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Binghamton, New York

Binghamton is a city in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. Binghamton is the county seat of Broome County and is the principal city and cultural center of the Greater Binghamton metropolitan area (also known as the Triple Cities), home to a quarter million people.[1] The population of the city itself, according to the 2010 census, is 47,376.[2] Binghamton derives its name from the Bingham Purchase by William Bingham of Philadelphia.

From the days of the railroad, Binghamton was a transportation crossroads and a manufacturing center, and has been known at different times for the production of cigars, shoes, and high-tech products. IBM was founded nearby, and Edwin Link invented the flight simulator in the city, leading to a notable concentration of electronics- and defense-oriented firms that continue to exist to this day. The population of the city has declined significantly in the second half of the 20th century, from a high of 85,000 in 1950, as a result of suburbanization and economic stagnation. The region lost a significant portion of its manufacturing industry, following cuts made by defense firms after the end of the Cold War. Some, but not all, of these jobs have been replaced by significant retail development and the growth of the region as an educational center.

Today, Greater Binghamton is home to Binghamton University, a driving force in the community as an academic, athletic, and arts center, along with a continued concentration of high-tech firms, including Lockheed Martin, IBM, BAE Systems, and Rockwell Collins.

Contents


History

Bird's-eye view c. 1910, looking west down Court Street from county courthouse The city was named after William Bingham, a wealthy Philadelphian who bought the surrounding land in 1792. Before that, the first known people of European descent to come to the area were the troops of the Sullivan Expedition in 1779, during the American Revolutionary War.

The community was first settled around 1802 at the junction of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers and was known as Chenango Point. Binghamton was first incorporated in 1834 as a village of the Town of Binghamton. Binghamton became a city in 1867. Abel Bennett, who was elected as secretary on January 30, 1845 of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, was the city's first mayor. His extensive property on the city's west side is known as the Abel Bennett Tract.[3]

The New York State Inebriate Asylum opened in 1858 on the eastern end of Binghamton.[4] It was the first ever center to treat alcoholism as a disease, but by 1879 was converted into a hospital for the mentally ill. The main hospital building, designed by Isaac Perry, is now a New York State and National Historical Landmark. This facility is currently being developed as a clinical campus for Upstate Medical University.

Valley of Opportunity: Growth as a manufacturing hub

An early Link Flight Simulator, invented in Binghamton in 1929 Originally an agricultural market town, the construction of the Erie Railroad (now Norfolk Southern) in the 1840s made Binghamton the commercial and then the manufacturing hub of the Southern Tier of New York and the adjacent counties in Pennsylvania. The railroad was absolutely vital to the development of Binghamton. Prior to railroads the only economical means of transportation of goods was via water, and the Susquehanna River is not navigable between Binghamton and the Atlantic coast. Equally important, the railroad cut travel time from Binghamton to New York City, the most rapidly growing area of the United States, from 5 days to 12 hours.

Binghamton was nicknamed the Parlor City for its neat streets and attractive homes, including many stately mansions. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many immigrants moved to the area, finding an abundance of jobs, leading them to call it the Valley of Opportunity. Early on, Binghamton had been the second-largest manufacturer of cigars in the United States. However, by the early 1920s, the major employer of the region became Endicott Johnson, a shoe manufacturer whose development of welfare capitalism resulted in many amenities for local residents. Binghamton's population began growing rapidly from this influx, with many European immigrants settling in the area.

During the Second World War, this growth continued as IBM, which was founded in Greater Binghamton, began emerging as a global leader in technology. IBM's presence, coupled with Greater Binghamton being the birthplace of the Link flight simulator, led to an unusually large concentration of engineers living in the area. Other major manufacturers included Ansco and General Electric. Until the Cold War ended, the area never experienced an economic downfall, due in part to its defense-heavy industries. The population of the city of Binghamton peaked at around 85,000 in 1950.

Binghamton saw other companies grow during this time. Some of the more notable businesses included Valvoline, which started here before moving, and the Nineteen Hundred Washer Company, which merged to form Whirlpool. Another important, if dubious, product from the era was Swamp Root, a famous patent medicine developed in the late 19th century. The original Dick's Sporting Goods started out as a fishing store in the East Side of the City of Binghamton in 1948, and the business remained headquartered in Binghamton until 1994.[5]

In 1913, 31 people perished in the Binghamton Clothing Company fire, which resulted in numerous reforms to the New York fire code. Major floods in 1935 and 1936 resulted in a number of deaths, and washed out the Ferry Street Bridge (now the Clinton Street Bridge). The floods were devastating, and resulted in the construction of flood walls along the length of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers.

Later development

While employment and population steadily moved west to less crowded areas of Broome County during the early and mid 20th century, Binghamton maintained its place as the commercial, transportation, and retail center of the region up to about 1950. However, the long period of prosperity beginning in the late 1940s (which allowed most residents to acquire cars), also led new retail development to build on cheaper land along highways near the newer residential areas of Vestal and Endwell. These former hamlets became the most prosperous areas of Broome County after 1950 because of the enormous success of the then Endicott-based International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). These new retail sites had large parking lots which proved to be a great advantage over retail businesses in downtown Binghamton. By the mid-1960s, most of the prosperous retail businesses in downtown Binghamton had moved to suburban sites.

