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Syracuse: Economy

Syracuse: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Syracuse is a major commercial, industrial, and transportation center for the Northeast. The economy is highly diversified; this enabled the city to weather a recession in 2001. While manufacturing remains significant to the local market, the service industry is experiencing record growth. Sub-sectors leading the trend include call centers, finance, education services and retail trade.

Syracuse has been recognized as an excellent place to work and live; its Cost of Doing Business Index is sixth-lowest in the nation at 87.7 (a score of 100 is average), and Expansion Management magazine listed Syracuse among the country's top 50 cities for business relocation and expansion. Recent studies indicate Syracuse is leading the state in job growth.

Items and goods produced: automotive components, air conditioning and heating equipment, medical instruments, pharmaceuticals, military electronics, specialty metals, telecommunication devices

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

A range of state, county and municipal programs are available to new and expanding businesses in the Syracuse area.

Local programs

The City of Syracuse offers tax exemptions and permanent low-cost financing, loans up to $10,000 for high-risk startups and $50,000 for specific projects, and regulatory or technical assistance. The Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce provides a variety of services from business startup advice to government lobbying. The Chamber also manages the Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation, a private, not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to new and expanding businesses. The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency has invested more than $1 billion on 190 projects since 1970, creating or retaining nearly 30,000 jobs in the region. Its municipal counterpart, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, finances manufacturing, research, commercial, industrial or pollution control projects within city limits. The Urban Business Opportunity Center provides entrepreneurial training and loans up to $10,000 for women- and minority-owned small businesses in financial need. Syracuse Technology Garden is a newcomer to the field of economic development and acts as an incubator for high-tech startups. Successful applicants receive mentorship and networking, access to venture capital, and state-of-the-art office space. The Samuel W. Williams, Jr. Business Center has provided similar incubator services to small business since 1986; more than two dozen local companies call it home.

State programs

The State of New York offers financing for new or expanding businesses to acquire land or capital, improve infrastructure, increase exports, or enhance productivity. Various incentives include loans and grants, interest rate subsidies, and low cost utilities. New York State's Empire Zone program provides special assistance to companies relocating or expanding in specific areas; two of the state's Empire Zones are found in the Syracuse region. Successful applicants in an Empire Zone may pay no state sales taxes for 10 years and can also receive wage tax or investment tax credits. The Central New York Enterprise Development Fund supports small manufacturing and service companies by providing working capital and fixed asset loans up to $100,000; commercial loan guarantees for up to $160,000 are also available. The New York Job Development Authority provides funding to local economic development agencies for re-lending.

Job training programs

New York's Empire State Development Corporation provides up to half the cost of a work-force training project, reimbursement for training programs that create or retain at least 300 jobs, and opportunities for on-the-job training in new skills and technologies. The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency provides matching grants up to $12,500 to train production or first-line supervisory staff. CNY Works is a federally-funded organization that arranges educational programs for incumbent, underemployed and unemployed workers. Onondaga Community College works with local employers to develop specialized training programs to meet specific needs. Dozens of local universities, colleges, vocational and technical schools offer training in a variety of professional disciplines.

Development Projects

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in June 2005 for the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems headquarters, a $25.5 million project designed to create jobs and promote investment in the Central New York region. The 60,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in spring 2007. Syracuse University (SU) will renovate the former Dunk & Bright warehouse at Armory Square into a multi-use space; plans call for community art gallery, auditorium and classroom space. SU has also announced plans to build a three mile "Connective Corridor" linking the campus with downtown's entertainment, arts and cultural venues; $4.5 million in public and private funding has been committed. University Hospital is expected to complete a $35 million children's hospital in 2006. Crouse Hospital is in the planning stages for a new $30 million operating room suite. The $3.25 million Syracuse Technology Garden, a business incubator for high-tech startups, was completed in 2004. Syracuse Research Corp. is undergoing a $1.3 million, 16,000-square-foot expansion of headquarters in order to employ 65 new engineers. The Inner Harbor project, adapting the old barge canal terminal for recreational use, remains in the planning stages.

