City of Albany History


Welcome to the official website for the City of Albany, New York. New York State's Capital City has been making history for more than 400 years. Albany was first claimed by Henry Hudson for the Dutch in 1609 and was chartered as a city in 1686, making us the second oldest chartered city in the country.

Appointment as Capital

Albany was designated as the State Capital in 1797. Our rich history is prominently displayed in our architecture and venerable institutions, including one of the oldest museums in the country, founded in 1791.


Albany’s historic and diverse neighborhoods are the foundation of our City and the positive impact of new investment in our neighborhoods can be seen in Park South, the South End, Sheridan Hollow, Arbor Hill and beyond. Over the last several years, we re-built or renovated every public elementary and middle school in the City, renovated every neighborhood library and built three new neighborhood branches. We are even growing a new neighborhood in our Downtown, which has seen unprecedented growth in new apartments and condominiums.

The steadfast goal of my administration since 2014 is to create a more vibrant City, neighborhood by neighborhood. There are so many success stories that have taken shape and we have seen much progress and taking steps to further unleash Albany’s full potential. New construction is continuing to support Park South’s transformation, we are investing in our City’s parks, enhancing neighborhood and waterfront connections with initiatives like the Skyway, and with the $10 million award Albany received as part of Governor Cuomo’s third-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative - Clinton Square and surrounding neighborhoods are poised for unprecedented success. Most importantly, Downtown continues to progress forward and draw new investments for the future and continue to be a vibrant arts and entertainment district and a destination that draws thousands of people into Albany. 

Economic & Cultural Aspects

Our city is the economic and cultural center of the Capital Region of New York State. In addition to being the seat of State government, we are home to the State University at Albany, the College of Saint Rose, and major medical, pharmacy and law schools. We are also the home to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, a world renowned institution that has attracted global businesses to the area, making us a premier business destination.