Syracuse, New York

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Syracuse New York)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the city in New York state. For other places sharing the same name, see Syracuse (disambiguation).
Syracuse, New York
A view of the downtown Syracuse skyline
A view of the downtown Syracuse skyline
Nickname(s): The 'Cuse, Salt City, Emerald City, The Heart of New York
Syracuse, New York is located in New York
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse, New York
Location of Syracuse within the state of New York
Coordinates: 43°02′49″N 76°08′39″W / 43.04694°N 76.14417°W / 43.04694; -76.14417
Country United States
State New York
County Onondaga
Incorporated 1825 (village)
Incorporated 1847 (city)
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Stephanie A. Miner (D)
 • Common Council
 • City 26.6 sq mi (66.4 km2)
 • Land 26 sq mi (65 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (1.4 km2)  2.15%
Elevation 380 ft (116 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 145,170
 • Density 5,583.5/sq mi (2,233.4/km2)
 • Metro 662,577
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 315
Twin cities
 • Chiayi City  Taiwan
 • Fuzhou, Fujian  People's Republic of China
 • Taiz  Yemen
 • Tampere  Finland
FIPS code 36-73000
GNIS feature ID 0966966
Downtown Syracuse in 2013

Syracuse (/ˈsɪrəkjuːs/ or local /ˈsɛrəkjuːs/) is a city in, and the county seat of, Onondaga County, New York, United States. It is the largest U.S. city with the name "Syracuse", and is the fifth most populous city in the state of New York.[1] At the 2010 census, the city's population was 145,170 (making it the 175th largest city in the country), and the metropolitan area had a population of 662,577. It is the economic and educational hub of Central New York, a region with over a million inhabitants. Syracuse is well provided with convention sites, with a downtown convention complex and, directly west, the Empire Expo Center, which hosts the annual Great New York State Fair. The city derives its name from Siracusa on the eastern coast of the Italian island of Sicily.

The city has been a major crossroads over the last two centuries, first between the Erie Canal and its branch canals, then on the railway network. Syracuse is at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 90, and its airport is the largest in the region. Syracuse is home to Syracuse University, a major research university; the SUNY Upstate Medical University and Hospital, the city's largest employer; SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and other colleges and professional schools. In 2010 Forbes rated Syracuse fourth in the top ten places to raise a family.[2]


Geography and climate[edit]

Onondaga Creek in Syracuse, New York about 1900

Salt and limestone[edit]

The most recent geological event was the Great Ice Age. The last sheet of ice formed the Finger Lakes, the Adirondack Mountains, and Onondaga Lake, and other land formations in Upstate New York.[3]


See also: Onondaga Lake

Syracuse is located at 43°2′49″N 76°8′40″W / 43.04694°N 76.14444°W / 43.04694; -76.14444 (43.046899, −76.144423).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.6 square miles (66 km2), of which, 25.1 square miles (65 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (2.15%) is water.

The city stands at the northeast corner of the Finger Lakes Region. The city has many neighborhoods which were originally various villages that joined the city over the years. Although the central part of Syracuse is flat, many of its neighborhoods are located on small hills such as University Hill and Tipperary Hill. Land to the north of Syracuse is generally flat while land to the south is hilly.

Onondaga Lake Park in the northern suburbs of Syracuse. Onondaga Lake with the Syracuse skyline in the background. Onondaga Lake Park attracts over one million visitors each year.

About 27 percent of Syracuse's land area is covered by 890,000 trees – a higher percentage than in Albany, Rochester or Buffalo. This is despite the Labor Day Storm of 1998, a derecho which destroyed approximately 30,000 trees. The sugar maple accounts for 14.2 percent of Syracuse's trees, followed by the Northern white cedar (9.8 percent) and the European buckthorn (6.8 percent). The most common street tree is the Norway maple (24.3 percent) followed by the honey locust (9.3 percent). The densest tree cover in Syracuse is in the two Valley neighborhoods, with 46.6 percent of their land covered by trees. The lowest tree cover percentage is found downtown, which consists of only 4.6 percent trees.[5]

Syracuse's main water source is Skaneateles Lake, one of the country's cleanest lakes[citation needed], located 15 miles (24 km) southwest of the city. Water from nearby Onondaga Lake is not drinkable due to industrial dumping that spanned many decades, leaving the lake heavily polluted. Incoming water is left unfiltered[citation needed], and chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth. For periods of drought, there is also a backup line which uses water from Lake Ontario.[6]

Onondaga Creek, a waterway that runs through downtown, flows northward through the city. There are plans and aspirations to create a creek walk that will connect the Lakefront and Inner Harbor to Franklin Square, Armory Square, The Valley, and ultimately the Onondaga Nation. The creek is navigable, yet can be quite a challenge as its channelized nature speeds up its flow, particularly in the spring, when it may be dangerous. Drownings of youngsters resulted in fencing of the creek through some residential areas.


Syracuse's weather averages
Snow shovels – Syracuse Post-Standard, February 6, 1902

Syracuse has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb)[7] and is known for its snowfall. Boasting 128 inches (330 cm) on average,[8] the Syracuse metro area receives more snow on average than any other large city in the United States.[9][10] Syracuse continually wins the Golden Snowball Award, among Upstate cities. Its record so far is 192.1 inches (488 cm). The high snowfall is a result of the city receiving both lake effect from nearby Lake Ontario and nor'easter snow. Snow most often falls in small (about 1–3 in or 2.5–7.6 cm), almost daily doses, over a period of several days. Larger snowfalls do occur occasionally, and even more so in the northern suburbs.

