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Utica, New York

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Utica, New York
City of Utica
Looking south on Utica's Genesee Street
Looking south on Utica's Genesee Street
Utica, New York is located in New York
Utica, New York
Utica, New York
Location in New York
Utica, New York is located in USA
Utica, New York
Utica, New York
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 43°5′48″N 75°13′55″W / 43.09667°N 75.23194°W / 43.09667; -75.23194
Country United States
State New York
County Oneida
First settled (village) 1773
Incorporated (village) 1798
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Robert M. Palmieri (D)
 • City 16.6 sq mi (43.0 km2)
 • Land 16.3 sq mi (42.3 km2)
 • Water 0.3 sq mi (0.7 km2)
Elevation 456 ft (139 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 62,235
 • Density 3,818.1/sq mi (1,471.3/km2)
 • Urban 117,328 (U.S.: 268th)
 • Metro 299,397 (U.S.: 163rd)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 13500-13599
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-76540
GNIS feature ID 0968324

Utica /ˈjtɨkə/ is a city in the Mohawk Valley and the county seat of Oneida County, New York, United States.[1] The population was 62,235 at the 2010 census, making Utica the 10th largest city in New York and an increase of 2.6% from the 2000 census.[citation needed] Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, the municipality is approximately 80 miles (130 km) northwest of Albany[citation needed] and 45 miles (72 km) east of Syracuse, New York.[citation needed] While Utica and the neighboring city of Rome have their own metropolitan area, the metro area and cities often share services between the Capital District and Syracuse metro areas.[citation needed]

Formerly a river settlement by the Iroquois confederacy, the city's importance along the Erie and Chenango Canals was marked by its industrial success in the textile and silverware industries and as a stopover city between Albany and Syracuse. Similar to other rust belt cities, Utica is working to recover from urban decentralization to nearby suburbs, industrial decline from globalization, and poverty associated with the city's fiscal and political issues.[citation needed]

According to the 2010 census, the Utica–Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) contains 299,397 people within Oneida and Herkimer counties. Counties in the Mohawk Valley region have a combined population of 622,133 residents.


Utica, named for Utica, Tunisia,[citation needed] was first settled by Europeans[which?] in 1773.[citation needed] The city was established on the site of Fort Schuyler, which was built in 1758.[citation needed] In 1794, a state road was built east-southeast from Utica to Albany, New York.[citation needed] By 1797, the road was extended west to the Genesee River and the road was then named Genesee Road.[citation needed] The creation of the Seneca Turnpike was the first significant factor in the growth and development of Utica, as this small settlement became the resting and relocating area on the Mohawk River for goods and people moving into Western New York and past the Great Lakes.[2]

Bird's-eye view of Utica in 1855

Incorporated as a village in 1798,[citation needed] Utica expanded its borders in subsequent charters in 1805 and 1817.[3] The city's location on the Erie and Chenango Canals stimulated its industrial development, allowing transportation of coal from Northeast Pennsylvania to be used in local manufacturing.[citation needed] With the Embargo Act of 1807 and investments from local entrepreneurs, the northeastern United States had a firm grasp on the textile industry, and Utica’s textile industry began to take off.[4]

During the the early 20th century, Utica became known as known "Sin City"[citation needed] for the extent of its corruption and control by the political machine of Rufus P. Elefante.[5][6][7] From the turn of the 20th century, the city had an organized crime presence largely made up of the Italian mafia.[citation needed]

As a Rust Belt city, Utica was heavily affected by deindustrialization, which caused a major reduction in manufacturing activity during the mid-to-late 20th century. The opening of the New York State Thruway in 1954, decline of activity on the Erie Canal, and the decline of railroads in the United States also contributed to the downfall of the local economy.[citation needed] Suburbanization allowed for the expansion of the nearby town of New Hartford and the village of Whitesboro.

Despite the city's economic decline, in the 21st century, Utica has benefitted from its low cost of living, attracting immigrants and refugees from around the world as a result of global conflicts such as the Bosnian War and Iraq War. Downtown Utica continues to be the focus of regional economic revitalization efforts. In 2010, the city developed its first comprehensive master plan in over fifty years.[8]


The Erie Canal and Mohawk River pass through the north part of the city. The city is adjacent to the western border of Herkimer County, New York, and at the southwest base of the Adirondack Mountains.

While the city's surrounding suburbs are hillier than the city, the

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which, 16.4 square miles (42 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (1.57%) is water.


Utica has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), which is characterized by cold winters and moderate summers.

Daytime highs during the summer are generally between 75 °F (24 °C) and 85 °F (29 °C), with some days not reaching 70 °F (21 °C) being common. Summer nights usually bottom out somewhere between 50 °F (10 °C) and 60 °F (16 °C). The all-time highest recorded temperature for the city was 100 °F (38 °C), which occurred on July 19, 1953.