Economic Development Information: Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, 572 Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13202-3320; telephone (315)470-1800; fax (315)471-8545

Commercial Shipping

Syracuse's strategic central location and well developed transportation network, including road, water, rail, and air services, make it a distribution hub for the Northeast. More than 50 percent of U.S. and Canadian manufacturing establishments are located within a 750-mile radius. Syracuse is located at the junction of two major interstate highways, east/west I-90 and north/south I-81. More than 150 trucking companies service the area, including the top 12 general freight carriers in the nation. CSX provides direct rail service to a number of Northeastern markets with more than 70 trains per week. Six major air freight companies operate out of Syracuse Hancock International Airport, as well as a variety of regional carriers. The Port of Oswego and the New York Barge Canal system provide water access to the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Hudson River. The Syracuse area is a foreign trade zone.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Greater Syracuse offers a pool of educated, productive and affordable employees. Although Syracuse's employment rate is growing faster than any other city in upstate New York, approximately 75,000 qualified workers have been identified as underemployed, representing a large selection of potential hires. Over the next few years Syracuse is expected to transition from a manufacturing center to a services and knowledge-based economy.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Syracuse metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 317,900

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 12,300

manufacturing: 33,100

trade, transportation and utilities: 64,800

information: 7,000

financial activities: 17,300

professional and business services: 33,800

educational and health services: 53,400

leisure and hospitality: 26,400

other services: 12,600

government: 56,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.29 (statewide, 2004)

Unemployment rate: 4.6% (April 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
SUNY Upstate Medical University 6,305
Syracuse University 4,640
Wegmans 3,775
New Process Gear Inc. 3,400
St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center 3,365
P & C Food Markets 2,500
Lockheed Martin 2,300
Crouse Hospital 2,200
Loretto 2,115
Niagara Mohawk A National Grid Co. 2,010

Cost of Living

Parenting Magazine lists Syracuse among the nation's top 10 small cities in which to raise a child, based on affordable housing, a strong economy, good schools, low crime, and a clean environment. The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Syracuse area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $230,914

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 96.3 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 4%6.85%

State sales tax rate: 4%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 4%

Property tax rate: $34.836 per $1,000 of assessment

Economic Information: New York State Department of Labor, 677 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202; telephone (315)479-3390

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Syracuse: Recreation

Syracuse: Recreation

Sightseeing

Those interested in architecture are advised to take a stroll through downtown Syracuse for an opportunity to see the imposing Hotel Syracuse as well as fine old churches and other structures. Columbus Circle contains a statue of the explorer. Syracuse Urban Cultural Park downtown highlights the city's past as a transportation center through interpretive signs. The Parke Avery House, a mid-nineteenth century residence built by the salt baron whose name it bears, hosts various events and exhibits throughout the year. The old Syracuse Savings Bank building was designed by prominent architect Joseph L. Silsbee in Gothic Revival style; other structures of note express Art Deco, Queen Anne and Neoclassical motifs. Hanover Square was the site of the original village well and the city's first commercial district; today it is a National Historic District featuring a variety of nineteenth century buildings.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is open year-round and very popular with visitors to Syracuse. The zoo displays about one thousand domestic and exotic animals in simulations of their natural settings, including the $3.7 million "Penguin Coast" exhibit which opened in June 2005 and features a breeding group of endangered Humboldt penguins. Special exhibits trace animal history through the ages.

Onondaga Park, an historic landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to incorporate landscape and architecture, features a gazebo and a Fire House. Boat tours down the Erie Canal and tram trips along the shore of Onondaga Lake are also available.

The Bristol Omnitheater at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) is the only IMAX Domed Theater in New York State; MOST is central New York's largest hands-on science center. Museum-goers can navigate through a human cell, discover the underlying faults of earthquakes, learn about the rhythms of the human body, and visit the Space Gallery.

