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Saratoga Springs

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Saratoga Springs

"Saratoga Springs" redirects here. For other uses, see Saratoga Springs (disambiguation).
Saratoga Springs
City
A view of downtown, looking south along Broadway from its intersection with Caroline Street.
Motto: Health, History, Horses
Nickname: The Spa City, 'Toga
Country United States
State New York
Region Capital District
County Saratoga
Landmark Saratoga Race Course
River Kayaderossas Creek
Elevation 300 ft (91 m)
Coordinates 4|31|N|73|46|57|W|type:city(26586)_region:US-NY name=

}}

Lowest point Kayaderosseras Creek
 - elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Area 29.0 sq mi (75 km2)
 - land 28.4 sq mi (74 km2)
 - water 0.6 sq mi (2 km2)
Population 26,586 (2010)
Density 920 / sq mi (355 / km2)
Founded ca. 1776
Incorporation as city 1915
Government Saratoga Springs City Hall
 - location 474 Broadway
 - coordinates 5|0.23|N|73|47|2.81|W|type:city(26586)_region:US-NY name=

}}

Mayor Scott Johnson (R)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code 12866
Area code 518
FIPS code 36-65255
GNIS feature ID 0964489
Demonym Saratogian
Location within Saratoga County
Location within New York State
Commons: Saratoga Springs, New York
Website: http://www.saratoga-springs.org/

Saratoga Springs, also known as simply Saratoga (though not to be confused with the nearby town of that name), is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,586 at the 2010 census.[1] The name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area. While the word "Saratoga" is known to be a corruption of a Native American name, authorities[2] disagree on the original term and its meaning. The city is near the center of Saratoga County in upstate New York.

History

The area was occupied by the Algonquian-speaking Mahican Indians before they were pushed out by European settlement, both Dutch and English colonists. They eventually moved east and became allied with other remnant peoples and became known as the Stockbridge Indians, as they settled near Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The English built Fort Saratoga in 1691 on the west bank of the Hudson River. The current village of Schuylerville, New York was settled about a mile south by English colonists shortly after the fort; it was known as Saratoga until 1831. In 1767, William Johnson, a British soldier who was a hero of the French and Indian Wars, was brought by Native American friends to springs about 10 miles (16 km) west of the village. They treated his war wounds, as the spring was thought to have medicinal properties. Now known as High Rock Spring, it may still be visited today. In 1756 Johnson had been appointed British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Northeast region due to his success in building alliances with the Mohawk and other Iroquois tribes. He had learned the language, and created many trading relationships. He achieved great wealth from trading and landholdings, and was knighted for his service to the Crown with the Iroquois.

The first permanent European-American settler built a dwelling about 1776. The springs attracted tourists, and Gideon Putnam built the first hotel for travelers. Putnam also laid out the roads and donated land for use as public spaces.

The Battle of Saratoga, the turning point of the Revolutionary War, did not take place in Saratoga Springs. Rather, the battlefield is 15 miles (24 km) to the southeast in the Town of Stillwater. A museum dedicated to the two battles is located on the fields where the battles were fought. The British encampment before the surrender at Saratoga took place 10 miles (16 km) east of the city, in Schuylerville, where several historical markers delineate points of interest. The surrender of the sword of battle took place where Fort Saratoga had been, south of Schuylerville.

Saratoga Springs was established as a settlement in 1819 from a western portion of the Town of Saratoga. Its principal community was incorporated as a village in 1826 and the entire region became a city in 1915. Tourism was greatly aided after 1832 by the arrival of the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, which brought thousands of travelers to the famous mineral springs. Resort hotels developed to accommodate them. Patronage of the railroad increased steadily after the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company assumed control in 1870 and began running the Empire State Express directly between New York City and the resort.

In the 19th century, the noted doctor Simon Baruch encouraged developing European-style spas in the United States as centers for health. With its wealth of mineral waters, Saratoga Springs was developed as a spa, generating the development of many large hotels, including the United States Hotel and the Grand Union Hotel. The latter was, in its day, the largest hotel in the world.[3]

In 1863, Saratoga Race Course opened, moving to its current location the following year. Horse racing and its associated betting greatly increased the city's attraction as a tourist destination at a time when horse racing was a popular national spectator sport. In addition, the Saratoga Springs area was known for its gambling, which after the first years of the 20th century was illegal, but still widespread. Most gambling facilities were located on Saratoga Lake, on the southeast side of the city.