One notable blizzard was the Blizzard of 1993, during which 42.9 in (109 cm) fell on the city within 48 hours, with 35.6 in (90 cm) falling within the first 24 hours. Syracuse received more snow than any other city in the country during this storm, which shattered a total of eight local records, including the most snow in a single snowstorm.[11]

A second notable snowfall was the Blizzard of 1966, with 42.3 in (107 cm). The Blizzard of '58 occurred in February (16–17th) across Oswego and Onondaga counties. This storm was an actual blizzard due to the high winds, blowing snow and cold; 26.1 in (66 cm) of snow was measured at Syracuse N.Y. and drifts reached 20 ft (6.1 m) in Oswego County. (See "Thirtieth Publication of the Oswego County Historical Society" (1969); and "The Climate and Snow Climatology of Oswego N.Y." (1971).)

Lake effect snow band over Syracuse

January 2004 was the snowiest month ever in Syracuse, with a record 78.1 in (198 cm). December 2010 became Syracuse's second snowiest December ever on record with 72.8 in (185 cm)[12] and 45.1 inches (114.6 cm) fell in 4 days.[13] In February 1958, Syracuse shivered under a white blanket that averaged 4 ft (1.2 m) on February 19. Syracuse declared a snow emergency under a new law that allowed municipalities to demand that streets be cleared of vehicles to help with plowing operations.[14]

The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 23.6 °F (−4.7 °C) in January to 71.3 °F (21.8 °C) in July. There are 8.6 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs and 8.3 nights of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows annually. Extreme temperatures range from 102 °F (39 °C) on July 9, 1936 down to −26 °F (−32 °C) on three occasions, the last being February 18, 1979.[8]

A few recent summers in Syracuse have been warmer than previous ones in the city and, like in some other places in the nation, previous records have been broken. For example, the summers of 2005 and 2002 were, respectively, the hottest and second-hottest summers on record.[15]

Syracuse is the fourth rainiest city in US, with 171 rainy days a year and fourth among the snowiest cities with 111.6 inches of snow annually. Much like nearby Binghamton, being close to the St. Lawrence storm track and cooler air masses coming in from the west and north, the city has a continuously unsettled weather pattern.[16]


Syracuse Compared
(monetary values in United States dollars)
2000 Census Syracuse NY State U.S.
Total population 147, 306 18,976,457 281,421,906
Population, percent change, 1990 to 2000 −10.4% +5.5% +13.1%
Population density 5,871/sq mi 402/sq mi 80/sq mi
Median household income (1999) $30,075 $43,393 $41,994
Per capita income $15,168 $23,389 $21,587
Bachelor's degree or higher 23% 27% 24%
Foreign born 8% 20% 11%
White 64% 62% 69%
Black 25% 16% 12%
Hispanic 5% 15% 13%
Asian 10% 6% 4%

As of the census[22] of 2010, there were 145,170 people,and 56,445 households. The population density was 5,796.8 people per square mile (2,266.8/km²). There were 64,356 housing units.

The racial and ethnic makeup of the city reported in the 2010 Census was as follows: 56.0% White, 29.5% African American, 1.1% Native American, 5.5% Asian, and <0.5% Pacific Islander. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.3% of the population. Non-Hispanic Whites were 52.8% of the population in 2010,[23] down from 87.2% in 1970.[24]

There were 56,445 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 23.6% were married couples living together, 20.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.4% were non-families. 29% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 16.8% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.7 years.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,715, and the median income for a family was $37,384. Males had a median income of $36,021 versus $30,846 for females. The per capita income was $17,866. About 25.6% of families and 31.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.1% of those under age 18 and 12.5% of those age 65 or over.

Syracuse's racial makeup in 2000

Ethnic diversity[edit]

Over the course of 400 years, immigrants from all over the world have been attracted to the Central New York area, including the Bosnian, British, French, German, Greek, Hispanic (in particular Puerto Rican), Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Polish, Syrian, Ukrainian, and Welsh communities. Native Americans also continue to have a presence in the area, as they have for centuries.

Recent demographics indicate that the largest ancestries represented in the city includes African American (27.9%), Irish (15.9%), Italian (14.1%), German (12.2%), English (7.6%), Hispanic (6.5%), Polish (5.0%), Asian (4.0%) and Pacific Islander (1.1%).[25]

Socio-linguistics place Syracuse within the zone using the accent of Inland Northern American English.[26]


People identify with a number of religions.[27]

Buddhism: Buddhism has the Zen Center of Syracuse on Seneca Turnpike; as well as a center on Park Street, on the city's north side.

Christianity: Syracuse has two cathedrals, the Episcopal St. Paul's Cathedral and the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Both are located at Columbus Circle, and are home to their respective dioceses, the Diocese of Central New York (Episcopal) and the Diocese of Syracuse (Roman Catholic). The Assembly of God, Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Church of Christ have their State offices in the Greater Syracuse area. The United Methodist Church also has its headquarters of the Upper New York Annual (regional) Conference in downtown Syracuse, on the third floor of the University United Methodist Church near Syracuse University. The United Methodist Bishop has offices there. Syracuse is also home to the novitiate center of the Jesuit New York Province, as well as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Roman Catholic, with Mass offered in English and Polish). In addition there are dozens of churches in Syracuse of nearly every Christian denomination, including Jehovah's Witness, Christian Science, Reformed Presbyterian and Metaphysical Christian. Complete List

Hinduism: Hindu houses of worship include the Hindu Mandir of Central New York in Liverpool.[28]

Sikhism: Sikh The house of worship is the Sikh Foundation of Syracuse, in Liverpool.