The acquisition of cars by local residents in the 1940s and 1950s also ended Binghamton's role as a transportation center. Demand for passenger rail service to and from Binghamton collapsed in the 1950s and trucking companies replaced the railroad for the transport of most goods. Increased car traffic resulted in the construction of the interstate-model highway Route 17 through Binghamton and Johnson City in the early 1970s, replacing the Binghamton railroad station as the transportation hub of the region.

In an effort to reverse these trends, urban renewal dominated much of the construction during the 1960s and early 1970s, with many of Binghamton's ornate buildings torn down during this period. The construction included the creation of Government Plaza, the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, and North Shore Dr. (NY 363). In 1973, the Kopernik Space Center, the largest public observatory in the northeastern United States, was built. These well-meaning efforts failed, and downtown Binghamton is now primarily a government center, not the regional center it once was.

With the Cold War coming to a close, a large portion of the defense-related industries in the area suffered severe cutbacks and closures, with several high-profile sales scavenging many local firms. This was compounded by a large series of layoffs at IBM throughout the early 1990s. As a result, the region went into an economic recession. Today, the city is attempting to diversify its economic base in order to spur revitalization. Major emphasis has been put on Binghamton University. A downtown campus was built in 2007, and there are currently plans to create several student housing complexes downtown. In 2007, Binghamton was named the ninth-greenest city in the U.S. by Country Home magazine.[6]

Tragedy has also hit in recent years. While flooding has been common with Binghamton sitting at the confluence of two rivers, a major flood was able to overcome the city's flood walls and wreak havoc in June 2006, causing millions of dollars in damage. This occurred again in September 2011 as the remains of Tropical Storm Lee passed through the region. The city's American Civic Association is the location of the April 3, 2009 shootings, which left 14 dead.[7]

Geography

Chenango]] (right) rivers. Confluence Park in downtown, 2007

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of . of it is land and of it (5.43%) is water.

The north branch of the Susquehanna River passes through downtown . This branch rises in eastern New York and receives a number of tributaries above Binghamton, most notably the Chenango, which joins from the north just outside of the business district. Major floods occurred in the city during 1865, 1936 and 2006, and 2011.

In 1935 the Chenango suffered a flash flood, which was damaging, but less severe once it joined the larger Susquehanna. So much water came from the Chenango, that the Susquehanna flowed backwards for some distance above the confluence. In 1972 the remnants of Hurricane Agnes flooded the entire Susquehanna basin downstream from Binghamton, but the damage in the city was minor.

In 2006, the Susquehanna flooded again in Binghamton causing massive amounts of damage in the city and the entire metropolitan area. The Exchange Street and Washington Street bridges were flooded and the height of the river surpassed the flood walls on North Shore Drive, Court Street, and Conklin Ave. The damage was extensive enough to force large scale evacuations, including that of Lourdes Hospital which was unable to pump water out of its basement fast enough.

Again in 2011, Binghamton experienced record flooding from the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers as a result of Tropical Storm Lee. From September 6 to September 8 Binghamton and the surrounding cities of Johnson City, Endicott, Conklin, and Union received over 10" of rain.

Climate

Binghamton has a humid continental climate (K ppen Dfb), with cold, snowy winters and warm, wet summers. Snowfall is significant, with an annual total of . Binghamton is not as greatly affected by lake-effect snow as the cities to the northwest (Syracuse) and closer to the Great Lakes, but persistent snow bands from the lakes do occasionally result in moderate snows. Binghamton receives significant snows at times during the year from Nor'easter storms as well.

Summers in Binghamton are typified by warmer, less humid days with occasional temperature spikes into the upper 80s and lower 90s. Higher temperatures have occurred, but are very uncommon. As with most cities in upstate New York, precipitation in Binghamton is spread evenly throughout the year; there is no "dry season."

Cityscape

The State Office Building, the center-piece of Government Plaza. Chenango Point's incorporation as a village and eventually as the City of Binghamton, united various communities located on both shores of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers. The majority of the city's population and development lies along the rolling terrain nearest the riverbanks with sparse development in the hills that define the city limits. Currently, Binghamton encompasses seven neighborhoods; Center City, the Westside, the Southside, the Eastside, the Northside, the First Ward and Ely Park.

Binghamton is known for its bicycling and walking clubs, facilities, and trails. The Downtown and Northside River Walk is an urban trail starting at the Confluence and travels up the Chenango river, past Off Track Betting ( a horse betting shop), The Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade, Noyes Island with its large power station, and ending at Cheri A. Lindsey Park.

Architecture

Neighborhoods

  • Center City

Downtown Binghamton, also known as "Center City," is the Southern Tier's regional administrative, business, entertainment and transportation center. Every first Friday of the month, a trolley travels around Washington Street at different cafes and shops as artists showcase different pieces and may include auctions.This neighboorhod is scattered with urban blight (within the residential section, from Caroll St east to the Brandywine Highway).