Winters in Utica are very cold and snowy, as the area is susceptible to Lake effect snow from the Great Lakes to the west.[citation needed] An example of typical wintertime snowfall amounts is presented below. Daytime highs during the wintertime are typically observed at or just above freezing (32 °F to 35 °F/0 °C to 2 °C), with some days not reaching 25 °F (-4 °C).[citation needed] Winter nights will see temperatures drop to settle between 10 °F (-12 °C) and 20 °F (-7 °C).[citation needed] Temperatures in the single digits or below zero are not uncommon for winter nights in Utica.[citation needed] The all time lowest recorded temperature in the city was -28 °F (-33 °C), which occurred once on February 18, 1979 and again on January 12, 1981.[citation needed]

Climate data for Rome-Griffiss Airfield
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F 35.9 37.1 54.7 62.3 73.5 80.5 85.3 81.6 75.9 66.7 54.2 40.8 85.3
Precipitation inches 2.04 2.53 3.11 3.79 4.22 5.09 4.54 3.55 4.46 5.00 3.55 3.59 42.6
Record high °C 2.2 2.8 12.6 16.8 23.1 26.9 29.6 27.6 24.4 19.3 12.3 4.9 29.6
Precipitation mm 51.8 64.3 79 96.3 107.2 129.3 115.3 90.2 113.3 127 90.2 91.2 1,082
Source: [9]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 17,565
1860 22,529 28.3%
1870 28,804 27.9%
1880 33,914 17.7%
1890 44,007 29.8%
1900 56,383 28.1%
1910 74,419 32.0%
1920 94,156 26.5%
1930 101,740 8.1%
1940 100,518 −1.2%
1950 100,489 0.0%
1960 100,410 −0.1%
1970 91,611 −8.8%
1980 75,632 −17.4%
1990 68,637 −9.2%
2000 60,523 −11.8%
2010 62,235 2.8%
Est. 2013 61,808 [10] −0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

According to the 1930 census, the population of the city was 101,740. By 2000 the population was down to 60,651. As of the 2010 census, the population has risen to 62,235. Thus the population gain since 2000 has represented a reversal of many decades of population decline.

As of the 2000 census, the population density was 3,710.0 people per square mile (1,432.3/km²). There were 29,186 housing units at an average density of 1,785.3 per square mile (689.2/km²). As of the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the city was 69.0% White, 15.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 7.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.5% of the population.

There were 25,100 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.5% were married couples living together, 16.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.04.

Savings Bank of Utica

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,916, and the median income for a family was $33,818. Males had a median income of $27,126 versus $21,676 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,248. About 19.8% of families and 24.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.0% of those under age 18 and 12.1% of those age 65 or over. The arrival of a large number of Bosnian immigrants over the past several years has stanched a population loss that had been steady for more than three decades.[12] Bosnian immigrants now constitute about 10% of the total population of Utica. Approximately 8,000 Bosnian Americans live in Utica.[13] Other recent immigrant groups have arrived from Somalia, Thailand, Burma, and Iraq.


Large local employers within the city of Utica include ConMed and Faxton Saint Lukes Heath Care Medical Group. Construction jobs, such as those for the Utica Arterial project, continue to provide growth for the public sector job market.[citation needed]


City government[edit]

The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The Common Council consists of nine members. Six are elected from single member wards. The other three are elected at large.

Arts and culture[edit]

Local inventions include the first color newspaper, "The Utica Saturday Globe"[14] and the Utica Crib, a device for restraining persons, named for the New York State Lunatic Asylum at Utica where it was heavily used in the 19th century to confine patients who refused to stay in their beds.[15]

Stanley Theater

Utica's melting pot of immigrant groups, including Dutch, Italian, German and Irish, have played a role in developing cuisine. Examples of Utica's mainstays include Utica riggies, Utica greens, half-moon cookies, and tomato pie. Other notable dishes in the Utica area include pirogues, pasticciotti, or pusties,[citation needed] and sausage and peppers.[citation needed]

Annual cultural events[edit]

The Boilermaker Road Race is run in association with the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, also located in Utica.


The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, constructed in 1960, features a permanent collection, rotating exhibitions and community art education. The Institute also hosts a two-year art college through the Pratt Institute. The Stanley Theater is a fully restored 2,945 seat Mexican-baroque movie palace, built in 1928.

Other points of interest within the city include The Children's Museum of Utica, New York, Utica Public Library, and the Hotel Utica.


The Utica Comets, an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks, began playing in the American Hockey League in the 2013-14 AHL season, with home games at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.[16]

Utica has two women's roller derby leagues, Central New York Roller Derby and Utica Rollergirls. Central New York Roller Derby is a Women's Flat Track Derby Association League; they have three teams, all affiliated with CNYRD. The teams are the Utica Clubbers, and the Blue Collar Betties and the Rome Wreckers. The Utica Rollergirls are also a single team league which is affiliated with USA Roller Sports. Both leagues compete against teams from other leagues in the upstate NY area and surrounding states. In addition, Utica also has a men's roller derby team, as-yet unaffiliated Quadfathers.[17]

Utica has a rugby team called The Utica Klubs, which plays rugby matches all over the state and invites several teams to Utica for matches each year.[18]

Defunct teams[edit]

The Utica Devils were a member of the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1987-1993. The Utica Bulldogs 1993-1994 and The Utica Blizzard 1994–1997 were members of the United Hockey League (UHL), and another stint from 1998-2001 (January) in which the team was called the Mohawk Valley Prowlers.

Utica was also the home of the Utica Blue Jays/Blue Sox A-class baseball team, with their last affiliation being with the Florida Marlins until 2001.

Parks and recreation[edit]

View of Downtown Utica from the Utica Zoo

Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Central Park and Delaware Park in Buffalo, also designed the Utica Parks and Parkway Historic District, a national historic district in Utica.[19]

The Utica Zoo is located in one of these parks.


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Utica's sole remaining public high school is Thomas R. Proctor High School, as its original public high school (Utica Free Academy, founded in 1814) shut down in 1990. Utica is also home to Notre Dame High School, a small parochial high school, founded in 1959 by the Xaverian Brothers.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Like the cities of Ithaca, New York and Syracuse, Utica is a center for education within Central New York. Within the city, Utica is home to Utica College, a four-year private liberal arts university home to over 2,500 students. Other colleges and universities within the city include St. Elizabeth's College of Nursing, Mohawk Valley Community College, Empire State College, and the Utica School of Commerce.

Outside of the city limits in the town of Marcy is the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, a four year public research university enrolling over 3,000 students.


The Utica market is served by five stations affiliated with major American television networks, including WKTV (NBC), WUTR (ABC), WFXV (Fox), WPNY-LP (MyNetwork TV), and WKTV-DT2 (CW). WTVH, the CBS affiliate in Syracuse, serves as the de facto CBS affiliate for the Utica TV market. Additionally, PBS affiliate WCNY-TV in Syracuse operates translator W22DO-D in the area, which broadcasts on analog channel 22 and digital channel 24. Some low-power television stations also broadcast in the area. Cable television customers are served by the Syracuse offices of Time Warner Cable, which also offers a local news service, a local sports channel, and some public-access channels. Dish Network and DirecTV also serve local satellite television customers with local broadcast channels.

Utica's daily newspaper is the Utica Observer-Dispatch. Other local newspapers include The Utica Phoenix and the Mohawk Valley Voice, which began publishing in 2014.

The Utica area is served by 26 FMradio stations and 9 AM radio stations. Major radio station operators in the Utica area include Townsquare Media and Galaxy Communications.


Union Station, Utica

While Griffiss International Airport in Rome serves primarily as an military air base, regional, domestic and international passenger air transportation in the Utica–Rome metropolitan area is generally provided by Syracuse Hancock International Airport.

Amtrak's Empire, Maple Leaf, and Lake Shore Limited train services all have stops at Utica's Union Station.

Utica's public bus transportation service is provided through the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (CENTRO), a Syracuse mass transit operator which runs a total of twelve lines in the city and has a hub in downtown Utica.[20] Intercity bus service is provided through Greyhound and Birnie Bus Company, with both services stopping at Union Station.

Six New York State highways, one three-digit Interstate Highway and one two-digit Interstate Highway passes through the city of Utica. New York State Route 49 and New York State Route 840 are both east-west expressways which run along the north and south borders of the city, respectively. New York State Route 5 and its alternate routes, New York State Route 5S and New York State Route 5A are east-west roads and expressways which pass through the city. Along with NYS Route 5 and Interstate 790, an indirect auxiliary highway of Interstate 90, New York State Route 12 and New York State Route 8 form the North–South Arterial Highway which passes to the west of the city.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Przybycien, F. E. (1976). Utica: A City Worth Saving. Utica : Dodge-Graphic Press, Inc.
  3. ^ ["Utica." from The History of Oneida County; Oneida County Historical Society, 1977]
  4. ^ Cookinham, H. J. (1912). History of Oneida County N.Y. Chicago: SJ Clarke Publishing Company
  5. ^ In Gotham's Shadow, Alexander R Thomas, State University of New York Press, 2003
  6. ^ "The Sin City Scandals" at Utica College
  7. ^ Guts and Glory, Tragedy and Triumph: The Rufus P. Elefante Story, Nancy Kobryn, Mohawk Valley Community College Library Collection[dead link]
  8. ^ City of Utica Master Plan. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  9. ^ "NOAA". National Weather Service. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  12. ^ Zielbauer, Paul (1999-05-07). "Looking to Prosper as a Melting Pot; Utica, Long in Decline, Welcomes an Influx of Refugees". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Mayor Roefaro to speak at Bosnian commemoration event in Syracuse
  14. ^ Utica: then and Now, by Joseph Bottini and James Davis, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 48
  15. ^ The Straightjacket and Utica Crib: Diagnostik: Medical Museum: University of Iowa Health Care[dead link]
  16. ^ "Utica Comets to join AHL in 2013-14". American Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  17. ^ Roller Derby Worldwide
  18. ^ Utica Klubs website
  19. ^ New York Times. (1907, June 23). Gives Utica Four Parks. p. S5.
  20. ^ "Centro Utica". Centro. April 1, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°05′48″N 75°13′55″W / 43.096569°N 75.231887°W / 43.096569; -75.231887