Arts and Culture

The performing arts are very much alive in Syracuse, which boasts Broadway-quality entertainment at a fraction of the price. The focal point of this activity is the John H. Mulroy Civic Center, said to be the first building complex in the western hemisphere to combine a performing arts center with a government complex. The center houses three theaters and is home to the Syracuse Opera Company, which stages three productions a year as well as community out-reach and education programs, and to the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, whose ambitious 39-week season encompasses classics and pops, dance performances, a family series, and a concert series featuring works by minority composers and artists. The Syracuse Area Landmark Theatre, opened in 1928 and described as an "Indo-Persian fantasy palace," was saved from demolition and refurbished in 1975; it hosts performances by popular entertainers and Broadway touring companies. The Regent Theatre Complex, which contains an infrared lighting system for the hearing impaired, is home to Syracuse Stage, Central New York's only professional theatre group. Syracuse Stage shows seven plays and one children's touring production each year; actors, designers, directors, and technicians from Broadway and other professional theaters across the country are recruited to work on the performances. The Regent Theatre Complex is also home to the Syracuse University Drama Department. The forty thousand-seat Carrier Dome at Syracuse University showcases internationally known musical performers, as does the smaller War Memorial. Salt City Center for the Performing Arts presents a year-round season of musicals, drama, and comedies, as well as adult and children's classes.

Syracuse is home to a number of distinctive art and historical museums. The Everson Museum of Art, designed by I. M. Pei, houses American nineteenth and twentieth century paintings, sculptures and prints, and one of the nation's finest collections of ceramic art. Syracuse University's Lowe Art Gallery features a large permanent collection of modern art. LeMoyne College's Wilson Art Gallery, located at the college library, offers various exhibits throughout the year. The Erie Canal Museum, located in the country's only remaining weighlock building, features interactive exhibits as well as a 65-foot canal boat. Open Hand Theater's International Mask and Puppet Museum is housed in an 1890 castle. Onondaga Lake Parkway contains the Salt Museum, including a reconstructed 1856 boiling block, and Sainte Marie among the Iroquois, a recreation of the original French Jesuit settlement, now a living-history museum. The Onondaga Historical Association provides local and regional history through a series of changing exhibits. In all there are more than forty museums and galleries in the Syracuse area.

Festivals and Holidays

Syracuse is home to the New York State Fair, the oldest state fair in the country. Featuring agriculture and livestock competitions, an International Horse Show, business and industrial exhibits, and tractor pulls, this 10-day event attracts more than a million people from across the Northeast each year. It takes place at the end of August.

The Syracuse Polish Festival takes place in June, as well as the Taste of Syracuse Festival, a two-day event featuring dollar samples from Syracuse's finest restaurants and continuous entertainment on three stages. Juneteenth honors the end of slavery in the United States. Other cultural festivals in Syracuse include the Jewish Music and Cultural Festival, the Bavarian Festival, the Irish Festival, La Festa Italiana and Oktoberfest.

Musical events in Syracuse include the M & T Jazz Fest in June, the NYS Rhythm and Blues Festival in July, and the CNYBA Apple Valley Bluegrass Festival in July.

Sports for the Spectator

Spectator sports in Syracuse center around the Carrier Dome, a $27 million domed complex completed in 1980 where the Syracuse University Orangemen play lacrosse, football and basketball. The dome is also the scene of the Empire State Games and other amateur sports competitions. LeMoyne College supports 16 NCAA varsity sports teams, while Onondaga Community College hosts NJCAA athletic events.

The Syracuse Sky Chiefs, a minor league affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, compete at the 12,000-seat P & C Stadium from April to mid-September. The Syracuse Crunch Hockey Team, an American Hockey League affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, plays in the War Memorial arena. Baseball fans in Syracuse may enjoy side trips to Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

South of Syracuse, auto racing fans are entertained at the Watkins Glen International. Onondaga Lake is the scene of various rowing competitions.

Sports for the Participant

Lakes, rivers, and sporting clubs in the Syracuse area offer abundant opportunities for fishing, boating, rafting, camping, swimming, and hunting. More than 50 parks and nature areas are located in Syracuse, providing facilities for baseball, tennis, swimming, skating, and golf. Several ski facilities and at least 40 golf courses are located in the region.