  • Westside

West of Downtown, across the Chenango River, lies the Westside. The neighborhood is the city's largest by population, of which a significant proportion are SUNY Binghamton students.

Due to its large population, the district is mainly residential and its character ranges from urban to suburban. The housing stock ranges from small to large, detached, single and double-family houses to attached row-houses and large apartment buildings. Generally, the section of the neighborhood south of Seminary Avenue towards Riverside Drive and the Susquehanna River is inhabited by middle to upper-class residents, while the area north of Seminary Avenue towards Main Street and the rail tracks is inhabited by working-class residents and students from the neighboring colleges.

Main Street forms the Westside's commercial corridor made up of various forms of retail consisting of several large supermarkets, pharmacies, bank branches, pubs, restaurants, auto shops and a few strip malls. Several specialty "Mom and Pop" shops are scattered along the route as well. Apart from commercial Main Street and some industrial buildings one block north, along the Norfolk Southern tracks, the Westside is primarily a residential neighborhood.

It contains Binghamton High School (formerly Binghamton Central High School), which is noted for Helen Foley Theater, named by Rod Serling for his drama teacher. A carousel in the middle of Recreation Park once had a carving of Rod Serling's name that has since been painted over. Serling depicts a similar scenario in "The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance," which shows a young child is carving his name into a carousel modeled after the one in Recreation Park.

  • Southside

The Southside straddles the south bank of the Susquehanna River. It is home to Binghamton General Hospital (an affiliate of United Health Services). It is home to a few strip malls with eateries and convenience stores and the Crowley Food's Corporation. It is generally separated into three sides, southwest, southeast, and Conklin Heights as the students on each side go to separate schools. The southwest is located on most of South Mountain and has half of Washington Valley, and southeast is located on most of Ross Mountain, named after Ross Park. Saratoga Heights are a few streets located on the edge of the southeast side that are considered governmental projects.

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park, the 5th oldest zoo in the country, is also on the Southside. The Southside is connected to downtown Binghamton by the State Street Bridge, Exchange Street Bridge, Tompkins Street Bridge and the historic pedestrian and cyclist only South Washington Street Bridge. It borders the Town of Vestal, New York to the West via Vestal Avenue and the Town of Conklin, New York to the East via Conklin Avenue.

  • Eastside

The Eastside lies east of the downtown area along the north bank of the Susquehanna River. The neighborhood is largely residential with commercial corridors along both Robinson and Court streets. Pockets of industry lie scattered along is western and southern boundaries. The Eastside is also known as home to the Greater Binghamton Health Center which is the region's state administered mental health and hygiene facility. It borders Kirkwood, New York to the East via Court Street (US Route 11).

  • Northside

The Northside is just north of downtown across the Norfolk Southern rail tracks. The Village of Port Dickinson and the Town of Dickinson lie to its north, the town of town of Fenton lies to its east while the Chenango River creates its western boundary.

The Northside is a light commercial, industrial and working-class residential section of the city. It contains portions of the Martin Luther King, Jr.-Chenango River Promenade as Cheri Lindsey Park, which is known for its vert ramps and bowls. Chenango Street serves as the area's "main drag" and runs north-south through the neighborhood.

  • First Ward

The First Ward is largely a residential neighborhood best known for the antique shops that line Clinton Street. The neighborhood stretches west from Chenango River to the Johnson City border and lies between the Norfolk Southern tracks to the south and Route 17 to the north. Several ethnic churches are located in this part of the city, as a result of settlement in the area by a large number of Eastern European immigrants, with Polish, Slovak, Czech, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Russian significantly represented. In recent years many of these churches had been closed or consolidated, due to declining population, shifts in local ethnicity, and church belt-tightening measures.

  • Ely Park

Ely Park is Binghamton's northern most neighborhood and is best known for its municipal golf course. It lies on portions of Mount Prospect and of the other hills north of the West Side and First Ward. A formerly government subsidized housing project known simply as the Ely Park Apartments is located there.

Demographics

As of the census of 2010, there were 47,376 people, 21,150 households, and 9,986 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,539.2 per square mile (1,752.3/km ). There were 23,842 housing units at an average density of 2,296.5 per square mile (886.5/km ). The racial makeup of the city was 75.00% White, 10.4% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. 6.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 21,091 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.6% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.6% were non-families. 40.3% 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 2.19 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The area surrounding Binghamton, referred to in marketing as "Greater Binghamton" or the Binghamton MSA by the census bureau is approximately 252,000 people. The Binghamton MSA is composed of all of Broome County and neighboring Tioga County. Alternatively defined, the number of people living in an approximately 40-mile radius of the city is approximately 300,000. This count includes Broome, Tioga, and portions of Cortland, Delaware and Chenango Counties in New York and portions of Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,702, and the median income for a family was $39,725. Males had a median income of $28,774 versus $23,014 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,455. About 20.4% of families and 27.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.7% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Since its incorporation as a city in 1867, Binghamton has been a municipality with a "strong" mayor-council form of government. The city government, originally housed in the old Municipal Building on Collier Street (now the Grand Royale Hotel), is now based at the Binghamton City Hall which occupies the west-wing of Government Plaza on the corner of State and Hawley streets. The mayor and councilors are elected to four-year terms and are limited to serving only two. The Binghamton City Council is a unicameral body consisting of seven Council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries. Old Binghamton City Hall (1897), designed by Raymond Francis Almirall Broome County Courthouse (1898), by local architect Isaac G. Perry

