After a decline in manufacturing in the 1950s, the city undertook revitalization efforts including the Empire State Plaza, a complex of state administrative buildings, convention facilities, parks, and the state museum and state library. The plaza faces the capitol, built (1867–98) in the French château style. The city is the seat of the State Univ. of New York at Albany the schools of pharmacy, law, and medicine of Union Univ. the College of St. Rose and the Albany Institute of History and Art. Among many old buildings are the Schuyler mansion (1762) Ten Broeck Mansion (1798) and Cherry Hill (1768), the home of Philip Van Rensselaer. An annual tulip festival is held.
In 1609, Henry Hudson visited the site, and four years later the Dutch built Fort Nassau, a fur-trading post, on Castle Island. In 1624 several Walloon families began permanent settlement at the Dutch post of Fort Orange, renamed Albany after the English took control (1664). Albany was long important as a fur-trading center and was involved in the French and Indian Wars . In 1754 the Albany Congress met there, and in 1797 the state capital was moved to Albany from New York City. Albany's trade grew particularly after the opening of the Champlain and Erie canals in the 1820s.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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