlville to Osceola and Cooperstown to Old Forge.
  • Utica Music Fest [22] — In 2008, Utica hosted its first ever music festival, allowing many artists of different genres and styles to perform in various clubs and streets throughout the city.
  • Taste of Utica [23] — The Taste of Utica is a showcase highlighting items from the Mohawk Valley region. Food, wines, and crafts are featured. Each participating restaurant serves up a $1 sample of its best menu item. They also offer three to five larger sized portions for patrons to purchase. This free festival also showcases local and national music.

Food and drink in UticaEdit

Utica has a vast array of ethnic cuisines. The Utica area is famous for its plethora of Italian-American restaurants, some that date back generations. More recent immigrant groups to the city have contributed distinct culinary options including Bosnian, German, Chinese, Lebanese, Cuban, Jamaican, Greek, and Thai.

Utica's Unique Culinary Delights:

  • Halfmoons — Halfmoons are 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. [2]
  • Tomato Pie — Tomato Pie is a rectangular thick-crust bread covered with a sweet Italian tomato sauce, served cold.[3][4]
  • Chicken Rigatoni — or Chicken riggies as locals call them, are chicken, rigatoni, peppers, and onions in a spicy, cream and tomato sauce. Riggie Fest occurs every April. [5].
  • Greens — A generally spicy dish made of escarole with various ingredients (depending on recipe) such as potatoes, sausage, hot peppers..
  • Sausage and Peppers — Italian sausage with fried onions and peppers on a crusty bread.
  • Pusties — They are "officially" called pasticciotti, a single-serving Italian custard-filled tart. The usual fillings for the rich tart crust are chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and Italian cheesecake.
  • Pierogis— They are a Polish/Ukrainian/Russian pasta filled with various items, such as Potato, Saurkraut, fruit, Polish Mushrooms, etc.

Sports teamsEdit

Utica currently has no professionally-affiliated sports teams.

The Utica Devils were a member of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1987-1993. The Utica Bulldogs 1993-1994 and The Utica Blizzards 1994–1997 were members of the United Hockey league (UHL) and another stint from 1998-2001 (January) in which the team was called the Mohawk Valley Prowlers. Currently, Utica is a vast supporter of the Division III Utica College Pioneers who average around 3000 fans a game, which is highest in the United States for that level of play.

Utica was also the home of the Utica Blue Jays/Blue Sox with their last affiliation being with the Florida Marlins until 2001.

Most recently the city's newly created "Master Plan" has suggested building a brand new stadium along the old Harbor Point area in the city that would attract development in a way that could revitialize the culture and youth of the city. The stadium (though finances have not been outlined) would certainly attract a Single-A, possibly Double-A franchise to move back to Utica within the coming years.

Utica continues to look for professional sports opportunities seeing that they are a major city in the State of New York sitting on major routes of transportation.

Utica has a growing rugby team called The Utica Klubs. This steadily growing team plays rugby matches all over the state and invites several teams to Utica for matches each year. The team is sponsored by Nail Creek Pub and Brewery on Varick St. in the city.

Utica has two women's roller derby leagues, Central New York Roller Derby and Utica Rollergirls. Central New York Roller Derby is a Women's Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice League, they have two teams, both affiliated with the same association. The main team is the Utica Clubbers, and the alternate team is the Blue Collar Betties. The Utica Rollergirls are also a single team league which is affiliated with USA Roller Sports. Both leagues compete against teams from other leagues in the upstate NY area and surrounding states. In addition, Utica also has a men's roller derby team, as-yet unaffiliated Quadfathers.[24]

MediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

PrintEdit

Internet newsEdit

RadioEdit

EducationEdit

Utica's sole remaining public high school is Thomas R. Proctor High School, its original public high school, Utica Free Academy, founded in 1814, having shut its doors in 1990. Utica is also home to Notre Dame High School, a small parochial high school, founded in 1959 by the Xaverian Brothers.

