AN URBAN SUCCESS STORY
By P. Thomas Carroll, PhD, Executive Director, Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway and RiverSpark Heritage Area
It’s one of the great comeback stories in the nation. Like many classic American cities, Troy has been recovering nicely from the setbacks of the twentieth century as suburban empty nesters, young artistic urban pioneers, and sophisticated tourists all gravitate back to historic downtowns across America. Unlike traditional cities that have little but their heritage to offer recent arrivals, Troy is a key player in New York’s Tech Valley saga, enriching the charms of an old downtown with the entrepreneurial spirit—and the economic vitality—of a high-technology boom.
In stark contrast to the bland glass and stainless steel boxes of most Silicon Valley wannabes, Troy is the embodiment of high tech with class—the technology and sophistication of the twenty-first century wedded to the charm and livability of the nineteenth. Yes, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Technology Park ranks right up there with its IBM supercomputer and its celebrated software firms, but its headquarters is in a tastefully converted eighteenth century homestead. Conversely, the Victorian downtown area is charming enough to have attracted Martin Scorsese there to film much of The Age of Innocence, but it also is home to one of the fastest-growing gaming software firms in the nation.
To use the words of former Sage Colleges President Jeanne Neff as she described the renovations of their downtown Troy campus, “On the outside we’re saving The Age of Innocence and on the inside we’re wiring for the twenty-first century.”
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In this article:
An urban success story
Attracting new neighbors