After the closing and demolition in the 1940s and 1950s of many of the town's premier hotels, including the Grand Union and United States, and competition from other destinations as more people used cars to travel widely for vacations, Saratoga Springs suffered a significant economic downturn. During the 1950s, the state and city finally closed the famed gambling houses, which further damaged Saratoga Springs as a destination.

The city's rebirth began in the 1960s with the completion of the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87), which allowed visitors from the north and south much easier access. In addition, the construction of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the late 1960s, which features classical and popular music and dance, furthered the city's renaissance. The New York City Ballet performed there for numerous summer seasons, together with other high-quality dance groups and musicians. In the early 21st century, there has been a boom of building, both residential and retail, in the west side and downtown areas of the city.

Geography

Saratoga Springs is located at 43°04′31″N 73°46′57″W / 43.075337°N 73.782422°W / 43.075337; -73.782422 (43.075337, -73.782422).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 square miles (75 km2), of which 28.4 square miles (74 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (2.17%) is water.

The Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) and US Route 9 pass alongside and through the city, respectively. New York State Route 29, New York State Route 50, New York State Route 9N, and New York State Route 9P lead into Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Lake is southeast of the city.

Demographics

2010

According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:

2000

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 26,186 people, 10,784 households, and 5,985 families residing in the city. The population density was 921.1 people per square mile (355.6/km2). There were 11,584 housing units at an average density of 407.5 per square mile (157.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.53% White, 3.11% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.

There were 10,784 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,130, and the median income for a family was $59,281. Males had a median income of $39,573 versus $29,439 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,250. About 5.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.

Government

The Saratoga Springs charter specifies a "commission" form of city government. Recent efforts to amend the charter have not yet been successful. The most recent charter change proposal appeared on the ballot in the November 2012 election and was rejected.[5] The Saratoga Springs City Council members for 2012 and 2013 are:[6]

  • Mayor Scott T. Johnson
  • Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan
  • Commissioner of Public Works Anthony "Skip" Scirocco
  • Commissioner of Public Safety Christian Mathiesen
  • Commissioner of Accounts John P. Franck

The county supervisors for the city are Joanne Yepsen and Matthew Veitch.

The city is one of only three in the state of New York to have a three-tier tax district system, the inside district being what was originally the village of Saratoga Springs, and the outside district being the town of Saratoga Springs minus the village. The other two cities with three-tier tax system are Rome, New York and Oneida, New York.

Transportation

The closest scheduled air service is available at Albany International Airport (ALB). There is also a general aviation facility, Saratoga County Airport (5B2), located west of city limits in the Town of Milton.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Saratoga Springs, operating its Adirondack daily in both directions between Central Station in Montreal and Penn Station in New York City and the Ethan Allen Express daily in both directions between Rutland, Vermont and New York City. The local station off of West Avenue was built in 1956, but dramatically rehabilitated in 2004. The 6,400-square-foot (590 m2) passenger area contains a coffee shop/newsstand, murals, an automated teller machine, a visitors information kiosk, an outside patio area with benches, and a children’s play area. The station serves about 23,000 passengers every year.

Greyhound Bus Lines also serves the city frequently, sending buses every few hours towards Albany or Montreal. The city Amtrak station serves as the Greyhound Bus Lines and Adirondack Trailways Bus Lines station. The city is also served by the Capital District Transportation Authority, which provides bus service from Schenectady via Route 50 daily, and weekday service to Albany via the Northway Express line.

Long-distance motorists generally reach Saratoga via Interstate 87, which north of Albany is known as the Adirondack Northway. Three exits access the city. Exit 13-S is optimal for reaching Saratoga Lake, and 13-N for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and the southern and western quadrants of the city. Visitors to the Saratoga Race Course use Exit 14, which is also arguably best for reaching downtown from the south. Exit 15 serves Skidmore College, downtown if coming from the north, and the shopping malls just north of city limits.