Islam has the Islamic Society of Central New York Mosque on Comstock Avenue, and Muhammad's Study Group on West Kennedy Street.

There are several Jewish synagogues in or nearby Syracuse, including Beth Shalom-Chevra Chas, Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Temple Society of Concord, considered to be the ninth oldest Jewish House of Worship in the United States.

There are two Unitarian Universalist Societies in Syracuse including the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society and the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse.


Syracuse's economy has faced challenges over the past decades as industrial jobs have left the area. The number of local and state government jobs also has been declining for several years. Syracuse's top employers are now primarily in education and the service industry. University Hill is Syracuse's fastest growing neighborhood, fueled by expansions by Syracuse University and Upstate Medical University (a division of the State University of New York), as well as dozens of small medical office complexes.

Top employers[edit]

Onondaga County Savings Bank Building – Syracuse, NY

As of 2012, the top eleven employers in the Syracuse region and the size of their workforce were:[29]

Bristol-Myers Squibb, founded by alums of nearby Hamilton College, has a complex near the Eastwood district.[30]

Today the Syracuse area has few extremely large employers, but rather many smaller ones. Eight of the area's top eleven employers are in education or the service industry, rather than in manufacturing. Some of the smaller employers in Syracuse are:

  • Anaren, Inc.: Employees 862[31]
  • Seneca Data Distributors, Inc.: Employees 300[32]
  • Cooper Crouse-Hinds: Employees 500-999[33]

Tallest buildings[edit]

The State Tower Building (rear), the city's tallest building, completed in 1928

Since 1927 the State Tower Building has been the tallest in Syracuse.

Name Height Floors Use Built
The State Tower Building 95 m 23 Office 1928
AXA Tower I (Originally "MONY Building") 82 m 19 Commercial office 1966
AXA Tower II (Originally "Carrier Building") 82 m 19 Commercial office 1971


The 26 Syracuse neighborhoods

The City of Syracuse officially recognizes 26 neighborhoods within its boundaries. Some of these have small additional neighborhoods and districts inside of them. In addition, Syracuse also owns and operates Syracuse Hancock International Airport, located on the territory of four towns north of the city.

Syracuse's neighborhoods reflect the historically divided population. Traditionally, Irish, Polish and Ukrainian Americans settled on its westside; Jews on its eastside; German and Italian Americans on the northside; and African-Americans on its southside.

Business districts[edit]

In addition to the dominant Destiny USA shopping area in the Syracuse's Lakefront neighborhood, many of the city's more traditional neighborhoods continue to have active business districts:

  • Downtown: Armory Square has replaced South Salina Street as the main retail and dining area of Downtown Syracuse. Armory Square has around 30 dining establishments, around 20 pubs, bars and clubs, and over 50 other retail stores. Similarly, but on a smaller scale, there is the Hanover Square area. A number of professional firms are also located in Armory Square, including Eric Mower and Associates, O'Brien & Gere, and the Sugarman Law Firm.
  • Eastwood: Calling itself "the village within the city", this former village still has a retail corridor along James Street.
  • Little Italy: A neighborhood with Italian origins, Little Italy (part of the Near Northeast neighborhood) has several blocks of bakeries, restaurants, pizzerias, shops, and services.
  • Butternut Circle: North Side neighborhood located at the intersection of Butternut Street and Grant Blvd (part of the Court-Woodlawn neighborhood) has several blocks housing a flower shop, drug store, pizza shop, deli, restaurants, beauty and barber shops, dentist and auto dealer.
  • University Hill: Marshall Street, along with its terminus South Crouse Avenue, is lined with stores, bars, and restaurants, primarily catering to the student population on "The Hill", as well as the over 25,000 people who work there daily. East Genesee Street at the northwestern corner of the neighborhood has several retail establishments, as well.
  • Westcott: This neighborhood, located east of University Hill, is inhabited by a wide variety of people, increasingly including some college students as the University grows but still primarily local families and residents. Single-family homes and two-unit apartments comprise the majority of housing. Westcott is known as a bohemian and liberal quarter, and each September hosts the Westcott Street Cultural Fair. The main business district is on Westcott Street between Beech and Dell streets and includes restaurants, bars, an independent bookstore, a consignment shop, The Westcott Theater, and other businesses.
Vocational High School at 312 Oswego Street in Syracuse in 1922 – Constructed in 1915 and designed by Architect James A. Randall


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Residents are assigned to schools in the Syracuse City School District.[34]

Colleges and universities[edit]

One of Syracuse's major research universities is Syracuse University, located on University Hill. It had an enrollment of 21,029 for the 2012–2013 academic year.[35]

Syracuse University looking toward Crouse College, 2010

Immediately adjacent to Syracuse University are two doctoral-degree granting State University (SUNY) schools, the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and SUNY Upstate Medical University. Both institutions have long-standing ties to Syracuse University. SUNY-ESF was established in 1911, as the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University. SUNY Upstate Medical University, which had its start as Syracuse University's medical school, is also one of Syracuse's major research universities and is one of only about 125 academic medical centers in the country.[36] It is the region's largest employer with over 9,400 employees.[37]

