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  • Jackson Strong

Architecture of Troy NY



Troy NY is a city of just under 50,000, the smallest of the primary cities comprising the Capital District, including Albany and Schenectady. It is located approximately 150 miles directly north of New York City on the Hudson, the furthest point north in which salt water from the ocean travels given the river's characteristics as a tidal estuary. Much of the city as it stands today was built in the 19th and early 20th centuries during the peak of its development, comparatively older than most cities even in the state of New York. Its textile industry flourished given its location at the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal and Hudson River. Its housing stock is often said to resemble that of Brooklyn, understandably so given similarities in vintage, style, and construction, particularly the use of brownstone and masonry. Another key element instrumental in the relatively compact development of the city was its interurban transportation system which linked its downtown station to locations throughout the region.


Unlike many cities throughout both the state and country, much of its original building stock remains intact. While the city has long struggled with the decline in manufacturing, urban renewal, and reorientation of development patterns into the surrounding suburbs, there has been a steady increase in new businesses and investment in improving the building stock.


It is my belief that Troy has extraordinary potential to become a thriving hub for innovative businesses, education, culture, and industry. There are tremendous and unique assets that can be leveraged to make this a reality, but the city must aim high and both prepare and welcome for significant levels of new investment if it is to greater realize its potential and provide a higher standard of living for current and future residents.


Transportation is fundamental in defining where and what type of development takes place. For residential growth, higher capacity modes of passenger transportation is needed to facilitate dense urban environments free of congestion. As a city built around its interurban rail system, a combination of protected bicycle lanes, dedicated lanes for buses that have sufficient stop spacing to be a fast option, and potentially utilizing its still-active freight rail spur to Rensselaer to also accommodate passengers as part of a regional rail network will be instrumental into reorienting growth and investment in its housing stock. Not to be overlooked, however, is its potential to provide an ideal location for various types of industry given significant logistical advantages. In the heart of the Capital Region, it has highway, rail, and maritime access, as well as a substantial amount of industrial land on the waterfront. While there is an obvious desire to enhance the city's waterfront to create a tremendous public environment for visitors and residents, there is ample land strategically located between the active industrial rail spur and the river featuring a commercial navigation channel maintained at a depth of 18'. In addition to the bulk aggregates currently discharged and loaded private berths, there is opportunity to serve as a highly efficient logistics terminal for all primary freight modes, potentially handling higher value freight, both break bulk and containerized. Using these modes in addition to trucking, which hauls approximately 75% of the freight in the United States, Troy can offer a location with the land, labor force, and logistics capacity making it ideal for certain industries. Using some of the land near the Rensselaer County Detention Center for industrial use will be good for the economy, good for the environment with its use of significantly more efficient modes of transportation, and help to provide a foundation the city can use to grow and upgrade its infrastructure.


Just thought I'd add that to a post with a bunch of pictures I took of the city.





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