Albany, California

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Albany, California
City
City of Albany
View of Albany from Albany Bulb, with Albany Hill on the left
View of Albany from Albany Bulb, with Albany Hill on the left
Official seal of Albany, California
Seal
Motto: Urban Village by the Bay[1]
Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Location in Alameda County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°53′13″N 122°17′52″W / 37.88694°N 122.29778°W / 37.88694; -122.29778Coordinates: 37°53′13″N 122°17′52″W / 37.88694°N 122.29778°W / 37.88694; -122.29778
Country United States
State  California
County Alameda County
Incorporated September 22, 1908[2]
Government
 • State Senate Loni Hancock (D)[3]
 • State Assembly Nancy Skinner (D)[4]
Area[5]
 • Total 5.465 sq mi (14.155 km2)
 • Land 1.788 sq mi (4.632 km2)
 • Water 3.677 sq mi (9.524 km2)  67.28%
Elevation[6] 43 ft (13 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 18,969
 • Density 10,368/sq mi (4,003/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94706, 94707, 94710
Area code(s) 510
FIPS code 06-00674
GNIS feature IDs 1657902, 2409674
Website www.albanyca.org

Albany (formerly Ocean View) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. The population was 18,539 at the 2010 census.

History[edit]

In 1908, a group of local women protested the dumping of Berkeley garbage in their community. Armed with two shotguns and a twenty-two-caliber rifle, they confronted the drivers of the wagons near what is now the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. The women told the drivers of the horse-drawn garbage wagons to go home, which they did quickly and without complaint. [7] Shortly thereafter, the residents of the town voted to incorporate as the City of Ocean View. In 1909, voters changed the name of the city, primarily to distinguish the city from the adjacent section of Berkeley which had previously been named Ocean View.[8] On a vote of 38 to 6[8] the city was renamed in honor of Albany, New York, the birthplace of the city's first mayor, Frank Roberts.[9]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14 km2), of which 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) (67.28%) is water.

The principal shopping street in Albany is Solano Avenue, which cuts across the city from west to east. Another important street is San Pablo Avenue, which travels from north to south.

Albany is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, bordering the city of Berkeley to the south and east, and the Contra Costa County cities of El Cerrito and Richmond to the north. Albany's northern and southern borders are defined by two creeks, Codornices Creek on the south and Cerrito Creek on the north. Cerrito Creek takes its name from "El Cerrito de San Antonio", now known as Albany Hill. The hill's unusual location near the bay shore makes it a prominent landmark in the East Bay. The rest of the city is relatively flat by Bay Area standards, except for a small area near the base of the Berkeley Hills.

Albany's waterfront has undergone significant man-made changes; the most prominent landform is now the Albany Bulb, a former garbage landfill jutting out into San Francisco Bay. The bulb was the site of a small art colony and shanty town until it was cleared to turn the area into part of the new Eastshore State Park.[10][11][12]

University Village, a housing unit of the University of California Berkeley, is located in Albany.[13]

Demographics[edit]

The 2010 United States Census[14] reported that Albany had a population of 18,539. As of 2012, Albany had a population of 18,969. The population density was 3,392.1 people per square mile (1,309.7/km2). The racial makeup of Albany was 10,128 (54.6%) White, 645 (3.5%) African American, 88 (0.5%) Native American, 5,790 (31.2%) Asian, 37 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 607 (3.3%) from other races, and 1,244 (6.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,891 persons (10.2%).

The Census reported that 18,454 people (99.5% of the population) lived in households, 74 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 11 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 7,401 households, out of which 2,909 (39.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,801 (51.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 883 (11.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 295 (4.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 341 (4.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 123 (1.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,862 households (25.2%) were made up of individuals and 593 (8.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49. There were 4,979 families (67.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.00.

The population was spread out with 4,630 people (25.0%) under the age of 18, 1,006 people (5.4%) aged 18 to 24, 6,154 people (33.2%) aged 25 to 44, 4,902 people (26.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,847 people (10.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

There were 7,889 housing units at an average density of 1,443.5 per square mile (557.3/km2), of which 3,574 (48.3%) were owner-occupied, and 3,827 (51.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.2%. 9,070 people (48.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,384 people (50.6%) lived in rental housing units.