Shopping and Dining

Syracuse's newest mall is the Carousel Center overlooking Onandaga Lake. It features 170 shops, 13 eateries, five sit-down restaurants and a 12-screen cinema. It also has a fully restored 1909 antique carousel that gives the mall its name and invokes the days when the area was famed for the fine quality and craftsmanship of its carousels. The centerpiece project of downtown Syracuse's revitalization, the Galleries of Syracuse, houses approximately 80 high quality stores. The Armory Square Historic District, a few blocks away, is also a popular place to browse with a variety of shops, galleries and pubs. The Shoppingtown Mall, with 140 stores, and the Great Northern Mall, with 125 stores, are also major shopping destinations. The Downtown Farmers' Market, open Tuesdays from June to mid-October, features fresh produce from growers and dealers. There are more than 400 restaurants in the Syracuse area, including 20 fine dining establishments.

Visitor Information: Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau, 572 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202-3320; telephone (315)470-1910; toll-free (800)234-4797

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Syracuse: Education and Research

Syracuse: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The City of Syracuse School District is administered by a superintendent appointed by a seven-member policy-making Board of Education. In 2004, the school board and the municipal government announced a $665 million district-wide renovation project, which will modernize all Syracuse schools within the next 10 years. The district was also awarded $14 million in federal funding to bring Internet access to each of its facilities.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Syracuse public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 22,455

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 21

middle schools: 9

senior high schools: 4

other: 5

Student/teacher ratio: 13.5:1

Teacher salaries

average: $44,176

Funding per pupil: $11,074

Public Schools Information: Syracuse City School District, 725 Harrison Street, Syracuse, NY 13210; telephone (315)435-4499

Colleges and Universities

The Greater Syracuse Region boasts 44 private and state colleges with a combined enrollment of 215,000. Syracuse University attracts students from all 50 states and a number of other countries; its 13 schools and colleges offer a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. LeMoyne College offers 24 different undergraduate majors in a Catholic and Jesuit tradition, and has been recognized as the fourth-best liberal arts college in the Northeast. SUNY Upstate Medical University offers degrees in medicine, nursing and other health professions; together with Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, it forms a student hub known as University Hill. Nearby two-year colleges include Bryant & Stratton Business Institute, Onondaga Community College and Cayuga Community College.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Onondaga County Public Library system consists of a central location, eight city branches and two community satellites with an annual circulation of 1.5 million titles. Central Library moved to its present location in the downtown Galleries of Syracuse in 1988; its main entrance features the "Browse-About," a 12,000-square-foot bookstore-like layout. The library offers branch-to-branch deliveries, family literacy programming, and a 24-hour reference service.

The Erie Canal Museum maintains a collection of artifacts, books and photographs about canal life. The Onondaga Historical Association maintains one of the largest regional history collections in the nation. Onondaga County's Supreme Court Law Library is located in Syracuse. Area colleges, universities, and corporations also maintain libraries.

Research in a variety of areas is carried out by universities and private companies in Syracuse. Syracuse University research units focus on digital commerce, computer and software engineering, cancer, gerontology, public policy and psychology. State University of New York sponsors research through the College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the Health Science Center. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company's Industrial Division maintains a pharmaceutical research facility. Other research sites in the city conduct research on cancer treatment and on industrial issues.

Public Library Information: Onondaga County Public Library, The Galleries of Syracuse, 447 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202-2494; telephone (315)435-1800

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Syracuse: History

Syracuse: History

Location Favorable for Saltworks, Transportation

In 1570, attracted in part by the naturally occurring brine springs on Lake Onondaga, Chief Hiawatha chose the village of the Onondaga Nation as the capital of the Iroquois Confederacy. In 1658 the French built Fort Sainte Marie de Gannentaha on the lake shore but abandoned it two years later because of Native American hostility. Pioneers who arrived in the late 1700s established saltworks, starting an industry that thrived for nearly 100 years; for many years most of the salt used in the country came from this area. At the same time, Thomas Wiard began making wooden plows, and the region began to prosper. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1819 and the arrival of the railroad in the late 1830s brought new industries, further spurring economic growth. Over the years the community went by a succession of names; when it was incorporated as a village in 1825, the name Syracuse was chosen after an ancient Sicilian town that also lay near salt springs.

