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Featured Articles[edit]

Oakwood Cemetery[edit]

Warren Chapel Oakwood 2.JPG

Oakwood Cemetery is a nonsectarian rural cemetery in northeastern Troy, New York, United States. It operates under the direction of the Troy Cemetery Association, a non-profit board of directors that deals strictly with the operation of the cemetery. It was established in 1848 in response to the growing rural cemetery movement in New England and went into service in 1850. The cemetery was designed by architect John C. Sidney and underwent its greatest development in the late 19th century under superintendent John Boetcher, who incorporated rare foliage and a clear landscape design strategy. Oakwood was the fourth rural cemetery opened in New York and its governing body was the first rural cemetery association created in the state.

It features four man-made lakes, two residential structures, a chapel, a crematorium, 24 mausolea, and about 60,000 graves, and has about 29 miles (47 km) of roads. It is known for its dense foliage and rolling lawns, and has historically been used as a public park by Lansingburgh and Troy residents. Oakwood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Prominent Americans such as Uncle Sam Wilson, Russell Sage, and Emma Willard, at least fourteen members of the United States House of Representatives, and the founders of both Troy and Lansingburgh are buried at Oakwood. The cemetery has been said to be "one of New York State's most distinguished and well-preserved nineteenth-century rural cemeteries." It also offers a famous panoramic view of the Hudson River Valley that is said to be the "most concentrated and complete overview of American history anywhere in America".

New York's 20th congressional district special election, 2009[edit]

Scott Murphy official photo.jpg

The 2009 special election for the 20th congressional district of New York was held on 31 March 2009 between Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco. On 24 April, after recounts of absentee ballots took place, Tedisco conceded the election. The congressional vacancy had occurred when New York Governor David Paterson appointed the former Congresswoman representing the 20th district, Kirsten Gillibrand, to the United States Senate in January, replacing Hillary Clinton, who resigned to become United States Secretary of State.

Traditionally, the district leaned conservative and was considered a safe Republican seat until it became a swing district when Blue Dog Democrat Gillibrand defeated incumbent John E. Sweeney in 2006. As of 1 November 2008, the Republican Party held an enrollment advantage of 70,632 registered voters across the district, down from a 93,337 voter advantage when the district lines were drawn by the New York State Legislature in 2002. In 2004, George W. Bush carried the district by an 8-point margin, although he lost statewide by a substantial margin.

In 2008, Gillibrand had been reelected with 61% of the vote (an increased margin over her win in 2006). Additionally, Democratic President Barack Obama carried the district against Republican nominee Senator John McCain by a margin of 50.7%-47.7%, or by approximately 10,000 votes of over 330,000 cast in the district.

In February 2009, both the Rothenberg Political Report and the Cook Political Report had listed the race as a "toss-up."

On Election Day, both candidates received 77,225 votes. Absentee ballots decided the election; the last ballots were accepted until 13 April. On 23 April, Murphy was ahead by 401 votes. Tedisco conceded the election to Murphy on 24 April.

Featured Pictures[edit]

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Bold captions indicate photos that I took or images I restored.

Good Articles[edit]

Albany, New York[edit]

Flag of Albany, New York.svg

Albany (pronounced AWL-bə-nee, /ˈɔːlbəniː/ ( )) is the capital city of the U.S. state of New York, the seat of Albany County, and the central city of New York's Capital District. At roughly 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City, Albany sits on the west bank of the Hudson River, approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River. The city had an estimated population of 93,539 in 2008 and the population of the greater metropolitan area was estimated at 857,592 in 2009. Albany has close ties with the nearby cities of Troy, Schenectady, and Saratoga Springs, forming a region called the Capital District. The bulk of this area is made up of the Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA); this MSA is the fourth largest urban area in New York and the 56th largest MSA in the country.

Albany saw its first European settlement in 1614 and was officially chartered as a city in 1686. It became the capital of New York in 1797. It is one of the oldest surviving settlements from the original thirteen colonies, and the longest continuously chartered city in the United States. Modern Albany was founded as the Dutch trading posts of Fort Nassau in 1614 and Fort Orange in 1624; the fur trade brought in a population that settled around Fort Orange and founded a village called Beverwijck. The English took over and renamed the town Albany in 1664, in honor of the then Duke of Albany, the future James II of England and James VII of Scotland. The city was officially chartered in 1686 with the issuance of the Dongan Charter, the oldest effective city charter in the nation and possibly the longest-running instrument of municipal government in the Western Hemisphere.

During the late 18th century and throughout most of the 19th century, Albany was a center of transportation. It is located on the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world. Albany's main exports at the time were beer, lumber, published works, and ironworks. Beginning in 1810, Albany was one of the ten most populous cities in the nation, a distinction that it held until the 1860 census. In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today's Albany International Airport. The 1920s saw the rise of a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party. The city's skyline changed in the 1960s with the construction of the Empire State Plaza and the uptown campus of SUNY Albany, mainly under the direction of Governor Nelson Rockefeller. While Albany experienced a decline in its population due to urban sprawl, many of its historic neighborhoods were saved from destruction through the policies of Mayor Erastus Corning 2nd, the longest-serving mayor of any city in the United States. More recently, the city has experienced growth in the high-tech industry, with great strides in the nanotechnology sector.

Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services. The city has experienced a rebound from the urban decline of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development happening in the city's downtown and midtown neighborhoods. Albany is known for its extensive history, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. The city is home to the mother churches of two Christian dioceses as well as the oldest Christian congregation in Upstate New York. Albany has won the All-America City Award in both 1991 and 2009.

Albany City Hall[edit]

AlbanyNYCityHall.jpg

Albany City Hall is the seat of government of the city of Albany, New York. It houses the office of the mayor, the Common Council chamber, the city and traffic courts, as well as other city services. The current building was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson in his particular Romanesque style and opened in 1883 at 24 Eagle Street between Corning Place (then Maiden Lane) and Pine Street. It is a rectangular, three-and-a-half-story building with a 202-foot (62 m) tall tower at its southwest corner. The tower contains one of the only municipal carillons in the country.

Albany's first city hall was the Stadt Huys, built by the Dutch at the intersection of Broadway and Hudson Avenue probably in the 1660s, though possibly earlier. It was probably replaced around 1740 with a larger building, which continued to be known as the Stadt Huys. In 1754, the Stadt Huys was the location of the Albany Congress, where Benjamin Franklin presented the Albany Plan of Union, the first proposal to unite the British American colonies. In 1797 Albany was declared the state capital of New York and the New York Legislature made its home in Albany's city hall. In 1809 the Legislature opened the first New York State Capitol and Albany's government moved in with the Legislature. After purchasing a plot of land at the eastern terminus of Washington Avenue, across Eagle Street from the capitol, the city government moved in to a new city hall designed by Philip Hooker in 1832.

In 1880 Hooker's city hall was destroyed by fire and a new design was commissioned by Henry Richardson; the building opened in 1883. The new city hall still stands and is a fine example of Richardson's unique Romanesque style. Architectural critics consider the building to have been designed around the high point of Richardson's career. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1972.

Coat of arms of Albany, New York[edit]

Coat of arms of Albany, New York.svg

The coat of arms of Albany, New York is a heraldic symbol representing the city of Albany, the capital of the U.S. state of New York. The coat of arms is rarely seen by itself; it is almost always used in the city seal or on the city flag. The current coat of arms was adopted in 1789, although prior to that it was significantly simpler, ranging from stylized lettering to a caricature of a beaver. Included in the coat of arms are references to Albany's agricultural and fur-trading past. It is supported by a white man and an American Indian and is crested by a sloop. The coat of arms is meant to represent the "symbols of industry and its rewards to man and beast on land and sea".

Joseph H. Allen[edit]

Joseph Allen Portrait.jpg

Joseph H. Allen (September 5, 1821 – April 24, 1884) was an industrial businessman, an officer in the Civil War, and a town supervisor of Brunswick, New York. Allen was born in Alburg, Vermont, to parents of British descent and left home at an early age. After several business ventures, he became successful in the auger and hoe business, selling mainly to the American South. He successfully ran for supervisor of the Town of Brunswick in 1856 and justice of the peace in 1861. At the beginning of the Civil War, his sales plummeted so he closed his business and enlisted in the Union Army. Allen was wounded multiple times during his service and ended his career at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He returned home to reopen his factory, which was instrumental to the industrial success of the hamlet of Eagle Mills in the mid to late 19th century. He died in 1884 at the age of 62.

Kiliaen van Rensselaer[edit]

Mark of Kiliaen van Rensselaer.svg

Kiliaen van Rensselaer (before 1596 – after 1642) was a Dutch diamond and pearl merchant from Amsterdam who was one of the founders and directors of the Dutch West India Company and was instrumental in the establishment of New Netherland. He became one of the first patroons and ended up being the only successful one, having founded the Manor of Rensselaerswyck in what is now mainly New York's Capital District. His estate lasted as a legal entity until the 1840s, having lived through Dutch and British colonial times, the American Revolution, and eventually coming to an end during the Anti-Rent War.

Van Rensselaer was born in the province of Gelderland to a soldier and a homemaker. To keep him from risking his life in the army like his father, he apprenticed under his uncle, a successful Amsterdam jeweler. He too became a successful jeweler and was one of the first subscribers to the Dutch West India Company upon its conception. He may very well be the source of the idea of patroonships and was probably the leading proponent of the Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions.

His patroonship became the most successful to exist, with van Rensselaer making full use of his business tactics and advantages, such as his connection to the Director of New Netherland, his confidantes at the West India Company, and his extended family members that were more than happy to emigrate to a better place to farm. He was married twice and had at least eleven children, two of whom succeeded him as patroons of Rensselaerswyck. Van Rensselaer died sometime after 1642.

Van Rensselaer's effect on the history of the United States cannot be underestimated: the American van Rensselaers all descend from Kiliaen's son Jeremias and the subsequent family is noted for being a very powerful and wealthy influence in the history of New York and the Northeastern United States producing multiple State Legislators, Congressmen, and two Lieutenant Governors in New York.

Valued Pictures[edit]

↑ ← Newer | Older → ↓
Bold captions indicate photos that I took.