Higher Education choices in Utica include: Utica College, State University of New York Institute of Technology, Empire State College, Mohawk Valley Community College, and Utica School of Commerce. Nearby colleges include Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, Herkimer County Community College in Herkimer, New York, and Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Utica is the home of Utica College, founded in 1946, as a four-year college affiliated with Syracuse University. While Utica College became fully independent from Syracuse University in 1995, its undergraduates still receive Syracuse degrees. Utica College was originally an urban campus in the Oneida Square area of the city. In 1961, it relocated to a modern 128-acre (0.52 km2) campus on the west side of Utica. Currently a new science wing and additional buildings are being added to the campus.

Utica is also the home of Mohawk Valley Community College, which was founded in 1946 as the New York State Center of Applied Arts and Sciences at Utica, and was the first community college established in New York State. MVCC found its true raison d'etre during the 1950s as a training facility for unemployed textile workers looking to operate technical equipment at a new General Electric plant.[25] The college became a fully-accredited institution in 1960, and has gradually expanded its campus along Utica's Culver Avenue.

State University of New York Institute of Technology is located along the Utica and Marcy New York border, though it was first established in 1969 on Utica's westside. A four-year institution, SUNY-IT offers a variety of technology based majors and master's degree programs.

Empire State College was founded in 1971 and is one of thirteen SUNY colleges of arts and sciences. Empire State College consists of eight centers with the Central New York Center being in Syracuse. Each center has different units providing educational services for those communities. The Utica Unit serves Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, and Otsego counties.

Colleges and universitiesEdit

Local inventionsEdit

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.[26]

File: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 [6].

The rollback style tow truck was invented in Utica in the 1960s.