In 1851 Syracuse was the scene of what came to be known as the Jerry Rescue when Jerry, a slave who had escaped 30 years earlier, was reclaimed by his former master. He was freed from jail by a band of abolitionists, who smuggled him into Canada. When Charles Dickens visited Syracuse in 1869 he described it as "a most wonderful out-of-the-world place, which looks as if it had begun to be built yesterday, and were going to be imperfectly knocked together with a nail or two the day after tomorrow."

City Responds to Twentieth-Century Challenges

By the early 1900s the salt brine springs of Onondaga Lake were depleted and salt production in the city once known as "Salt City" declined. Talented inventors emerged, helping build Syracuse's manufacturing legacy; their creations included the first air-cooled engine in the world, the first synthetic penicillin, the first loafer, and the Brannock Device for measuring feet. Post World War II, an influx of GIs to Syracuse University created a need for affordable housing and prompted a trend towards moving to the suburbs. The creation of the Interstate Highway System replaced the railroad as a primary means of transportation and accelerated suburban growth. Renewal programs begun in the 1960s have since revitalized the downtown area, which has become Central New York State's primary commercial center as well as the area's center for entertainment and cultural activities. Syracuse is well poised to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century; a diversified market structure protects the city as it moves from manufacturing towards a knowledge- and service-based economy.

Historical Information: Onondaga Historical Association, 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202; telephone (315)428-1862

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Syracuse: Communications

Syracuse: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The major daily newspaper in Syracuse is the morning The Post-Standard, with a circulation of 400,000. The area is also served by more than a dozen weekly newspapers, including News for You, a literary newspaper, Nor'easter Leadership News, published by the Presbyterian Church, and the Syracuse New Times, a tabloid highlighting area arts and entertainment. Magazines published in Syracuse include Agway Cooperator (for farm cooperatives), The Business Record, Central New York Business Journal, the ecology journal Clearwaters, Dairynews, and the quarterly American Journal of Mathematical & Management Sciences.

Television and Radio

Syracuse television viewers are served by four national networks and one public station. Cable service is available through Time Warner. Nineteen AM and FM radio stations cover the broadcast spectrum.

Media Information: The Post-Standard, PO Box 4915, Syracuse, NY 13221; telephone (315)470-0011

Syracuse Online

City of Syracuse home page. Available www.syracuse.ny.us

Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. Available www.syracusechamber.com

New York State Education Department. Available www.emsc.nysed.gov

Onondaga County Public Library. Available www.onlib.org

Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.visitsyracuse.org

Syracuse Online. Available www.syracuse.com

Selected Bibliography

Beauchamp, William Martin, Past and Present of Syracuse and Onondaga County, New York, From Prehistoric Times to the Beginning of 1908 (New York, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing, 1908)

Bernardi, Roy A., Fred Wilson, Kevin Wilson, and Charles F. Wainwright. Greater Syracuse: Center of an Empire (Towery Publishing, 1998)

Bruce, Dwight H. (Dwight Hall), Memorial History of Syracuse, N.Y., From Its Settlement to the Present Time (Syracuse, N.Y.: H.P. Smith & Co., 1891)

Chase, Franklin Henry, Syracuse and Its Environs: A History (New York and Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1924)

Hand, Marcus Christian, From a Forest to a City. Personal Reminiscences of Syracuse, N.Y. (Syracuse: Masters & Stone, 1889)

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Syracuse: Population Profile

Syracuse: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 722,865

1990: 742,237

2000: 732,117

Percent change, 19902000: -1.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 53rd

U.S. rank in 1990: 57th

U.S. rank in 2000: 60th

City Residents

1980: 170,105

1990: 163,860

2000: 147,306

2003 estimate: 144,001

Percent change, 19902000: -10.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 86th

U.S. rank in 1990: 106th

U.S. rank in 2000: 160th

Density: 5,892.2 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 94,663

Black or African American: 37,336

American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,670

Asian: 4,961

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 72

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 7,768

Other: 3,284

Percent of residents born in state: 71.6% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 10,209

Population 5 to 9 years old: 10,929

Population 10 to 14 years old: 10,129

Population 15 to 19 years old: 13,356

Population 20 to 24 years old: 16,874

Population 25 to 34 years old: 21,349

Population 35 to 44 years old: 19,795

Population 45 to 54 years old: 16,134

Population 55 to 59 years old: 5,358

Population 60 to 64 years old: 4,225

Population 65 to 74 years old: 8,507

Population 75 to 84 years old: 7,527

Population 85 years and older: 2,914

Median age: 30.5 years

Births (2002, Onondaga County)