Two local hospitals operate schools of nursing within the city: the Crouse Hospital College of Nursing, on University Hill; and Saint Joseph's College of Nursing, in the downtown area.[38][39]

Two institutions of higher education are based in the Syracuse suburbs: Le Moyne College in the Town of DeWitt and Onondaga Community College in the Town of Onondaga. Le Moyne is a Jesuit college founded in 1946 and named after the 17th century missionary and diplomat Simon Le Moyne who first discovered the value of the Onondaga salt springs (see "French contact" above). It was also the first Jesuit college to be founded as coeducational. Its baseball team has had several players who went on to become professionals. Onondaga Community College has its main campus in the adjacent town of Onondaga and has two smaller campuses downtown and in Liverpool.

Several colleges operate satellite campuses in Syracuse and its suburbs:

Other colleges and universities in nearby counties include Cazenovia College in Cazenovia (20 miles away), Colgate University in Hamilton (40 miles away), Cornell University and Ithaca College in Ithaca (50 miles away), Hamilton College in Clinton (50 miles away), Morrisville State College in Morrisville (30 miles away), Oswego State University in Oswego (40 miles away), SUNY Cortland in Cortland (35 miles away), both Utica College and SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica (50 miles away), and Wells College in Aurora (40 miles away).

Public libraries[edit]

Onondaga County Public Library operates Syracuse's public libraries.[40]

Arts and culture[edit]

The Niagara Mohawk Building (now owned by National Grid USA), an example of art deco.

An up-to-date directory and events calendar covering all of the visual and performing arts in Syracuse is available at

Performing arts[edit]

Live jazz music is the centerpiece of two annual outdoor festivals in Syracuse, the M&T Syracuse Jazz Festival, Polish Festival as well as the CNY Jazz Arts Foundation's Jazz in the Square Festival. Performers in the last five years have included Chuck Mangione, Joshua Redman, Smokey Robinson, Branford Marsalis, The Bad Plus, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, Jimmy Heath, Terrence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Bobby Watson, Dr. John, and Aretha Franklin. The Polish Festival hosted Grammy winners Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra, Polish music legend Stan Borys and Irena Jarocka, Grammy nominee Lenny Goumulka, LynnMarie, Dennis Polisky & The Maestro's Men, Jerry Darlak and the Buffalo Touch & The John Gora Band.

Syracuse was home to the 79-member Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO), founded in 1961. In early April 2011, the orchestra announced plans to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, a chapter of the U.S. bankruptcy code that indicates that the organization plans to liquidate itself and go out of operation. Unfunded pension obligations were blamed.[41] The SSO's last Music Director was Daniel Hege; former Music Directors include Frederik Prausnitz and Kazuyoshi Akiyama. At its peak, the orchestra performed over 200 concerts annually for an audience of over 250,000.

The Clinton String Quartet has been active for over 15 years and is based in the Syracuse area. All four members were also members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra until its dissolution in early 2011.

The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music for more than a half century have presented a series of concerts by various chamber ensembles.

The Society for New Music, founded in 1982, is the oldest new music organization in the state outside of New York City, and the only year-round new music group in upstate New York. The Society commissions at least one new work each year from a regional composer, awards the annual Brian Israel Prize to a promising composer under 30 years of age, and produces the weekly "Fresh Ink" radio broadcast for WCNY-FM.

The Syracuse Opera Company is a professional company that generally performs three operas each season. It was founded in 1963 as the Opera Chorus of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and became independent in 1973. In addition to full performances, it offers several free outdoor concerts each year in Armory Square, Thornden Park, and elsewhere. The company has an annual budget of US$1 million and is the only professional opera company in upstate New York.

The Red House Arts Center, near Armory Square.

The Syracuse Shakespeare Festival is a charitable, educational, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare. It was founded in 2002 and is best known for its annual free Shakespeare-In-The-Park program every August at the Thornden Park Amphitheatre that has attracted more than 25,000 people since its inception. SSF also produces four other major programs including Shakespeare-Under-A-Roof, (indoor shows at SU's Cantor Warehouse Theatre and NYS Fairgrounds' Empire Theatre) Kids Doing Shakespeare (Summer one-week, vacation theatre intensive for students in grades 5–12), Avon Repertory Theatre (one hour versions of Shakespeare classics touring at schools and businesses in CNY) and Shakespeare-On-The-Grass the last two weekends in June (outdoor shows on the grass at Thornden Park Amphitheatre) that collectively have played to an additional 19,000 Central New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors.

Syracuse Stage presents experimental and creative theater; a number of its productions have been world premieres and have moved to Broadway.[citation needed] The venue was designed by its most famous former artistic director Arthur Storch. Its current artistic director is Timothy Bond.

The Red House Arts Center is one of Syracuse's newest cultural venues. Opened in 2004, Redhouse is a small theatre housed in a converted hotel, that offers performances by local, national, and international artists, and hosts regular exhibits in its art gallery, and screenings of independent films.