Utica in popular culture and literatureEdit

Template:In popular culture

  • In an episode of The Office, Michael, Jim and Dwight drive to Utica, where Karen is the Regional Manager of the town's Dunder-Mifflin branch. Although they did not film this in Utica, locals from there had to send in objects to decorate the set in order for it to look like an actual Utica-style office. The Utica branch is one of a handful of the fictional company's satellite offices, and has been mentioned sporadically throughout the show. Michael and Pam return to the branch in Lecture Circuit Pt. 1, one of the branches in Michael's lecture circuit.
  • Jenny McCarthy's character in Jenny was originally from Utica.
  • Superintendent Chalmers of The Simpsons mentions to Principal Skinner in an episode that he is from Utica (and has never heard of a steamed ham) after Skinner says steamed hams are a regional dish from Upstate New York
  • Also in The Simpsons season 20 episode "Eeny Teeny Maya Moe", Homer is watching a "Mid-Atlantic Hockey League Conference do-over game," between the Springfield Isotopes and the Utica Mohawks. Although no such team currently exists, a team by that name played in the East Coast Hockey League in the late 1970s. The Mohawk Nation is a Native American tribe from the area.
  • Another episode of The Simpsons features an old newsreel that ends with the narrator exclaiming, "So watch out, Utica! Springfield is a city on the... grow!"
  • Dick Clark got his start in a mailroom at Utica radio station WUTI
  • Is mentioned in Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl.
  • Bobbi Anderson, the protagonist of Stephen King's novel The Tommyknockers, is from Utica. Her family still lives there, and some small portions of the book take place in Utica. At one time, Stephen King's daughter was a preacher in a church located in Utica, and she also resided in Utica.
  • In the 2000 made for MTV movie 2ge+her about a fictional boy band, the final contestant in the Mr. Teen New York pageant is Mr. Utica. When asked what the biggest problem with the world today was, he can't think of the right words and flubs the answer. It is unknown who wins the pageant as the scene cuts before they announce the winner.
  • In the 2007 film The Bourne Ultimatum while reviewing Jason Bourne's Treadstone file at her desk, Joan Allen's character (Pamela Landy) pauses for a moment at a page that shows a brief bio of Dr. Albert Hirsch (Albert Finney), indicating he was born in "Utica, NY" and attended Syracuse University.
  • Portions of the 1977 film Slap Shot were filmed at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, in particular, the scene where the Hanson brothers incite a brawl during the pre-game warm-up.
  • In the movie Slackers as the student tries to steal the test booklets off the back of a delivery truck the box says, "Test Supply Booklets Broad Street Utica, NY 13501"
  • In an episode of All in the Family Edith (Jean Stapleton) mentions great drives along the NYS Thruway especially Utica.
  • In the 2008 film The Wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson (portrayed by Mickey Rourke) decides to retire and cancels an upcoming match in Utica.
  • 4 out of the 5 members of the band "moe.", are originally from the greater Utica area.
  • Annette Funicello was born in Utica
  • VH1's "I Love New York" star Tiffany Pollard is from Utica.
  • Ron O'Neal was born in Utica
  • Zagnif Nori [Iron Fingaz] is from Utica. Released an EP by the name of "Blocks of Gold" with fellow Noble Scity group member Gripz, which features Noble Scity members Crucial The Guillotine, Illy Vas, and Kaotny. Also, the CDs contains a feature from Wu-Tang affiliate Kevlaar 7 from the group The Wisemen.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Storm2Tracker". NBC-WKTV. http://www.wktv.com/weather/2002252.html. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b Clarke, T. W. (1952). Utica for a Century and a Half. Utica N.Y.: Widtman Press.
  4. ^ Rudes, B. Tuscarora English Dictionary Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999
  5. ^ Przybycien, F. E. (1976). Utica: A City Worth Saving. Utica : Dodge-Graphic Press, Inc.
  6. ^ Tomaino, F. (2008, May 29). This Week in History: A bridge to Deerfield. Retrieved March 25, 2010, from Observer Dispatch: http://www.uticaod.com/history/x244767716/This-Week-in-History-A-bridge-to-Deerfield
  7. ^ ["Utica." from The History of Oneida County; Oneida County Historical Society, 1977]
  8. ^ Wedding of the Waters, by Peter Bernstein, 2005.
  9. ^ Cookinham, H. J. (1912). History of Oneida County N.Y. Chicago: SJ Clarke Publishing Company
  10. ^ Mark Twain: A Life, by Ron Powers, 2005.
  11. ^ The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris, 1979
  12. ^ In Gotham's Shadow, Alexander R Thomas, State University of New York Press, 2003
  13. ^ "The Sin City Scandals" at Utica College
  14. ^ Guts and Glory, Tragedy and Triumph: The Rufus P. Elefante Story, Nancy Kobryn, Mohawk Valley Community College Library Collection
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ New city slogan: 'Renaissance City' - Utica, NY 13501 - The Observer-Dispatch
  17. ^ Zielbauer, Paul (1999-05-07). "Looking to Prosper as a Melting Pot; Utica, Long in Decline, Welcomes an Influx of Refugees". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE3DD1E3CF934A35756C0A96F958260. 
  18. ^ "Second Chance City," Reader's Digest, August 2007, pp. 116-123.
  19. ^ Home is where the hockey is - Utica, NY 13501 - The Observer-Dispatch
  20. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://www.nr.nps.gov/. 
  21. ^ New York Times. (1907, June 23). Gives Utica Four Parks. p. S5.
  22. ^ uticamusicfest.com
  23. ^ tasteofutica.com
  24. ^ http://www.derbyroster.com/
  25. ^ "General Electric Helps Rebuild the Mohawk Valley," by Julia G. Diliberto, pp. 85-103, from Building the Mohawk Valley, David G. Wittner, ed., Center for Historical Research, Utica College, 2003.
  26. ^ Utica:then and Now, by Joseph Bottini and James Davis, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 48

External linksEdit

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Coordinates: 43°05′48″N 75°13′55″W / 43.096569, -75.231887


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Utica, New York. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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