Executive

The current mayor of Binghamton is Matthew T. Ryan (D). The mayor oversees the following city departments:[8]

  • Assessment
  • Building & Construction
  • City Clerk
  • Code Enforcement
  • Dog Control
  • Economic Development
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Fire
  • Legal
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Personnel/Civil Service
  • Planning Housing & Community Development
  • Police
  • Public Works
  • Vital Statistics
  • Youth Bureau
  • Water & Sewer

Legislative

The current 7-member City Council comprises:

  • Jerry Motsavage (D), 1st District
  • Joseph Mihalko (R), 2nd District
  • Teri Rennia (D), 3rd District
  • Lea Webb (D), 4th District
  • Chris Papastrat (R), 5th District
  • John Matzo (R), 6th District
  • Bill Berg (D), 7th District

The Binghamton City Council meets for Work Sessions on the first and third Monday of the month at 6:00 PM in the Council Work Room. Council holds Business Meetings every first and third Wednesday after the first Monday of the month at 6:30 PM in Council Chambers.[9]

Neighborhood Assemblies Program

The Binghamton Neighborhood Assemblies Program created nine public forum assemblies in which city residents play a lead role in "restoring the pride" in Binghamton by sharing their concerns, hopes and needs and then working in conjunction with city government and community partners to implement positive change.[10]

Safety

Public safety in Binghamton is the primary responsibility of the 124-officer Binghamton Police Department[11] and the 132-officer Binghamton Fire Department.[12] The Binghamton Fire Department is composed of 134 paid uniformed firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.

Economy

Boscov's, downtown Binghamton's department store. Beaux-Arts]] landmark by T. I. Lacey & Son JulyFest, a festival of music, food, and arts, is held annually downtown

Blues on the Bridge, an annual blues festival held on the antique Washington Street bridge The nearby suburb of Vestal has many strip malls along a five-mile stretch of the Vestal Parkway (NY 434). Johnson City has the region s largest indoor mall, the Oakdale Mall. Other area shopping centers include Boscov's department store (corner of Court St. and Water St.), Court St., Washington St., and State St. all in downtown Binghamton.

The Binghamton nickname, Parlor City, has been used in many of the local business names ranging from older well-established companies to new and upcoming businesses. Some of the more popular examples include Parlor City Paper Box Co, Parlor City CrossFit, Parlor City Tattoos, and Parlor City Drywall & Painting. As residents look to revitalize Binghamton, many are choosing to go back to its roots.

Binghamton's employment base is oriented towards technology businesses, particularly the defense industry. Education and health care are also significant employers in the region. Although it is not a large employer, one of the most famous companies in Binghamton is McIntosh Labs, Inc., manufacturer of audio amplifiers, receivers, CD players and other components.

Current major employers in the Greater Binghamton area include:

  • Aerospace and Defense
    • Lockheed-Martin MS2 Owego, Tioga County (3,000)
    • BAE Systems Westover (1,600)
    • Rockwell Collins - Johnson City, New York
  • High Technology
    • Endicott Interconnect (1,600)
    • IBM (founded in region) (1,450)
    • Universal Instruments Broome Corporate Park, Conklin (headquartered in region)
    • McIntosh Laboratories (headquartered in region)
  • Education
    • Binghamton University Vestal and Downtown Binghamton(2,300)
    • Broome Community College (454) Dickinson
    • Clinical Campus of Upstate Medical University at the Greater Binghamton Health Center
  • Food Services & Distribution
    • Maines Paper & Food (1,100) (headquartered in region)
    • Frito Lay (540)
    • Crowley Foods (headquartered in Binghamton)
    • Willow Run Foods (400) (headquartered in region)
    • Johnson Outdoors
    • The Rob Salamida Company
  • Health Care
    • Greater Binghamton Health Center
    • United Health Services (3,300) (headquartered in region)
    • Lourdes Hospital (2,300)
  • Insurance
    • American International Group Vestal
    • Security Mutual Life (headquartered in region)
    • Columbian Financial Group (headquartered in region)
  • Media
    • Gannett
  • Sports
    • Dick's Sporting Goods (founded in region)
  • Services
    • A.V.R.E. - Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc., headquartered in Binghamton. A non-profit company employing people with vision disabilities.
    • Dataflow, Inc. - full-service document management and digital printing service provider headquartered in Binghamton.

Culture and arts influence

The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is the fifth-oldest zoo in the nation.

The area s Kopernik Space Center observatory is the largest public observatory in the northeast United States.

The Roberson Museum and Science Center, at the heart of Binghamton, is home to the Binghamton Visitor's Center, the Link Planetarium, and a number of exhibits detailing the culture and history of the Greater Binghamton Area and the Southern Tier of New York.

