Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Albany is one of the first cities in the world to have installed public water mains, sewer lines, natural gas lines and electricity, infrastructure and utilities that attracted and supported substantial new industry to the city and surrounding area during the 19th century. In the 20th century, the city opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, the precursor of today’s Albany International Airport.
Albany has been a center of higher education for over a century, with much of the remainder of its economy dependent on state government and health care services. The city has rebounded from the urban decline of the 1970s and 1980s, with noticeable development taking place in the city’s downtown and midtown neighborhoods. Albany is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education.
Albany has more than 60 public parks and recreation areas. Washington Park was organized as the Middle Public Square in 1806. Its current location has been public property since the Dongan Charter of 1686 gave the city title to all property not privately owned. Washington Park was designed by John Bogart and John Cuyler in 1870., and opened for public use the following year. Other parks in Albany include Lincoln Park, Buckingham Park, the Corning Preserve, and the Pine Bush.
Albany is located in the humid continental climate zone and has cold, snowy winters, and hot, wet summers; the city experiences four distinct seasons.