The Metal 'Cuse fundraising concert is held every November in Syracuse. Showcasing local, regional and national hard rock and heavy metal acts, the event benefits local charities such as the Syracuse Rescue Mission and raises cancer awareness. Past headliners have included The Rods, from Cortland and original New Jersey metal band Sleepy Hollow. The first Metal 'Cuse concert in 2010 also featured 50 Syracuse area musicians known as "Lock Up the Wolves" doing a special tribute to Ronnie James Dio; they performed songs from many different parts of his career.[citation needed]

Museums and art galleries[edit]

Back of the Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY in 2008
  • Everson Museum of Art, which opened in 1968 in a building designed by I.M. Pei, features one of the most extensive pottery collections in the United States along with works of American art, dating from the 18th century to the present. This collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, and video.
  • Erie Canal Museum is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Erie Canal and its role in Syracuse's growth.
  • International Mask and Puppet Museum is a museum in Little Italy focusing on masks and puppets, the later of which are also used in educational performances for children.
  • Light Work is located at 316 Waverly Avenue, in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Founded in 1973, Light Work a non-profit photography organization that supports artists with exhibitions, publications, a world-renowned residency program, and a public-access lab facility for photography.
  • Onondaga Historical Association Museum & Research Center, located at 321 Montgomery Street downtown, features exhibits on the past of the Syracuse region, and contains historical archives relating to the area's history. Its exhibits include a presentation of the history of the Underground Railroad.
Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York – Former weighlock building, built in 1850
  • The Warehouse Gallery is located at 350 West Fayette Street in The Warehouse. It is a part of the Coalition of Museum And Art Centers (CMAC). This new contemporary art center exhibits, commissions, and promotes work by emerging and accomplished artists in a variety of media. The programming attempts to engage the community in a dialogue regarding the role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our times.
  • Spark Contemporary Art Space is located at 1005 E. Fayette St. in the Downtown area. Spark is run by Syracuse University graduate art students, but is a venue for a diversity of non-university affiliated events. The gallery's directors curate and organize art and music related events, while local artists can rent the space to hold their own events. With the initiation of a monthly video screening series in 2001, Spark became one of the leading venues for video art in Syracuse. Spark Video provides the community an opportunity to see video work from local and international artists.
  • Delavan Art Gallery is located at 501 West Fayette Street in an old farm equipment factory. The gallery is being refashioned into an Art Shop Complex known as "The Art Shops at Delavan Center".[42] Delavan Gallery has 3,800 square feet (350 m2) of exhibit space, and, on several other floors in the building, houses the studios of a number of area artists. Its shows have typically opened the first Thursday of the month. Showcases have featured a wide variety of work, from multi-media sculpture to hyperealism.
  • Point of Contact Gallery is located at 914 East Genesee Street. The newest member of the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers at Syracuse University, it is a space dedicated to the exploration of the verbal and visual arts and home of the Point of Contact Art Collection. It is a cross-disciplinary open forum for the essential discussion of contemporary art. A showcase for contemporary artists from around the world, with a strong prevalence from Latin America. The Point of Contact collection comprises over 200 original pieces created especially for "Point of Contact", the book series, since 1975. Photography, collage, drawings, paintings and three-dimensional works form this rare collection.


Upper Onondaga Park in Strathmore

The City of Syracuse maintains over 170 parks, fields, and recreation areas, totaling over 1,000 acres (4.0 km2).[43] Burnet Park includes the first public golf course in the United States (1901) and Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Other major parks include Thornden Park, Schiller Park, Sunnycrest Park, James Pass Arboretum and the joined Onondaga Park and Kirk Parks. There are 12 public pools, two public ice rinks, and two public nine-hole golf courses in the city.

Right outside the city proper, along the east side and north end of Onondaga Lake, is Onondaga Lake Park. The adjacent Onondaga Lake Parkway is closed to vehicular traffic several hours on Sundays during the summer months, so it can be used for walking, running, biking, and rollerblading. During the holiday season, the park hosts Lights on the Lake, a two-mile (3 km) drive-through light show.


Public transportation[edit]

Syracuse is served by the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, or CNYRTA. The CNYRTA operates bus service in Syracuse and its suburbs, as well as to outlying metropolitan area cities such as Auburn, Fulton, and Oswego.

The Pyramid Companies have also proposed a monorail linking Syracuse University to Hancock International Airport via Downtown Syracuse to their proposed Destiny Resort to the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center and their proposed Destiny Technology Park. The cost of such a line has been estimated at $750 million.

In 2005, local millionaire Tom McDonald proposed an aerial tramway system, called Salt City Aerial Transit (S.C.A.T.), to link the university to the transportation center. The first segment from Syracuse University to downtown has been estimated to cost $5 million, which McDonald plans to raise himself. Due to the perceived low operating costs, the system could run continuously. As of late 2006, the project remains in the planning stage.[44]


According to the 2000 Census, this is how people aged 16 and over commute to work:

  • 66% drove alone
  • 14% carpool
  • 10% walk
  • 7% use public buses (CENTRO)
  • 0.6% bike
  • 0.2% used a taxicab
  • 0.01% used elevated rail (OnTrack, now defunct)

Syracuse ranks 50th in the United States for high transit ridership and 12th for most pedestrian commuters. 38,332 people commute daily into Onondaga County from the four adjoining counties (2006).[45]


Syracuse lies on three Amtrak lines — the Empire Service, the Maple Leaf, and the Lake Shore Limited.

The Empire Service runs several times daily from Niagara Falls to New York Penn Station, with major stops in Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, and Albany along the way.

The Maple Leaf follows the path of the Empire Service train, but continues to Toronto. This train completes one round-trip daily.