The Binghamton area is the home of the regional dish known as the spiedie, celebrated at the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, held at Otsiningo Park.

The ART Mission and Theater, in downtown Binghamton, is home to a fine art gallery and the only non-profit movie theater dedicated to showing independent, foreign and culturally significant films.

The region has, in the last several years, developed a growing and pervasive arts scene. These include a large cluster of art galleries[13] and shops centered in the Downtown Binghamton area, and has given rise to an event, the "Gorgeous" First Friday Art Walk, through the efforts an association of local artists and merchants in Downtown Binghamton, namely Gorgeous Washington Street Association. These events have been drawing large crowds downtown since 2003. Artists of local prominence that display or have galleries include Anthony Brunelli, a renowned photorealist painter who calls Binghamton home; Orazio Salati, who owns a gallery and exhibits many works; and Marla Olmstead, a local child who achieved fame in the art world for her abstract art. Dov Treiman lives, works, and exhibits at his home in Berkshire, in the Greater Binghamton region.

Education

Higher education

The city of Binghamton is home to three satellite campuses:

  • Empire State College's learning center
  • The Ridley-Lowell Business & Technical Institute's Binghamton campus
  • A clinical campus of State University of New York Upstate Medical University, established in the city limits for third and fourth year medical students in 1979. Students spend their first two years of medical school in Syracuse, New York and then complete their training in Binghamton.

The suburb of Vestal is home to two institutions of higher learning:

  • Binghamton University, part of the SUNY system. The University is a top-ranking public university [14] and was also ranked number 1 on Kiplinger's best values in education.
  • Elmira Business Institute's Vestal campus

Additionally,

  • Broome Community College is in the suburb of Dickinson
  • Davis College in nearby Johnson City

Binghamton University

thumb

  • Binghamton University, part of the SUNY system, is in nearby Vestal. The University is a top-ranking public university [14] and was also ranked number 1 on Kiplinger's best values in education.

Media

The Greater Binghamton metro area is served by the following media outlets:

  • Newspapers:
    • Commercial:
      • Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (owner: Gannett)
      • Greater Binghamton Business Journal (owner: CNY Business Journal)
      • Southern Tier Business News (owner: Gannett)
    • Non-commercial:
      • The Bridge (Independent Media Center)
      • Pipe Dream (Binghamton University)
  • Radio:
    • Commercial
      • Townsquare Media cluster: WYOS, WAAL, WHWK, WNBF, WWYL
      • Clear Channel Media + Entertainment cluster: WINR, WENE, WKGB, WMXW, WMRV, WBBI
      • Equinox Broadcasting cluster: WCDW, WRRQ
      • Independently owned: WLTB, WEBO
    • Non-commercial: WSKG-FM (NPR), WSQX-FM (NPR/Pacifica), WHRW-FM (SUNY Binghamton), WRLF-LP-FM (3ABN Radio)
  • Television:
    • Commercial: WBNG-TV (CBS-12), WICZ-TV (Fox-40), WIVT (ABC-34), WBGH-CA (NBC-20), Your News Now (YNN)[15] (Time Warner 24-hour cable news television),
    • Non-commercial: WSKG-TV (PBS-46)
  • Cable TV:
    • Commercial: Time Warner Cable
    • Non-commercial: Public-access television, Time Warner cable TV channel 4

Sports

The area is home to the Eastern League's Binghamton Mets (AA affiliate of the New York Mets). The B-Mets have sent stars like Jos Reyes, David Wright, Preston Wilson, Pat Strange, Prentice Redman, Eric Cammack, Jason Tyner, Jason Roach, Josh Thole, and Jay Payton to the majors.

Binghamton has a long history in professional Organized Baseball dating back to 1877. Teams nicknamed the Crickets, the Bingoes, and for many years the Triplets represented Binghamton in the New York State League (now defunct), the New York-Pennsylvania League, the International League and the Eastern League (1892 94, 1938 1963, 1967 1968, 1992 present).

The 1887 Binghamton Bingoes of the International League attracted national attention for employing 2 black players, an outstanding infielder named Frank Grant and a pitcher whose name has only come down through history as "Renfroe". The reaction around the league forced Binghamton to release the players, and the team itself folded shortly thereafter.

The Binghamton Triplets of the Eastern League became a farm club of the New York Yankees in the 1940s and sent many players to New York up to 1968, most notably the Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford, who starred for Binghamton in 1949.

The best player in the history of Binghamton was the pitcher William "Wild Bill" Hallahan. Born in Binghamton in 1902, he debuted in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1925 and had a 12 year career. (He was known as "Wild Bill" because of the many batters he walked, leading the league in that category twice). Hallahan led the Cardinals to the World Series title in 1931 over the Detroit Tigers with two complete game victories in which he only allowed a total of one run. When his career was over, he worked as a supervisor at Ansco for many years and passed away in Binghamton in 1981.