Economy[edit]

The major retail and business areas in Albany are Solano Avenue, which is a pedestrian-oriented street lined with mainly small shops, restaurants, and services; San Pablo Avenue, which is more automobile-oriented; and an area near the Eastshore Freeway, which the city is trying to attract big-box stores and offices, and currently houses a two-story Target store.

Albany is the site of Golden Gate Fields, the only horse racing track in the Bay Area.

Real estate prices have been rising steeply in recent years until the 2008 financial crisis and recession. The median price of a single family home and condo in Census 2000, June 2007, November 2009, July 2011 and August 2013 were $334,800, $687,500, $610,000, $590,000 and $625,750 respectively.[15]

A bayside view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Albany.

Top employers[edit]

According to Albany's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Albany Unified School District 383
2 Target 358
3 Agricultural Research Service 266
4 Golden Gate Fields 199
5 City of Albany 84
6 St. Mary's College High School 70
7 Albany Ford Subaru 56
8 Safeway 45
9 California Orientation Center for the Blind 45
10 Albany Bowl 43

Education[edit]

Albany Middle School, 2000

Public schools in Albany are operated by the Albany Unified School District, a special-purpose district whose borders match the city's. The school district operates three elementary schools (Marin, Ocean View and Cornell School), one middle school (Albany Middle School), one traditional high school (Albany High School), and one continuation high school, in addition to an adult school. Albany High School is known as one of the best public schools of the San Francisco Bay Area for its academic excellence. The high school had a graduation rate of 92.1%, according to the 2009–10 School Accountability Report Card for the prior academic year.[17]

There are two private high schools in Albany: Tilden Preparatory School (formerly School for Independent Learners) on Solano Avenue and St. Mary's College High School, whose campus straddles the border with Berkeley, CA.

The University of California, Berkeley owns a large student housing complex in Albany, University Village, which is primarily used for family housing.

Arts, culture, and recreation[edit]

The Solano Avenue Stroll, an annual street festival held on Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley, attracts more than 250,000 visitors on the second Sunday of September. The event was started in 1975 by The Iris store owner and Solano Avenue Association founder Ira Klein as a "thank you party" from Solano Avenue business owners to customers.[18] The Library of Congress designated the Solano Stroll as a "National Local Legacy" in 2001.[18]

Albany provides both the locale and the title for one of the best-known poems in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, by former long-time Albany resident, poet Ron Silliman.

Albany also has a large little league, which draws children from around the area. The Albany Little League has gone to state tournaments with their junior and Majors levels. In 2008, Albany won its first championship in the Little League.

Albany is home to Golden Gate Fields, the only commercial racetrack in the Bay Area, as well as the Eastshore State Park which skirts the San Francisco Bay, and the Albany Bulb.

Albany has a strong school music program. High school music groups, both instrumental and choral, have performed at the CMEA, Reno Jazz, and other festivals. The Albany High School Jazz Band was also accepted at the Essentially Ellington festival at the Lincoln Center in 2010. Albany was one of 15 schools accepted into the festival.

Friends of Five Creeks is an all-volunteer group working hands-on for clean water and healthy watersheds.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Resolution 2011-38
  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ U.S. Census
  6. ^ "Albany". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  7. ^ A Brief History of Early Albany, Albany City Chamber of Commerce, Accessed August 2, 2007.
  8. ^ a b Albany City Chamber of Commerce
  9. ^ William Bright; Erwin Gustav Gudde (November 30, 1998). 1500 California place names: their origin and meaning. University of California Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-520-21271-8. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Albany Shuts Down Homeless Camp / Squatters leave site of future park". The San Francisco Chronicle. August 31, 1999. 
  11. ^ Costantinou, Marianne (June 1, 1999). "Shak dwellers told to go". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  12. ^ "Albany Waterfront Topic Page". Albany Patch. April 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ "University Village Master Plan." University of California, Berkeley. June 2004. 1. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  14. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Albany city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ DataQuick Real Estate Headlines and Statistics, Accessed October 8, 2013
  16. ^ City of Albany CAFR, p 167
  17. ^ "Albany High School Overview". Albany Patch. April 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Berkeley News, Chris Treadway, Berkeley Voice/West County Times, 9/12/2008, Solano Stroll A Local Institution, Accessed October 22, 2010

External links[edit]