Also completing one round-trip a day, the Lake Shore Limited connects Syracuse to the same cities as above (except Niagara Falls), but continues westward from Buffalo to Chicago via Cleveland and Toledo, and eastward to Boston, with a branch extending south to New York.

The Amtrak station is part of the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center.

From 1994-2007, a regional commuter rail service, OnTrack, connected the Carousel Center to southern Syracuse, often extending to Jamesville in the summer. It was discontinued due to low ridership.[citation needed]


Syracuse's four interstate highways link the city with its suburbs and other cities throughout the country.

Greyhound Lines, Megabus and Trailways provide long-distance bus service using the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center located in the northern area of the city. The Syracuse station is, for both the Greyhound and Megabus lines, on a run part way between Toronto and New York. Trailways has many more in-state destinations, for example to Watertown, Binghamton and Schenectady. Shuttle Kingston was reported in 2013 to connect Syracuse, Watertown and Kingston, Ontario.[46][47]

Major highways and roads[edit]

In the Tipperary Hill district of Syracuse, there is a unique traffic light which has the green light on the top instead of the traditional red light.

Four Interstate Highways run through the Syracuse area:

  • I-690.svg Interstate 690 runs east-west through the city, and provides access to Interstate 90, as well as to Syracuse's northwestern and eastern suburbs. A spur off I-690 directly west of the city, NY 695, provides freeway access to the southwestern suburbs. It meets Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse in a highly complex and incomplete intersection. Most of its routing through the city directly replaced elevated rail lines, a fact quite notable by the city's former main rail terminal, where the freeway spans the width between the terminal and its outermost platform. In 1981 artist Duke Epolito erected sculptures of "passengers" on the far platform. The piece is entitled "Waiting for a Night Train."
Interstate 81 (foreground) and Interstate 690 interchange in Downtown Syracuse

Two US Highways run through the Syracuse area:

New York State Route Expressways:

  • NY-690.svg New York State Route 690 – Was built as an extension of Interstate 690 in the northwest suburbs of Syracuse. The route is a four-lane divided highway from its southern end at I-690, where it meets Interstate 90 (NYS Thruway), to its end northwest of Baldwinsville in Lysander at NY 48 and NY 631.
  • NY-695.svg New York State Route 695 – Is a short state highway located west of Syracuse in the town of Solvay in Onondaga County. The number of the highway was derived from the two highways that NY 695 links, Interstate 690 and NY 5.

Air service[edit]

Syracuse Hancock International Airport in 1993

Syracuse is served by the Syracuse Hancock International Airport in nearby Salina, near Mattydale. The airport is served by 17 airlines (9 major), which provide non-stop flights to destinations as far away as Orlando, FL and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, as well as several daily flights to other important airline hubs such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Boston Logan International Airport, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County International Airport, New York (LaGuardia), New York (JFK), Philadelphia International Airport, Washington, D.C. (Reagan), Washington D.C. (Dulles), Newark/New York (Liberty), Toronto Pearson International Airport. Six cargo carriers also serve the airport. New York City (JFK, LGA, EWR), served by 3 different carriers, can be reached in under an hour flight.


[clarification needed]


Syracuse City Hall
Courthouse at Columbus Circle

The city is headed by an elected mayor who is limited to two four-year terms. The incumbent is Stephanie Miner, elected mayor on November 3, 2009.[48][49] The previous mayor was former Syracuse Common Council President Matthew Driscoll,[50] who first assumed the position in 2001, after the former mayor, Roy Bernardi, resigned to take a position with the federal government. After completing the original term, Driscoll was re-elected that year and again in 2005.

Fire Department[edit]

Syracuse Fire Department (SFD)
Operational Area
Country United States
State  New York
City Syracuse
Agency Overview
Established 1877
Annual calls 28,006 (2013)[51]
Employees 357
Staffing Career
IAFF 280
Facilities & Equipment
Divisions 1
Battalions 3
Stations 11
Engines 9
Trucks 5
Squads 1
Rescues 4 (Including Rescue Truck)
Fireboats 1
Ambulances 2
Tenders 9 Mini Units
EMS Level BLS First Responder
Airport crash 4
Fire Station # 1, located at 900 S. State St.

The Syracuse Fire Department (SFD) provides fire protection and first responder emergency medical services to the city of Syracuse, New York, United States.

Founded in 1877, the Syracuse Fire Department is one of two ISO Class 1-rated fire departments. The Syracuse Fire Department is currently the fifth largest fire department in New York, after the New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers.

In 2013, the city government, under the direction of Mayor Stephanie Miner and Chief of Staff William Ryan, began discussing the possibility of closing Fire Station # 7, the quarters of Engine 7 and Mini 7. The city faces a $30 million budget shortfall for 2013, and Station No. 7 is in need of $1 million to $1.5 million in repairs.[52]

Fire station locations and apparatus[edit]

Below is a list of all fire station and company locations in the city of Syracuse.