Professional hockey arrived in Binghamton in 1973 with the founding of the Broome Dusters of the North American Hockey League. The Dusters were popular from the start with a wide open style of play which was unusual in professional hockey at the time. When the league folded in 1977, the Providence team of the American Hockey League moved to Binghamton and became the Binghamton Dusters. The team became the Binghamton Whalers from 1980 to 1990 and the Binghamton Rangers from 1990 to 1997 as a result of affiliations with the NHL Hartford Whalers and New York Rangers. The team is now the Binghamton Senators who currently serve as the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. The B-Sens won division titles on 2003 and 2005, reaching the AHL conference finals in 2003 and winning the Calder Cup in 2011. They play their home games at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

Binghamton University plays Division I college sports as a member of the America East Conference. Division III College Sports are played at Broome Community College. Bobby Gonzalez, former head coach of Seton Hall's men's basketball team was born here, and still has family in the area. King Rice, head basketball coach at Monmouth University, attended Binghamton High School.[16]

Binghamton is also home to two semi-pro football teams, the Broome County Dragons (members of the Empire Football League) and the Southern Tier Green Machine (members of the North American Football League). In addition, two women's football teams call Binghamton home; the Binghamton Tiger Cats (members of the Independent Women's Football League) and the Southern Tier Spitfire (members of the Women's Football Alliance). Of the 4 teams only the Binghamton Tiger Cats still survive for 2012.

The area is also home to an annual Professional Tennis Challenger, the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, part of the USTA pro circuit (Known as the Frito-Lay Tennis Challenger in years past). Tennis greats such as Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and more recently Andy Murray found their start with this tournament, using it as a spring board to the U.S. Open (tennis).[17]

The B.C. Open was an official PGA Tour event that was held annually from 1971 to 2005 at Endicott's En-Joie Golf Course. (Note that the 2006 B.C. Open had to be played in Verona, N.Y. due to extensive damage during the June 2006 Flooding of the Susquehanna River.) Beginning in 2007, the area hosted a PGA Champion's Tour event, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. The event replaced the B.C. Open and continues to be played at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott.

Since 1978 a round of the American Motorcyclist Association's Motocross Championship has been held at the nearby Broome-Tioga Sports Center. This round of the series has recently been moved to Texas and is no longer hosted by the Broome-Tioga Sports Center. They also host the New York State Motocross Championships each fall and many other semi-pro events throughout the season.

Two world famous amateur sports tournaments are held in Binghamton. The Stop DWI Holiday Classic a nationally recognized high school basketball tournament calls the city home during the Christmas season, amassing about 16 of the nations best teams from places such as Orlando, NYC, Philadelphia, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and other large metropolitan areas. The World Youth Classic is an American Legion youth baseball tournament featuring world-class Legion baseball teams. Held in July, it features teams from Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, New York, Georgia, and New England. As many as 32 teams may play per year.

Transportation

Airport

The area is served by two airports. A medium-sized regional airport, Greater Binghamton Airport and a general aviation airport, the Tri-Cities Airport. Greater Binghamton Airport provides 3 to 5 round trips a day to each of the airline hubs of Philadelphia (US Airways), Dulles Airport serving Washington, D.C. (United) and Detroit (Delta Air Lines).

Public transit

Intercity bus service is available from downtown Binghamton via Greyhound (with destinations including Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Scranton, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City.) Shortline/Coach USA also serves the region, with daily departures to Olean, Albany, Oneonta, Elmira, Waverly, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Utica, Atlantic City, Monticello and New York City.

Public transportation in Binghamton and outlying areas is served by B.C. Transit, a service of the Broome County Department of Transportation. Students at Binghamton University are also served by OCCT (Off-Campus College Transport).

Railroads

Binghamton is served by four freight railroads: Norfolk Southern Railway serves Binghamton with its Southern Tier Main Line (former Erie, Erie-Lackawanna,and Conrail mainline); Canadian Pacific Railway serves Binghamton with its Delaware & Hudson subsidiary Montreal PQ-Harrisburg PA Main Line (former Delaware and Hudson Railway); the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway serves Binghamton as part of its Binghamton to Syracuse and Binghamton to Utica lines and the Central New York Railroad (owned by the NYS&W) serves Binghamton with its Binghamton-Port Jervis NY Main Line (former Erie and Conrail line).

Binghamton has no railroad passenger service. The last scheduled service, New York (Hoboken) to Chicago operated by the now defunct Erie Lackawanna Railroad, ended in January 1970.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for passenger rail service between Binghamton and New York City via Scranton and the Lackawanna Cutoff.[18]

River crossings

Two large rivers, the Susquehanna, and its tributary, the Chenango, cut through the city and metropolitan area. This necessitates spans across these rivers to connect the city's various neighborhoods. These rivers are not navigable in the Binghamton area except by pleasure boats.

Chenango River crossings

Traveling north from the Chenango's confluence with the Susquehanna, are seven bridges, these include; the Veteran's Memorial Bridge (Riverside Drive Bridge), Court Street Bridge, Clinton Street Bridge, the two Norfolk Southern Rail Bridges, the I-81/NY-7 bridge and the Bevier Street Bridge.