Business

Though Saratoga Springs relies heavily on tourism as its main source of income, especially during the summer months while Saratoga Race Course is open, there is plenty of industry that keeps this culture-rich city's economy booming, and some residents commute to the Albany area. Saratoga Springs is home to a plant of Quad Graphics, offset printers of Time Magazine, Newsweek, People Magazine, Sports Illustrated and many others. Ball Corporation, makers of the Mason Jar as well as aluminum cans for companies such as Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch InBev, has a large manufacturing plant in the city. Stewart's Shops, a popular convenience store chain that is an employee- and family-owned business dealing in milk, ice cream, coffee, food to go, gasoline, and more is based out of Saratoga Springs. Stewart's now has over 300 stores throughout New York and Vermont. The Saratoga Spring Water Co. (a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev) on Geyser Road has been in operation since 1872.

Culture

Horse racing

The city is perhaps best known for the Saratoga Race Course, which opened on August 3, 1863. The first track was located across Union Avenue (at the present Oklahoma Training Track location) from the present Saratoga Race Course, which opened the following year. Founded by John Hunter and William R. Travers, the thoroughbred track is the oldest continuously-operating sporting event of any kind in the United States. The track holds a summer meet lasting six weeks, from late July to Labor Day, that attracts the top horses, jockeys, and trainers in America. The meet features a number of major stakes races, with the Travers Stakes, a Grade I race, being the most important of America's summer horse races. The track season sees a dramatic influx of people into the city. Hotels fill to capacity, and many Saratogians rent out their homes.

Also located in the city is the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, a harness (Standardbred) racetrack that includes a video gaming facility, the Racino, and a horse betting simulcast room.

The Springs

Before racing began in Saratoga, the area's natural mineral springs had been attracting summertime visitors for many decades. The springs occur on a line where the north-south Saratoga Fault allows water trapped in subsurface shale layers to reach the surface.

Believed to have healing powers, springs can be found all over town. Most of the springs are covered by small pavilions and marked by plaques; others, however, are less conspicuous, sometimes just a spigot in a rock. The springs are famous for their varied and distinct tastes: some are clear freshwater, others are saltier, and some taste strongly of a certain mineral such as sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride. There is a sulfur odor, but mineral analysis of the water consistently shows almost no presence of dissolved sulfur. The sulfur is in the form of the gas hydrogen sulfide, which degasses from the water very quickly. Visitors are welcome to bottle the spring water for personal consumption.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century excessive pumping for commercial bottling was threatening to deplete the springs. In 1911 the New York State Reservation, now the Spa State Park, was created to protect the springs and the Lincoln and Roosevelt bath houses were built.[7] Currently spa treatments are available in the Roosevelt Baths.

The springs include:

Skateboard park

The Saratoga Springs Skatepark (est. 1988), located in the center of the East Side Recreation area on Lake Avenue, is New York State's first municipal New York Recreational Use Statute.

Arts and entertainment


The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (known by its acronym "SPAC," which rhymes with "snack") is a covered outdoor amphitheater located on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park, with a capacity of 5,000 in reserved seating and 20,000+ on its general admission lawn area. SPAC is the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet, and has hosted a weekend-long jazz festival since 1978.[11] Since 2006, the Saratoga Native American Festival has been held on SPAC grounds each fall.[12] SPAC is a stop for touring national recording artists: over 20 popular bands grace the stage every summer. Steps away on State Park grounds, the Spa Little Theater hosts the "Home Made Theater" as well as Opera Saratoga (formerly known as the Lake George Opera) during the summer.

Museums in the area include the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, and the Saratoga Automobile Museum. There are more than 20 golf courses in the area.

The city is notable for its vibrant night life. Caffè Lena was one of the first venues in the Eastern US at which Bob Dylan performed in 1961. Arlo Guthrie played at Caffè Lena early in his career and has returned for occasional benefit concerts, and the singer Don McLean was a frequent performer there early in his career. (Contrary to a popular legend, Mr. McLean has stated that his song "American Pie" was not composed at a table in the Tin & Lint, a bar on Caroline Street.[13]) Numerous other establishments are located on Broadway, Caroline Street (the Hamilton district), and the redeveloped Putnam Street.