Engine Company Truck Company Mini Unit Special Unit Command Unit Address Neighborhood
Engine 1(Telesqurt) Mini 1 Squad 1, Rescue Truck 900 S. State St. Downtown
Engine 2(Telesqurt) Truck 2 Mini 2 2300 Lodi St. North Side/Lakefront
Engine 3 Mini 3 Ambulance 3 808 Bellevue Ave. South Side
ARFF 1, ARFF 3, ARFF 4, ARFF 8, Haz-Mat. 3, Decon. Trailer 110 Observation Cir. Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Engine 5 Truck 3 Mini 5 Haz-Mat. 1, Haz-Mat. 2, Haz-Mat. 4 Car 2(1st Dist. Chief) 110 N. Geddes St. Downtown/West Side
Rescue 1, Rescue 2(Support Unit), Rescue 3(Technical Rescue Unit) Car 700(Deputy Chief) 601 S. West St. Downtown
Engine 8(Telesqurt) Truck 8 Mini 8 Car 3(2nd District Chief) 2412 S. Salina St. South Side
Engine 9 Truck 4 Mini 9 Car 4(3rd District Chief) 400 Shuart Ave. North Side
Engine 10 Truck 5 Mini 10 2030 E. Genesee St. East Side
Engine 17 Mini 17 2317 Burnet Ave. Eastwood
Engine 18 Mini 18 3714 Midland Ave. Valley


The legislative branch of Syracuse is the Syracuse Common Council. It consists of a president and nine members:[citation needed]

  • Van B. Robinson (D) – President
  • Lance Denno (D) – Councilor at Large
  • Helen Hudson (D) – Councilor at Large
  • Kathleen Joy (D) – Councilor at Large
  • Jean Kessner (D) – Councilor at Large
  • Jake Barrett (D) – 1st District
  • Patrick J. Hogan (D) – 2nd District
  • Bob Dougherty (D) – 3rd District
  • Khalid Bey (D) – 4th District
  • Nader P. Maroun (D) – 5th District


The Onondaga County Supreme and County Court is the trial court of general jurisdiction for Syracuse. It is also the administrative court for the Fifth District of the New York State Unified Court System. Judges for these courts are elected at-large.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York also holds court in downtown Syracuse at the James Hanley Federal Building.



Syracuse's flagship News/Talk Radio station: 570 WSYR. The Class B 5 kW directional AM station began broadcasting in 1922 and is owned by Clear Channel Communications. In 1981, WSYR-AM became the first radio station worldwide to own and operate a Robinson R22 helicopter for traffic reporting.


Antique Syracuse Newspapers

Syracuse has one major daily morning newspaper, The Post-Standard. Until 2001, Syracuse also had an evening paper, The Herald-Journal. Besides a Syracuse/Onondaga County edition, The Post-Standard publishes three additional editions: Cayuga, Madison, and Oswego for the other three counties of the metropolitan area, plus an additional edition on Sundays. It has six news bureaus throughout Central New York, as well as one in Albany (state capital) and Washington, DC.

Before the merger with the evening paper, The Post-Standard was named among the "10 best newspapers in America with a circulation of under 100,000" by Al Neuharth of USA Today (run by a competing organization). Since the merger, circulation has increased to over 120,000. Even outside of its four-county delivery area, the paper is available in many convenience stores and supermarkets from the Canadian to the Pennsylvanian border. The newspaper partly caters to this audience as well, covering many stories from the Ithaca, Utica, and Watertown areas. Since opening a new printing press in 2002, the paper calls itself "America's Most Colorful Newspaper," as almost every page contains color.

Syracuse New Times is a weekly, free, ad-supported arts and entertainment newspaper. Owned by Zimmer Ltd, Syracuse New Times is published in Syracuse, New York by Arthur Zimmer and distributed throughout the central New York region. The publication is released every Wednesday, with over 137,600 readers, and is distributed to over 950 locations in Central New York. Launched in 1969, it is one of the oldest alternative weekly newspapers in the country.

The Daily Orange, the newspaper of Syracuse University and SUNY ESF students, is read by over 20,000 people daily, and is widely distributed in the University Hill neighborhood and Armory Square. The Dolphin, the weekly student newspaper of Le Moyne College is also available, but read mainly by Le Moyne students.

There are other popular free newspapers, including Eagle Newspaper's downtown edition, the City Eagle, and Table Hopping, which focuses on the restaurant and entertainment scene.


Syracuse has eight full-power broadcast television stations:

Syracuse's cable television provider is Time Warner Cable, which, as a part of its regular and digital offerings, provides a popular 24-hour local cable news television channel (YNN), local sports channel, Public-access television channel, and an additional PBS channel.

Additionally, other television networks are broadcast by low-power television stations.[53]

Syracuse University's student-run Educational-access television station is CitrusTV and programming is broadcast on the university campus on the Orange Television Network. The station also provides content to Time Warner Cable Sports.

Dish Network and DirecTV also provide local satellite television subscribers with local broadcast stations.


NBT Bank Stadium is home to the Syracuse Chiefs Triple A Baseball team. It was built in 1997 on the city's northside.
Onondaga County War Memorial is where the Syracuse Crunch and the Syracuse Silver Knights play.
Main article: Sports in Syracuse

Current teams[edit]

Sport League Club Founded Venue League championships Championship years
Baseball IL Syracuse Chiefs 1935 NBT Bank Stadium 8 1935, 1942, 1943, 1947, 1954, 1969, 1970, 1976
Hockey AHL Syracuse Crunch 1994 War Memorial at Oncenter 0 N/A
Indoor soccer MISL Syracuse Silver Knights[54] 2010 War Memorial at Oncenter 0 N/A
Rugby Empire Geographical Union Syracuse Chargers 1997 O'Connor Athletic Fields 10 2011 DIII National Championship (Runner-Up)



Syracuse University's football team is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference and plays its games in the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse University sports are by far the most well-attended sporting events in the Syracuse area. Basketball games can draw over 30,000 fans, and football games over 40,000. The university has helped develop dozens of famous professional players since starting an athletics program in the late 19th century, including all-time greats Jim Brown, Larry Csonka and Dave Bing, and contemporary professional stars Marvin Harrison, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Freeney, Jason Hart, and Donovan McNabb. Both teams play in the Carrier Dome.