Susquehanna River crossings

Washington St. Bridge (pedestrian only), State St. Bridge (Route 434 connect), Exchange St. Bridge, Tompkins St. Bridge, Railroad Bridge (Canadian Pacific)

Important regional highways and roads

Two Interstate Highways run through the area:

22px Interstate 81

  • I-81 is a north-south route that runs from near Dandridge, Tennessee north to its northern terminus on Wellesley Island (near Fishers Landing, New York) at the Canadian border. Interstate 81 passes through the central and southeastern part of the City of Binghamton. Opened in the early 1960s, I-81 replaced US 11 as the main north-south route through Binghamton. (It was called the "Penn-Can Highway" when it was opened but this name didn't stick).

25px Interstate 88 (Senator Warren M. Anderson Expressway/Susquehanna Expressway)

  • I-88's western terminus is at I-81 northeast of the city and travels to Albany. Construction of I-88 began in the early 1970s and was completed in 1989. I-88 replaced New York State Route 7 as the main route between Binghamton and Albany.

FUTURE 22px Interstate 86

  • I-86 is an upgrade of the existing New York State Route 17. Known as the Southern Tier Expressway and Quickway (split by Interstate 81 at Binghamton, New York), the route will connect Interstate 90 near Erie, Pennsylvania, with Interstate 87 (New York State Thruway) near Harriman, New York.

One US Highway runs through the area:

22px U.S. Route 11

  • US 11 runs from eastern New Orleans, Louisiana to its northern terminus at the Canadian border in Rouses Point, New York. US 11 is a north-south route through the central and southeastern part of the city. The general route of this road has existed since the early 1800s, it was named "US 11" when it was first paved in the 1920s and 1930s with financial assistance from the Federal government. Prior to that, it was known as the "Syracuse Road" or the "Scranton Road" depending on what direction the Binghamton traveler was taking. US 11 was replaced by I-81 as the main north-south route in the Binghamton area in the early 1960s.

New York State Routes:

22px New York State Route 17 (Southern Tier Expressway/Quickway)

  • NY 17 is the major east-west route through the area. It was constructed in the early 1970s because the original Route 17 (now State Route 434) and Route 17C were inadequate to handle the increasing car traffic, and particularly the increasing truck traffic, of the 1950s and 1960s.
  • FUTURE 22px Interstate 86

25px New York State Route 17C

  • NY 17C travels west to east into Binghamton from Waverly along Main Street, terminating at U.S. Route 11 where Main Street intersects Front Street. NY 17C roughly follows the route of the original early 1800s road on the north side of the Susquehanna River which was based on an Indian trail.

25px New York State Route 201

  • NY 201 is a north-south state highway west of the city of Binghamton in Broome County, New York. The southern terminus of the route is at NY 434 in Vestal while its northern terminus is just past NY 17 (future Interstate 86) at Harry L. Drive in Johnson City.

25px New York State Route 363 (North Shore Drive)

  • a north-south limited-access highway in Binghamton that links NY 434 at its southern terminus with New York State Route 7 at its northern terminus.

25px New York State Route 434 (Vestal Parkway)

  • NY 434 is the former route of NY 17 prior to the construction of the Southern Tier Expressway, which NY 434 parallels. NY 434 roughly follows the route of the original early 1800s road on the south side of the Susquehanna River which was based on an Indian trail.

Points of interest

  • Cutler Botanic Garden
  • Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
  • Fewer than 170 antique carousels remain in the United States and Canada, six (on the New York State Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places) are in Broome County, with two of them in Binghamton
  • Rod Serling Museum
  • Roberson Museum and Science Center
  • Phelps Mansion Museum
  • Clinton Street Antique Row
  • NYSEG Stadium
  • Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
  • Discovery Centers
  • The Bundy Arts and Victorian Museum

Notable residents

Downtown at Night (From Observation Lounge of State Office Building)

