Author Topic: Elements of Urbanism: Albany  (Read 2388 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« on: October 21, 2008, 05:00:00 AM »
Elements of Urbanism: Albany



A brief tour around the downtown of New York's capital city: Albany.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/920

EP

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 07:51:19 AM »
I thought Jacksonville had a problem with the Hart bridge cutting off areas like Metropolitan Park from the Sports District.  Albany has its whole waterfront area occupied by freeway spaghetti.  Also, that freeway that comes across the river slams right into the parking garage for the capital building.  I bet that city was awesome before those freeways ruined it.  On the other side, those roads present a huge opportunity for the city, as they sit on acres of prime land that is held in trust by governmental entities.

Bike Jax

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 10:58:13 AM »
The one thing I have noticed about all these city comparisons is that all the other cities managed to somehow throughout the decades to not destroy their downtown for ground level parking lots. They all also still have residential in beautiful old homes and buildings within the downtown district. What's up with that? Don't these other cities understand how much more value a parking lot brings to a downtown than some old building.

I've also noticed since the start of these comparisons, that the only cities that seem to be showing any growth are those that have built some type of rail system, whether is be light rail, commuter rail, street car or a trolly system. Just my observations.

thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 11:09:48 AM »
Those are pretty accurate observations.  Buffalo is the only struggling downtown I've recently visited that currently has rail.  However, Buffalo has some serious economic issues that outweigh the positives of rail transit.  Its also clear to see the importance of saving enough building fabric to the point of where the downtown core is well integrated with nearby urban neighborhoods.  this integration turns small isolated districts into one large vibrant diversified urban core.  This makes it a lot easier to bike, walk or use mass transit between core neighborhoods.

On the other hand, while many of these cities have done of decent job of keeping surface parking from taking over, most have done a horrible job with their waterfronts.  Jacksonville has not done the best, but our riverwalks are superior to having the urban riverfront blocked from the downtown core by expressways.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 07:38:45 PM »
Wow, those building designs look pretty awesome. What great pictures. Never been to Albany but my impression now is pretty positive.

Lake, do you have a job that sends you all over the place or do you take these trips for your own pleasure and exclusively for the site? PM if you feel it more appropriate. I think you're lucky to be able to go to all these places, but you certainly do a terrific job with it.

heights unknown

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 09:00:52 PM »
Nice looking City. It's a shame that it has suffered a serious decline in urban population and urban success over the past five decades (as has many American major cities). 

It's downtown though still seems to be intact and busy/bustling (from the looks of the pics).  Albany looks like a city of 200,000 rather than 95,000 (kind of like Jax but flip flop; Jax looks like a city of 150,000 rather than 850,000).

Great pics and still looks to be, from the pics, a great solid small city.

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thelakelander

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 09:46:11 PM »
Project Maximus,

I take these trips for pleasure and to gain better understanding of the results of good and poor urban planning.  Looking at things online are great, but the impact is greater when you check out various urban areas in person.  Although this site is Jacksonville specific, its important to see what our peer cities are doing.  Since I have a pretty large database of images from various trips, I figured I'd show a few cities from time to time. 
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 12:29:42 AM »
Where's the depot? The Transit? The Transit features? Albany is a railroad crossroads!


Here is the new depot, I've seen inside shots too and it is stunning... and all we got was an Am-shack.

For the record, Albany trashed it's streetcars - 2 systems in 1946, 10 years after Jacksonville did. They had company including the last Florida system, Tampa, and the famous Oklahoma City network, which covered not only the city but central Oklahoma. When OKC converted to "modern express buses" ridership dropped by over 90% and has NEVER recovered. Hershey was also a famous system that died that year, they also had extensive operations owned by the Hershey Company in Havana Cuba (it still runs under state control).


Albany New York - Gee now I feel better!

Streetcar Abandonment for 1946

Albany  New York     
Hershey  Pennsylvania     
Kitchener-Waterloo  Ontario     
Lévis  Québec     
New Albany  Indiana     
New York (Manhattan)  New York     
Oklahoma City  Oklahoma     
Peoria  Illinois     
Schenectady  New York     
Stoneham  Massachusetts     
Tampa  Florida

In California where I was living, the Los Angeles Railway took a car and painted a face on the front of it. The twin windshields formed giant eyes, the oversize cyclops headlight - the nose, a hollywood artist painted a sad frowning mouth, with tears running down the cheeks. On the side was painted in bright letters... the phrase: "Good Bye Old Friends".


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 12:46:21 AM by Ocklawaha »

paintman

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany Access to the waterfront
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2008, 05:12:41 PM »
About 5 years ago Albany added an elaborate pedestrian walkway over the interstate to reconnect with the river. They also built a large amphitheater , visitor center and floating boat basin. They  have free concerts that often bring more than 5000 people to the waterfront on summer nights. The freeway overpasses have huge parking lots underneath them and are used as rain venues.

Jason

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Re: Elements of Urbanism: Albany
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 02:59:45 PM »
Now that you mention it, you can see the pedestrian overpass and riverfront park in the image above.