Total number: 5,627

Deaths (2002, Onondaga County)

Total number: 4,125 (of which, 51 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $15,168

Median household income: $25,000

Total households: 59,568

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 12,718

$10,000 to $14,999: 6,288

$15,000 to $24,999: 10,778

$25,000 to $34,999: 7,957

$35,000 to $49,999: 8,351

$50,000 to $74,999: 7,195

$75,000 to $99,999: 3,315

$100,000 to $149,999: 2,027

$150,000 to $199,999: 400

$200,000 or more: 539

Percent of families below poverty level: 21.7% (64.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 9,791

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Syracuse: Health Care

Syracuse: Health Care

Syracuse has one of the lowest hospitalization rates in the nation, thanks to an efficient local health care system. Almost 1,500 physicians and 6,000 registered nurses serve the population of Syracuse and Onondaga County. More than 2,000 inpatient beds are available in five hospitals.

Crouse Hospital is a not-for-profit facility with 576 beds, including a 51-bed neonatal intensive care unit. It also offers high-risk maternity care, pediatric services, cardiac care and the region's only substance abuse program. It is currently undergoing a renovation of its Intensive Care and Dialysis Units with completion expected in 2006. Community General Hospital operates 306 acute-care beds and 50 nursing care beds; in addition to medical, surgical and emergency care it also runs three specialty centers dedicated to wound care, breast health and sleep. St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center is Syracuse's busiest hospital based on patient volume; it offers emergency and intensive care, ambulatory surgery, dialysis, mental health programs, maternity care and rehabilitation. University Hospital operates four Centers of Excellence in Oncology, Pediatrics, Neuroscience and Cardiovascular Health; it is the region's only teaching hospital. Syracuse VA Medical Center offers acute medical and surgical services, a variety of specialty services and short-term nursing care. Psychiatric care is offered at Hutchings Psychiatric Center and Benjamin Rush Center.

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Syracuse

Syracuse

Syracuse: Introduction
Syracuse: Geography and Climate
Syracuse: History
Syracuse: Population Profile
Syracuse: Municipal Government
Syracuse: Economy
Syracuse: Education and Research
Syracuse: Health Care
Syracuse: Recreation
Syracuse: Convention Facilities
Syracuse: Transportation
Syracuse: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1805 (chartered, 1848)

Head Official: Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll (D) (since 2001)

City Population

1980: 170,105

1990: 163,860

2000: 147,306

2003 estimate: 144,001

Percent change, 19902000: -10.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 86th

U.S. rank in 1990: 106th

U.S. rank in 2000: 160th

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 722,865

1990: 742,237

2000: 732,117

Percent change, 19902000: -1.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 53rd

U.S. rank in 1990: 57th

U.S. rank in 2000: 60th

Area: 25 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 414 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 47.4° F Average Annual Precipitation: 36 inches total; 114 inches snowfall

Major Economic Sectors: Services, trade, government, manufacturing

Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $15,168 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 9,791

Major Colleges and Universities: Syracuse University; LeMoyne College

Daily Newspaper: The Post Standard

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Syracuse: Convention Facilities

Syracuse: Convention Facilities

Syracuse boasts a range of convention and meeting facilities. Over the last five years the city has hosted an annual average of 125,000 delegates from a variety of groups, from the American Baptist Churches to the National Roller Skating Association. Downtown's Oncenter Complex includes a 208,000-square-foot convention hall, a 6,200-seat arena, several performing arts theatres and a parking complex; in 2003 it hosted 32 trade shows and 26 conventions. Meeting rooms are available at Syracuse University's Carrier Dome while the arena itself is suited for large rallies and concerts. The Marx-Radisson offers 9,000 square feet of meeting space including presentation technology and catering. Most other meeting facilities can be found in three areas of the city: the Carrier Circle area (Thruway Exit 35), the 7th North Street/Buckley Road Area (Thruway Exits 36 and 37), and the Downtown/University Area. More than 6,200 hotel rooms are located in Greater Syracuse.

