Troy, New York

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Looking out on Broadway in downtown Troy.
Looking out on Broadway in downtown Troy.

Troy is a city in New York, USA and is the county seat of Rensselaer County. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 49,170; in 1910, the population was 76,813. The city is named after the classic city of Troy.

The City of Troy is located on the western edge of the county. Troy is home to the world-famous Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the renowned Emma Willard School, and is the hometown of Uncle Sam.[1] The headquarters for both The Record newspaper and MapInfo Corporation are located in the city.

Nicknames: "The Collar City", "Home of Uncle Sam"



The site of the city was a part of the Van Rensselaer grant of 1629. Dirck Van der Heyden was one of the first settlers. In 1707, he purchased a farm of 65 acres (26 hectares) which in 1787 was laid out as a village.

The name Troy (after the legendary city of Troy, made famous in Homer's Iliad) was adopted in 1789, and the region was formed into the "Town of Troy" in 1791 from part of the Rensselaerwyck Manor. Troy became a village in 1801 and was chartered as a city in 1816.

It has been three times nearly destroyed by fire. In 1892, there were election riots there during which Robert Ross was murdered. One of his slayers, "Bat" Shea, was executed in 1896.

Lansingburgh was a former town and village in Rensselaer County that was annexed by Troy in 1900. Lansingburgh is thus often referred to as "North Troy".

Through much of the 19th and into the early 20th century, Troy was not only one of the most prosperous cities in New York State, but also one of the most prosperous cities in the entire country, overshadowing nearby Albany, the state capital. It was one of the centers of the American iron industry, as well as of the "collar and cuff" industry, the latter exemplified by Cluett, Peabody & Company. Cluett's "Arrow shirts" are still worn by men across the country, although Cluett's itself is no more. People came from far and wide to shop at Frear's Department Store, which was one of the largest in the state.

Some other notable historical events in Troy


Troy is located at 42°44'18" North, 73°40'51" West (42.738278, -73.680809)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.5 km² (11.0 mi²). 27.0 km² (10.4 mi²) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.44% water.

With a picturesque river waterfront, Troy is located at the head of the navigation on the Hudson River and is the terminus of the New York Barge Canal. It is the distributing center for a large area.

The city is on the border of the Adirondack country and is placed in the center of a beautiful surrounding countryside. On the east are the Berkshire Hills, south is the valley of the Hudson, west the valley of the Mohawk, and on the north the Adirondack Mountains.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 49,170 people, 19,996 households, and 10,737 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,823.7/km² (4,721.8/mi²). There are 23,093 housing units at an average density of 856.5/km² (2,217.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 80.22% White, 11.41% African American, 0.28% Native American, 3.49% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.20% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. 4.33% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 19,996 households out of which 27.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.6% are married couples living together, 16.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% are non-families. 36.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.26 and the average family size is 2.97.

In the city the population is spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 17.6% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $29,844, and the median income for a family is $38,631. Males have a median income of $30,495 versus $25,724 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,796. 19.1% of the population and 14.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.0% of those under the age of 18 and 9.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Troy remains a "Victorian City", despite troubles with poverty and crime, and is home to countless samples of Victorian architecture and iron work. The city has an impressive number of intact Tiffany stained-glass windows in their original architectural settings. Many of the buildings are in disrepair, but concerned citizens and community groups and investors are taking a hand in restoring them.

Tragically, as happened with so many American cities, the heart of downtown Troy fell victim to so-called "urban renewal" in the 1970s. The gutting of Troy's business district has been a major contributing factor to the city's problems in recent years.

Part of the revitalization effort in Troy has been the establishment (and some would say success) of its "Antique District," which is located on River Street in downtown Troy.

Notable artists born in Troy are the actress Maureen Stapleton and the authors Alice Fulton and Richard Selzer. Notable residents have included Herman Melville, Emma Willard, Russell Sage, and Jane Fonda. Several books by noted author Kurt Vonnegut are set in the fictional city of "Illium", which is modeled on Troy, N.Y.

With a still-intact architectural heritage that is representative of urban settings of the late 19th century, cinematographers have found fertile ground for location filming in the city of Troy. Ironweed, Age of Innocence, Scent of a Woman, The Bostonians, The Emperor’s Club, and The Time Machine (2002 version) are some movies that were filmed in Troy.

The town hosts the Tri-City Valley Cats, a minor-league Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The team is a part of the New York-Penn League.

Political Structure

The Executive Branch consists of Mayor Harry Tutunjian (Rep.), who defeated Frank LaPosta for the position in November 2003 and began his term January 2004.

Troy's Legislative Branch consists of a City Council. The Council contains 9 elected members, 3 City Council At-Large Representatives and 6 Council District Representatives, with each Representative serving a two-year term. The City Council At-Large Representative who receives the greatest number of votes in the election is designated the City Council President (currently Marjorie Mahar DerGurahian). The Council meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00pm in City Hall, in the Council Chambers on the 2nd floor. All meetings are open to the public, and include a public forum period held before official business where citizens can address the Council on all matters directly pertaining to city government.

Current Troy City Council members for period of January 1st 2004 - December 31st 2005: Marjorie Mahar DerGurahian (At-Large/Council President), Karen Messick (At-Large), Robert Armet (At-Large), Mark D. Wojcik (District #1), Jack Mahoney (District #2), Arthur Judge (District #3/President Pro Tem), William Dunne (District #4), Robert Krogh (District #5), and Carolin Collier Skriptshak (District #6).


Some famous and interesting portions of Troy include:

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Rensselaer County, New York
County seat Troy
Incorporated City Rensselaer | Troy
Villages Castleton | East Nassau | Hoosick Falls | Nassau | Schatighcoke | Valley Falls
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Hamlets/CDPs Averill Park | Hampton Manor | Poestenkill | West Sand Lake | Wynantskill
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