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Facts about Albany, NY for Kids


Albany is the capital city of the state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York’s Capital District. Roughly 140 miles north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 10 miles south of its confluence with the Mohawk River.

  • Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District.
  • Albany saw its first European settlement on November 2, 1614 and was officially chartered as a city in 1686.
  • The city was officially chartered in 1686 with the issuance of the Dongan Charter, the oldest effective city charter in the United States and possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Albany is one of the first cities in the world to have installed public water mains, sewer lines, natural gas lines and electricity, bringing substantial new industry to the city and surrounding area during the 19th century.
  • It is located on the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, and was home to some of the earliest railroadsystems in the world.
  • Beginning in 1810, Albany was one of the ten most populous cities in the United States, a distinction that it held until the 1860 census.
  • The city’s skyline changed in the 1960s with the construction of the Empire State Plaza and the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
  • While Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl, many of its historic neighborhoods were saved from destruction through the policies of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, the longest-serving mayor of any city in the United States.
  • On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was split into counties, with Albany County being the largest.
  • The Bank of Albany (1792–1861) was the second chartered bank in New York.
  • Corning is given credit for saving, albeit somewhat unintentionally, much of Albany’s historic architecture.
  • Their numbers were smaller than in many other eastern cities mainly because most of them had found jobs at General Electric in Schenectady.
  • Demographically speaking, the population of Albany and the Capital District mirrors the characteristics of the United States consumer population as a whole better than any other major municipality in the country.
  • The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) provides bus service throughout Albany and the surrounding area, including Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs.