Elsmere is a hamlet of the town of the Bethlehem in Albany County, New York. The hamlet is a suburb of the neighboring city of Albany. From the northeast to the southwest it is bisected by New York Route 443 (Delaware Avenue) which is also the main street and a major commuter route into Albany. Delaware Ave is also home to most of the office and retail locations in Elsmere, including the largest- Delaware Plaza. Residential buildings tend to be on side streets north and south of Delaware Ave.
Elsmere is situated along the old Delaware Turnpike, today Delaware Avenue (NY Route 443). Suburban residential growth began to displace the rural farmland starting in 1928 when the Delaware Avenue Bridge opened across the Normans Kill, this connected Elsmere directly to Albany. Prior to this commuters to Albany needed to travel on the narrow winding older roads through Normansville and cross a smaller lower bridge. The original center of the hamlet was the corners of Elsmere and Delaware avenues. Today Delaware Avenue from the bridge over the Normans Kill to the abandoned railroad bridge over Delaware Ave, marking the unofficial border with Delmar, is heavily commercialized with retail and offices. Many of the businesses occupy houses converted to commercial use. Delaware Plaza, built in 1955, is the unofficial "center" of town.