Notable Syracusans[edit]

Syracuse has been the residence of notable people, among them:

Sister cities[edit]

Syracuse's sister cities are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official records for Syracuse kept at downtown from August 1902 to April 1938, Syracuse Municipal Airport from May 1938 to 17 September 1949, and at Syracuse Hancock Int'l since 18 September 1949.[17]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ Levy, Francesca (June 7, 2010). "America's Best Places to Raise a Family". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Early History of Syracuse". Shades of Oakwood, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  5. ^ Weiner, Mark: "Census of trees sees healthy population – Syracuse, one of Upstate's leafiest cities, is coming back after the devastating 1998 Labor Day Storm", The Post-Standard, April 27, 2001
  6. ^ City of Syracuse – Executive Summary (2003)
  7. ^ Peel, M. C., Finlayson, B. L., and McMahon, T. A.: Updated world map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1633–1644, 2007.
  8. ^ a b "NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ Cappella, Chris: "Answers: 10 snowiest 'cities' aren't all in New York", USA Today, October 3, 2003
  10. ^ Kirst, Sean: "We won't buckle under the Snowbelt's blows", The Post-Standard, March 14, 2005
  11. ^ Staff Reports: "A Storm for the records – Blizzard of 1993 brought 42.9 inches", The Post-Standard, December 31, 2003
  12. ^ Hall, Peter (December 29, 2010). "Looks like the all time snow record is out of reach". Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ Barrett, Terry (December 14, 2010). "USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin Report". Bloomberg. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  14. ^ McKelvey, Blake (1995). Snow in the Cities: A History of America's Urban Response. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester Press. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-878822-54-3. Retrieved August 15, 2010. 
  15. ^ Weiner, Mark: "Season soars into record – Warmest summer may affect our winter", The Post-Standard, September 22, 2005
  16. ^ Farmer's Almanac, Peter Geiger, The 10 Worst Weather Cities, October 6, 2006
  17. ^ ThreadEx
  18. ^ "NowData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  19. ^ "Station Name: NY SYRACUSE HANCOCK INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  20. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for SYRACUSE/HANCOCK INT'L ARPT NY 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  21. ^ "Monthly Averages for Syracuse Hancock International Airport". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  22. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  23. ^ "Syracuse (city), New York". State & County QuickFacts. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "New York – Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Syracuse, New York". CityData, 2010. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  26. ^ William Labov, Sharon Ash and Charles Boberg, University of Pennsylvania, "A National Map of the Regional Dialects of American English"
  27. ^ A complete list of Syracuse's Houses of Worship
  28. ^ Hindu Mandir of Central New York
  29. ^ "Major Employers," Accessed: January 12, 2014.
  30. ^ Bristol-Myers Squibb's Syracuse Campus
  31. ^ "Anaren, Inc.". InsiderView. 
  32. ^ "Seneca Data Distributors, Inc.". InsideView. 
  33. ^ "Cooper Crouse-Hinds". Manta. 
  34. ^ "The Syracuse City School District". Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  35. ^ "Syracuse University Facts". Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  36. ^ "Orientation to Upstate | Human Resources | SUNY Upstate Medical University". 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  37. ^ "About Upstate | SUNY Upstate Medical University". 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  38. ^ Crouse Hospital College of Nursing Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  39. ^ Saint Joseph's College of Nursing Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  40. ^ "Onondaga County Public Library". Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  41. ^ Johnson, Melinda (2011-04-05). "Syracuse Symphony Orchestra will file for bankruptcy, board announces". Syracuse Online. Retrieved 2011-04-06. 
  42. ^ Baker, Robert. "Delavan Art Gallery on Syracuse's Westside will close in May". news article. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  43. ^ City of Syracuse Department of Parks[dead link]
  44. ^ Moriarty, Rick (September 26, 2006). "High flying idea stuck". The Post-Standard. 
  45. ^ "Graphic of commuter traffic volume". Syracuse Central. 
  46. ^ "New Kingston to Syracuse shuttle targets shoppers, air travelers" 10 Apr 2013
  47. ^ "Shuttling off to Syracuse" 3 Apr 2013
  48. ^ "Syracuse elects Miner as next mayor; she becomes City Hall's first woman in top job". Retrieved 2011-01-28. 
  49. ^ "Rebirth of a City". The New York Times. August 10, 2010. 
  50. ^ "Mayor's Biography". City of Syracuse. Retrieved November 4, 2009. 
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ CNY Media: Syracuse TV Stations Transmitters[dead link]
  54. ^ "United Soccer Leagues (USL)". 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  55. ^ Syracuse Rugby. Accessed: February 19, 2014.
  56. ^ "Mayoral Proclamation regarding sister City" (PDF). October 2001.  at Syracuse, Mayor Proclamations

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°02′49″N 76°08′40″W / 43.046899°N 76.144423°W / 43.046899; -76.144423