Recently, Beekman Street (four blocks West of Broadway), once the center of a working-class residential neighborhood, has become an art district, housing four galleries, a restaurant, a pub and teahouse, and a bistro. Artists live and work in co-ops and arrange social events. While some take credit for "revitalizing" a "deteriorating" area, others consider such declarations an insult to the generations of minority and marginalized ethnicities who worked in the service jobs of the tourism economy, and were traditionally segregated to this once-remote quarter.

Saratoga Springs is home to Yaddo, a 400-acre (1.62 km2; 0.63 sq mi) artists' community, founded by Wall Street financier Spencer Trask and his wife, author Katrina Trask. Since its inception in 1900, Yaddo has hosted 68 authors who later won the Pulitzer Prize and one Nobel Prize winner, Saul Bellow. Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Aaron Copland, Sylvia Plath, and David Sedaris have all been artists-in-residence.[14] The Yaddo grounds are adjacent to the backstretch of the Saratoga Race Course.

Media

Education

Empire State College and Skidmore College are both located in Saratoga Springs; Verrazzano College (1969-1975)[15][16] was also located there. During the summer, Skidmore is one of several hosts for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Eastern Nazarene College, located in Quincy, Massachusetts, was founded in Saratoga Springs as the Pentecostal Collegiate Institute and Biblical Seminary at the turn of the 20th century.

The Saratoga Springs City School District[17] is made up of:

  • Six elementary schools (kindergarten through grade five) — Lake Avenue, Caroline Street, Division Street and Geyser Road in the City of Saratoga Springs; Greenfield in the Town of Greenfield; and Dorothy Nolan in the Town of Wilton
  • One middle school (grades six through eight) — Maple Avenue Middle School in the Town of Wilton
  • One high school (grades nine through twelve) — Saratoga Springs High School located on on the West side on Blue Streak Boulevard in the City of Saratoga Springs.

Private schools in Saratoga Springs include Saratoga Central Catholic High School, St. Clement's Regional Catholic School, The Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, and Saratoga Independent School.

Notable residents

Actors

Sports figures

Musicians

Authors

Others

In popular culture

Films shot in and around Saratoga Springs

Radio

  • Saratoga Springs was the setting for a radio soap opera by the same name, created by ZBS Foundation and written by Meatball Fulton. The 1989 series was produced as 90 four-minute daily episodes for National Public Radio. The story incorporates Saratoga Springs historical facts and utilizes local actors as well as ZBS regulars. Lena Spencer of Caffe Lena is listed as playing herself. A "Best of Saratoga Springs" compilation (c. 2004) can be purchased from ZBS (www.zbs.org). During spring and early summer, 2007, the original four-minute episodes were podcast by ZBS.

Television

  • In the pilot episode of the 1960s sitcom Green Acres, it was noted that Eddie Albert's character of Oliver Wendell Douglas was born in Saratoga Springs.

Music

  • In the song "Adelaide's Lament" in the 1950 Broadway musical Guys and Dolls, Adelaide, who has an eternal cold caused by her fiancé's refusal to finally marry, sings "When they get on that train to Niagara / She can hear church bells chime / The compartment is air-conditioned / And the mood sublime... / Then they get off at Saratoga for the fourteenth time / A person can develop la grippe!"
  • The 1971 song "American Pie" by Don McLean was not written at the Tin and Lint bar on Caroline Street, according to Mr. McLean (see the citation above).
  • In the 1972 Carly Simon song "You're So Vain" the singer references horseracing in Saratoga Springs: "Well, I hear you went up to Saratoga, and your horse naturally won...."
  • In 1988, Whitney Houston's performance of "Didn't We Almost Have It All," the second single of her second studio album, was filmed during a live show in the city. The video was rotated regularly on MTV and it eventually became her fifth (of a record-breaking seven) consecutive number one hits on the Billboard 100 chart.

Food

Other

Sister cities

Gallery

See also

Capital District portal

References

Notes

External links

  • City of Saratoga Springs — Official site
  • Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau
  • The Ultimate Guide to Saratoga County and Saratoga Springs, NY — Official site
  • Saratoga County History
  • Local's Guide to Saratoga Springs, NY
  • WMHT (TV)
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