Convention Information: Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau, 572 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202-3320; telephone (315)470-1910; toll-free (800)234-4797

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Syracuse: Geography and Climate

Syracuse: Geography and Climate

Syracuse is located in the center of New York State on the south shore of Lake Ontario in a region of rolling hills, flat plains, lakes, and streams. The salt springs discovered there when Native Americans first settled the area have since disappeared. The city itself lies on a rise at the south end of Onondaga Lake. During the nineteenth century, Syracuse was important for its location as a port at the junction of the Oswego and Erie canals. Syracuse enjoys a four-season climate with marked seasonal changes. Cold air masses from the Great Lakes make for cold, snowy winters. During the summer and parts of spring and autumn, temperatures rise rapidly in the daytime and fall rapidly after sunset, so the nights are relatively cool. Excessively warm spells are rare and precipitation is well distributed throughout the year.

Area: 25 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 414 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 24° F; July, 71° F; annual average, 47.4° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 36 inches total; 114 inches snowfall

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Syracuse (city, United States)

Syracuse (sĬr´əkyōōs, sĕr´–), city (1990 pop. 163,860), seat of Onondaga co., central N.Y., on Onondaga Lake and the Erie Canal; settled c.1788, inc. as a city 1848. It is a port of entry, and its many manufactures include electrical and electronic equipment, automobile and aircraft parts, chinaware, shoes, machinery, and pharmaceuticals. Salt springs were discovered there in 1654. Saltmaking, the city's chief industry until after the Civil War, declined under competition. However, Syracuse's location on the Erie Canal (opened there in 1819) and on rail lines stimulated industry. The city is the seat of Syracuse Univ., Le Moyne College, and the State Univ. of New York Upstate Medical Univ. Cultural facilities include the Everson Museum of Art, a salt museum, and an Erie Canal museum. An annual state fair has been held there since 1841. Nearby is Hancock International Airport, the Onondaga Reservation, and New York's first modern casino, run by the Oneidas. Recreational lakes and streams are abundant in the area.

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Syracuse: Transportation

Syracuse: Transportation

Approaching the City

Syracuse Hancock International Airport, located minutes from the downtown area, serves more than 200 passenger flights daily on 8 major airlines and 4 commuter lines.

Two major four-lane highways intersect Syracuse. Interstate 81, a north-south route, passes through the center of the city. Interstate 90 (the New York State Thruway), an east-west route, crosses Interstate 81 a mile north of the city.

Amtrak provides passenger rail service. Greyhound, Onondaga Coach, Syracuse & Oswego and Trailways provide intercity and interstate bus travel.

Traveling in the City

The downtown business district is bounded by Interstate 81 and Interstate 690 and is easily accessible by car. CENTRO, described as one of the nation's best mid-sized transit systems, provides bus service throughout the city on 24 routes. It also operates Call-a-Bus services for the elderly and disabled.

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Syracuse: Introduction

Syracuse: Introduction

Syracuse, once the capital of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy under Chief Hiawatha, is located in the heart of New York State. The city's strategic central location and well developed transportation network have earned it the nickname "Crossroads of New York State." An important industrial and commercial hub, Syracuse also boasts an excellent education network and cultural and recreational opportunities to rival any major city. Massive urban renewal programs begun in the 1960s have transformed the downtown area into a bustling commercial and residential center. Syracuse lies near Onondaga Lake in the famed Finger Lakes region; the Iroquois believed that the lakes were formed when the Great Spirit placed his hand on some of the most beautiful land ever created.

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Syracuse: Municipal Government

Syracuse: Municipal Government

Syracuse, the county seat of Onondaga County, is governed by a mayor elected for a four-year term, and an independent policy-making nine-member council, headed by a president. District councilors and councilors-at-large are elected for two-year and four-year terms respectively. The mayor has broad administrative powers, including the appointment of all city department heads.

Head Official: Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll (D) (since 2001; current term expires 2008)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,800 (2005)

City Information: Office of the Mayor, 203 City Hall, Syracuse, NY 13202-1473; telephone (315)448-8005; fax (315)448-8067

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Syracuse

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