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Upstate NY in (mostly) Vintage Aerial Views

- Franny Wentzel - Friday, March 25th, 2011 : goo

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As we board our ...

image 47216 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...

image 47217

Our first stop is . 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.

image 47218

A modest downtown was developed to serve the tourist trade...

image 47219

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

image 47220

In the 1970s virtually every downtown building was demolished for an ambitious urban renewal programme. Only the and hotel survive.

image 47221

A civic arena, wintergarden and shopping mall (vacant for a decade) were built but the city is still struggling. Ironically the seems to have retarded developement by raising adjacent property values so high that businesses can't afford to take advantage of its location.

image 47222

An interesting sidenote is the wreck of 'the ' - which foundered on the rocks near the old Ontario generator station back in 1918

image 47223

Like Niagara Falls, was a center of industry, milling steel and flour as well as being a major supplier of automotive sub-assemblies

image 47225

The City was laid out with radial avenues many of which were closed off downtown during the urban renewal era

image 47226

By the 1970s, downtown was a sea of parking lots

image 47224

Even the harbour was largely made redundant by the opening of the

image 47227

Though with the waterfront - and Lake Erie - cleaned up..

image 47228's been a boon for recreational boating

image 47229

The sat abandoned since 1979

image 47230

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.

image 47231

- the only hordes of confused British majors it sees are from nearby

image 47232

, hometown of and

image 47233

Just for fun we sent camara guy Manfred down in the to get a street level view

image 47234

- only 16,000 people yet downtown still rates a (modest) skyscraper

image 47235

No, really...

image 47236

Industrious was located where the flows over the as opposed to the nearby shoreline.

image 47237

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'

image 47238

Such was the city's love of the river...

image 47239

...that Main Street shops were simply built over it.

image 47240

It wasn't till the 1930s that any civic buildings faced the riverfront - note platform for the system bottom right. Yeah, that's right, Rochester had a subway.

image 47241

A southward view down Main Street. Manfred loves that observation car...

image 47242

1960s urban renewal programmes saw the removal of Rochester's 'Ponte Vecchio'...

image 47243

...and the construction of buildings to take better advantage of the river views.

image 47244

's contribution to the city skyline (gray tower to right) is the third tallest building in the state outside of New York City.

image 47245

Rochester has survived the post-industrial era fairly well though major employer has been particularly hard hit by the switch from film to digital imaging..

image 47246

is big on glass products and the makes for a delightful and educational afternoon's spent

image 47247

is big on glass production as well

image 47248

Also in the railroad - equipment - line. used to build fire engines here.

image 47249

's wife grew up in the area and the two summered here often.

image 47250

Auto racing has made famous

image 47251
Twilight Zone creator was so fond of his time in he named his production company after the lake (Cuyuga) it bordered.

image 47252

was named 'The Coolest Small Town in the United States' by a 2009 travel magazine's poll.

image 47253

was named 'best situated' city in the 1960s sitting astride as it did, two interstate highways.

image 47254

Salt mining got this area its start on the road to prosperity

image 47255

It's also a major college town

image 47256

The Computing, Tabulating & Recording company had a major presence in the city of - you know them today as IBM

image 47257

was know as the 'Parlour City'. Cartoonist - a native of the area - lent one of his creations for the logo of the company

image 47258

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'

image 47260

Little put out a promotional brochure back in the 1980s...

image 47259

...earning it a quick flyover

image 47261

A friend of mine attended back in the 1990s

image 47262

Too cloudy for an aerial of so we sent Manfred down for a shot of this lovely hotel. Funny how the sun came out soon after...

image 47263

- we've covered elsewhere. So lets move northward to...

image 47264

- a busy street scene

image 47265

By the 1980s not so busy...

image 47266

began his merchantile career in the building that once stood on this site

image 47267

Replacement building - which used to house a Woolworth's - still stands

image 47268

Frosty hosted two Winter Olympiads in the last century

image 47269

Located in the , earned its living on lumbering and paper milling.

image 47270

The town has branched out into medical devices and financial services as of late.

image 47271

Even though the grand hotels have long since been demolished is still a favourite of the horsey set

image 47272

was known as the 'Collar City' and was a 19th century industrial powerhouse

image 47273

Is largely know today as the home to and the

image 47274

Packs quite an architectural punch for its size

image 47275

was once known as the city that lights and hauls the world

image 47276

And was a retailing center for the western end of the

image 47277

With the decline of manufacturing the city has had to work hard to find other things to do

image 47278

Old industrial areas have been transformed...

image 47279

image 47280

as has the downtown

image 47281

While is no longer the employer it once was

image 47282

Schenectady still lights a better part of the world

image 47283

You probably could call a one-industry town...

image 47284

...but when that industy is governance

image 47285

you can be assured of an ever-expanding employment base

image 47286

Though with so many tax-exempt buildings, it's a taxation hell for the property owners living in their shadows

image 47287

This idylic view of doesn't show the problems the town has with flooding caused by leaks upwelling from New York City's aquaduct system

image 47288

The last city before you reach The City is - the plotted his reign of terror from an apartment here

This article has been viewed 28584 times in the last 4 years Fantastic stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Franny Wentzel: 27th Mar 2011 - 03:45 GMT

Just a note - on 24 May, 1932 the Zeppelin-built participated in an on-air demonstration of technology. Floating over the GE plant in Schenectady, crew from the USS Los Angeles conversed with a announcer via light beam.

Robert: 31st Mar 2011 - 21:06 GMT

Once again, Franny, thanks for giving us such magnificent views and good information.
I think it would be nice if you started a virtual book on a selection of your articles. It really would be a great thing.

Steve: 26th Sep 2011 - 17:27 GMT

It's horrible what happen to the downtown of are cities.

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.

jessicastweenweekly1234's JimdoPage: 23rd Mar 2013 - 08:06 GMT

I think this internet site holds some real good info for everyone. "Few friendships would survive if each one knew what his friend says of him behind his back." by Blaise Pascal. jessicastweenweekly1234's JimdoPage

Dan: 28th Sep 2014 - 16:29 GMT

Awesome ... Wish you had Utica in there but very nice pics and comments

Franny Wentzel: 29th Sep 2014 - 18:54 GMT

Utica has an aerial view even in this article though - as its caption explains - it was covered elsewhere...

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