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Upstate NY in (mostly) Vintage Aerial Views
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As we board our sleeper zeppelin to muncie...
...it occured to us that some of you New York noisers have little to no idea of what the rest of the Empire State looks like. So let's take a phototour of some of the cities and towns upstate - or at least the ones I have pictures of...
Our first stop is Niagara Falls, NY. Since the Canadian side has the view, New York's city was pretty much obliged to work for a living with industry making use of the available waterpower.
A modest downtown was developed to serve the tourist trade...
In the late 1960s the Horseshoe Falls were turned off to investigate to practicality of removing all those damned barrels - turned out they were slowing erosion so they turned the falls back on
A civic arena, wintergarden and shopping mall (vacant for a decade) were built but the city is still struggling. Ironically the Seneca Niagara Casino seems to have retarded developement by raising adjacent property values so high that businesses can't afford to take advantage of its location.
An interesting sidenote is the wreck of 'the Niagara Scow' - which foundered on the rocks near the old Ontario generator station back in 1918
Like Niagara Falls, Buffalo, NY was a center of industry, milling steel and flour as well as being a major supplier of automotive sub-assemblies
The City was laid out with radial avenues many of which were closed off downtown during the urban renewal era
By the 1970s, downtown was a sea of parking lots
Even the harbour was largely made redundant by the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway
Though with the waterfront - and Lake Erie - cleaned up..
..it's been a boon for recreational boating
The Buffalo Central Terminal sat abandoned since 1979
Twenty years later it was bought from the city for a dollar with restoration efforts undertaken since. It is hoped the station will serve as the western terminus of a proposed high speed rail system for New York.
Just for fun we sent camara guy Manfred down in the Spy basket to get a street level view
Olean, NY - only 16,000 people yet downtown still rates a (modest) skyscraper
Being a milling center, it was known as the 'Flour City'. When wheat farming moved to Ohio, nurseries were the big industry so the city moniker was transformed to the 'Flower City'
Such was the city's love of the river...
...that Main Street shops were simply built over it.
It wasn't till the 1930s that any civic buildings faced the riverfront - note platform for the Rochester Subway system bottom right. Yeah, that's right, Rochester had a subway.
A southward view down Main Street. Manfred loves that observation car...
1960s urban renewal programmes saw the removal of Rochester's 'Ponte Vecchio'...
...and the construction of buildings to take better advantage of the river views.
Xerox's contribution to the city skyline (gray tower to right) is the third tallest building in the state outside of New York City.
Rochester has survived the post-industrial era fairly well though major employer Kodak has been particularly hard hit by the switch from film to digital imaging..
Elmira, NY is big on glass production as well
Also in the railroad - equipment - line. American LaFrance used to build fire engines here.
Mark Twain's wife grew up in the area and the two summered here often.
Auto racing has made Watkins Glen famous
Owego, NY was named 'The Coolest Small Town in the United States' by a 2009 travel magazine's poll.
Syracuse, NY was named 'best situated' city in the 1960s sitting astride as it did, two interstate highways.
Salt mining got this area its start on the road to prosperity
It's also a major college town
The Computing, Tabulating & Recording company had a major presence in the city of Endicott, NY - you know them today as IBM
Urban renewal has enriched the cityscape though its tallest building - the State Office Building- was uninhabitable for over a dozen years on account of a PCB leak in 1981. Locals call it the 'Toxic Tower'
Little Sidney, NY put out a promotional brochure back in the 1980s...
...earning it a quick flyover
Too cloudy for an aerial of Cobleskill, NY so we sent Manfred down for a shot of this lovely hotel. Funny how the sun came out soon after...
Watertown, NY - a busy street scene
By the 1980s not so busy...
Frank. Woolworth began his merchantile career in the building that once stood on this site
Replacement building - which used to house a Woolworth's - still stands
Frosty Lake Placid hosted two Winter Olympiads in the last century
The town has branched out into medical devices and financial services as of late.
Even though the grand hotels have long since been demolished Saratoga Springs, NY is still a favourite of the horsey set
Troy, NY was known as the 'Collar City' and was a 19th century industrial powerhouse
Packs quite an architectural punch for its size
Schenectady, NY was once known as the city that lights and hauls the world
And was a retailing center for the western end of the Capital District
With the decline of manufacturing the city has had to work hard to find other things to do
Old industrial areas have been transformed...
as has the downtown
While General Electric is no longer the employer it once was
Schenectady still lights a better part of the world
You probably could call Albany, NY a one-industry town...
...but when that industy is governance
you can be assured of an ever-expanding employment base
Though with so many tax-exempt buildings, it's a taxation hell for the property owners living in their shadows
This idylic view of Warwarsung, NY doesn't show the problems the town has with flooding caused by leaks upwelling from New York City's aquaduct system
This article has been viewed 20487 times in the last 3 years
Franny Wentzel: 27th Mar 2011 - 03:45 GMT
Just a note - on 24 May, 1932 the Zeppelin-built ZR-3 participated in an on-air demonstration of Photophone technology. Floating over the GE plant in Schenectady, crew from the USS Los Angeles conversed with a WGY announcer via light beam.
Robert: 31st Mar 2011 - 21:06 GMT
Once again, Franny, thanks for giving us such magnificent views and good information.
Kate: 8th Feb 2013 - 23:21 GMT
Actually, the Woolworth building in Watertown is still there. It's now vacant, but new owners are planning on making it into apartments.
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