Binghamton in Media

  • The Twilight Zone Mentioned and shown in various episodes. Rod Serling's home address in Binghamton was used in the episode "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar". Serling was famously fond of the city and based the Twilight Zone episode "Walking Distance" on the carousel near his childhood home. A plaque placed in the ground near the carousel commemorates this and there is a plaque commemorating Serling in front of the Binghamton High School on Main Street.
  • Liebestraum This motion picture was filmed in many locations in and around Binghamton, particular utilizing the Perry Block, a building with a cast-iron facade. Binghamton has one of the last remaining examples of such architecture downtown.
  • Inside Deep Throat
  • Death Wish 3 Paul Kersey's girlfriend's sister is from Binghamton.
  • Rounders A poker game is played here, not filmed here.
  • Mystery Alaska At the end of the movie, it is stated by a character, "I'm not going to the New York Rangers right away. They're sending me to Binghamton, which is like the AHL."
  • The Sopranos In season six, Christopher Moltisanti's mistress is from Binghamton.
  • X-Files In season 2, the episode "Colony", Mulder and Scully briefly track a killer through Binghamton, stopping at the fictional "Globe and Mail" local newspaper office. Also, in season 9, Monica Reyes' new Georgetown apartment address of 67 Bennett Avenue was actually Rod Serling's home address in Binghamton.
  • 7th Heaven Binghamton is mentioned by the Reverend when a visitor comes to town. He says "Binghamton my Binghamton?"
  • The King of Queens - In the episode "Tube Stakes", Carrie is asking Arthur if he remembers a college guy she used to date when she was 16 and Arthur responds, "Oh, yes. Russell from SUNY Binghamton." Also, Victor Williams who plays Deacon on the show graduated from Binghamton University in 92'.
  • Law & Order Mentioned and shown in various episodes of all the Law & Order shows.
  • Pardon The Interruption Tony Kornhiser went to Binghamton University and is often heard mentioning the school's basketball team.
  • A scene in an episode of Seinfield was taken in Downtown Binghamton (yet to be verified by credible source).
  • The pregame fight in Slapshot is based on a real story that took place on January 16, 1975 in Binghamton, NY when the Syracuse Blazers and Broome Dusters had a 30-minute pregame brawl.
  • The music video for the latest single from Taylor Swift was filmed in Binghamton. The song is entitled Back to December.
  • A large portion of the international web series Pioneer One was filmed in Binghamton.
  • Alphas - Season 1, Episode 2. Original air date 18 July 2011 on the Syfy network. The show was based on an escaped mental patient from the Binghamton Mental Hospital.
  • Alphas - Season 1, Episode 3. Original air date 25 July 2011. The team was trying to catch a riot inciting teen so that he could be sent to the Binghamton Mental Hospital for treatment.
  • The Office - The episode "Turf War" focuses on the closing of the Binghamton branch of Sabre. Jim, Andy, and Dwight visit a Binghamton business to woo them as a potential client.[19]

Binghamton in Books

  • A History of the Binghamton Slovaks, by Imrich Mazar: A chronicle of one of Binghamton's largest ethnic populations.
  • From Vision to Excellence: A Popular History of Binghamton University, by Karen T. Hammond: Although Hammond's book focuses on the SUNY campus, it also provides interesting information on the city of Binghamton.
  • Binghamton (Images of America), by Ed Aswad and Suzanne M. Meredith: A photographic history. There are several companion books dealing with IBM, Endicott, Johnson City, and baseball and hockey in Broome County.
  • A Mind of Summer, by Erik Grayson: Includes Tales of Three Cities, a short oral history of the greater Binghamton area.
  • Diary of a Binghamton boy in the 1860s, by Morris Treadwell: Early Binghamton through the eyes of a young boy.
  • "Victorian Pride Forgotten Songs of Central New York", by Diane Janowski, New York History Review Press. Includes 5 songs written in, or about Binghamton.
  • Partners All: A History of Broome County, New York, by Gerald R. Smith.
  • Working Lives, Broome County, New York, 1800 1930: A Social History of People at Work in Our Region, by Ross McGuire.
  • Broome County Heritage: An Illustrated History, by Lawrence Bothwell.
  • Broome County: A Contemporary Portrait, by Karen Hammond, Suzanne M. Meredith, Kirk Van Zandbergen, and Leslie Van Zandbergen.
  • Actual Conversations With Myself, by Jeff Orlick. Includes many chapters based in and around the city of Binghamton and Binghamton University.
  • Reflections On My Dirty Dog Days, by Dene Farrell. Discusses childhood adventures in Binghamton and neighboring Johnson City.
  • A Picture Post-Card History of New York's Broome County Area Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott, Owego, and Surrounding Communities, published by the Kiwanis Club of Binghamton
  • "Tastes and Tales of New York's Southern Tier". Profiles of Binghamton area restaurants and other food related businesses by Paul VanSavage, Suzanne M. Meredith and Ed Aswad.
  • "Drunkard's Refuge: The Lessons of the New York State Inebriate Asylum". Provides a history of the nation's first mental health facility to treat alcoholism as a disease (located on the grounds of the current Binghamton Psychiatric Center). The site of the facility is on the National Endangered Properties List.[20] Written by John W. Crowley and William L. White.
  • The Fear of Being Found. A collection of poems partially set in Binghamton. Written by Erin Elizabeth Smith.
  • "The Dark Paper Series" Five antholgies (horror and otherwise)written by local author Waldo Tomosky http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004WJ6OOG
  • "Joe and the Vinegar Pissers" A book written by Waldo Tomosky centers on local youth in the 1940s who spend their time terrorizing their parents and the local fire chief. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0059W29N0
  • "Going with the Pitch: Adjusting to Baseball, School, and Life as a Division I College Athlete" - http://www.amazon.com/Going-Pitch-Adjusting-Baseball-Division/dp/1460919890. Book focuses on Ken Jacobi's college baseball experience while playing at Binghamton University.
  • "The Night Eternal" Several characters stop for gas in Binghamton. A novel written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

Home to the Binghamton metropolitan area is UFC fighter Jon "Bones" Jones, from Endicott, New York (A village, and a suburb native to Binghamton). He currently holds the title as the Light Heavy Weight champion.

Sister cities

  • Borovichi, Novgorod Oblast, Russia
  • La Teste-de-Buch, Aquitaine, France
  • El Charc n, La Libertad, El Salvador

References

External links

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