HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Photography Forums > My City Photos


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 3:44 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
Troy, NY | So ignored by the 20th Century that there's still a city there

"Troy, NY was so ignored by the 20th Century's progress that there's still actually a city there."

- Paraphrased from Jim Howard Kunstler.

Who's heard of Jim Kunstler? He famously wrote The Geography of Nowhere in the early 1990s, giving language to why so many people at the time felt suburbia was unsatisfying. He's, well, a bit of a crank. Pretty much hates anything new. But his book was justifiably influential, and he went on to a long (and still going) career criticising 20th Century ideas about city-building.

Somewhere along the line, I have no idea where or when, he said this about Troy, and it stuck in my mind for years and years.

It's not *entirely* true. The town's not stuck in amber and does have some shitty car-brained scars. But there *is* a lot of truth to the statement. In SSP parlance we'd say Troy has great bones.

How's the 21st Century treating it? I'd say "slowly," just like the 20th. Troy's urbanism mostly outlasted that century's retreat to the suburbs. And sure, it's probably doing better economically today than it was in 1993. But it's not a superstar city. The reclamation of cities by the affluent is clearly proceeding here, but at a slow pace, with a lot of room still to go.

So here you are, Troy, NY. I took these photos last summer, on a hot, drizzly Monday.

I, uh, may have overcorrected them a bit in Photoshop. Sorry they're a bit... beige. Ah well.
































The 19th Century city is pretty unmistakable here.














But despite Kunstler's quote, the 20th Century did happen here, and the 21st hasn't fully caught up.

There's still a fair amount of neglect.




And some really, really awful urban design interventions.

This here building and parking lot is one of the worst city planning middle fingers I've ever seen. It is truly awful.




See the stairs in the background? Those are the Memorial Approach Steps. They connect Broadway (one of downtown's most important shopping streets) up a steep hill to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a large and prominent university, and for many years the engine that kept the city alive.

They're also probably Troy's most prominent landmark.




Legit.




Here's the view from the top. It's gorgeous.




That's Broadway, running straight down the center.




Except look closely at the bottom of that last photo. A building blocks the close end of the street.

Let's shift our angle down a bit.




AYFKM? They blocked the base of the steps with a shitty suburban building, surrounded by a shitty surface parking lot?

You betcha they did. Assholes.

And if you actually want to take these steps between downtown and the university, the bottom half are as ignoble as you can imagine.




Narrow brutalist concrete, ending in a drainage hole in a parking lot.

Just amazing work, all around. The highlight would be keying someone's SUV as you trespass through the parking lot.




Fuck you very much too, whatever parking-pilled planning commission OKed this.

__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 4:02 PM
Echoes's Avatar
Echoes Echoes is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Posts: 4,246
Some wonderful scenes, except for that atrocity at the end.

Thanks for sharing.
__________________
SASKATOON PHOTO TOURS
2013: [Part I] [Part II] | [2014] | [2016] | [2022-23]
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 4:21 PM
hauntedheadnc's Avatar
hauntedheadnc hauntedheadnc is online now
A gruff individual.
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Greenville, SC - "Birthplace of the light switch rave"
Posts: 13,404
If I remember correctly, they filmed some scenes from The Gilded Age in Troy.
__________________
"To sustain the life of a large, modern city in this cloying, clinging heat is an amazing achievement. It is no wonder that the white men and women in Greenville walk with a slow, dragging pride, as if they had taken up a challenge and intended to defy it without end." -- Rebecca West for The New Yorker, 1947
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 6:26 PM
Crawford Crawford is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NYC/Polanco, DF
Posts: 30,729
Looks pretty good. I visited Troy once, and liked it.

It's cliche, but yeah, it has really good bones.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 6:42 PM
plinko's Avatar
plinko plinko is offline
them bones
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Santa Barbara adjacent
Posts: 7,399
Beautiful! Obviously except for the steps and bad post modern office building.

I would actually be curious if there's a list of other small cities like this that weren't totally destroyed by surface parking lots.
__________________
Even if you are 1 in a million, there are still 8,000 people just like you...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:07 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by plinko View Post
curious if there's a list of other small cities like this that weren't totally destroyed by surface parking lots.
I'd say about half of the mid-sized northeast cities made out pretty well. It's all a spectrum but off the top of my head:

Pretty intact: Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Reading, Frederick, Annapolis, Wilmington, New Haven, Lowell, Manchester, Portland, Troy, Saratoga Springs

Not so much: Trenton, Scranton, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Bridgeport, Springfield, Worcester, Nashua, Lawrence

Kunstler writes a lot about the Hudson Valley because he lives there, but it's not all that different from Pennsylvania especially.
__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:11 PM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is online now
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Columbus
Posts: 19,918
Troy is my favorite of those mid-small sized cities in New York. I stayed there for a couple of days with (former) SSP forumer bpg88 and found the city fascinating. Did you go to Cohoes?
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:24 PM
pj3000's Avatar
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pittsburgh & Miami
Posts: 7,555
I like Troy... and the whole capital region/Hudson-Mohawk valleys. Nice tour!


Quote:
Originally Posted by plinko View Post

I would actually be curious if there's a list of other small cities like this that weren't totally destroyed by surface parking lots.
I guess it depends on what we're talking about in terms of size. But just thinking of the northeast and mid-Atlantic... a few that immediately come to mind that have kept their historic cores pretty intact:

Frederick, MD
West Chester, PA
Easton, PA

Other cities in PA, like York and Lancaster could probably fit the bill too, though
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:25 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColDayMan View Post
Did you go to Cohoes?
Welll saying I went "to" Cohoes would be a stretch. I definitely went "through" Cohoes. Why?
__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:27 PM
pj3000's Avatar
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pittsburgh & Miami
Posts: 7,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
I'd say about half of the mid-sized northeast cities made out pretty well. It's all a spectrum but off the top of my head:

Pretty intact: Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Reading, Frederick, Annapolis, Wilmington, New Haven, Lowell, Manchester, Portland, Troy, Saratoga Springs

Not so much: Trenton, Scranton, Poughkeepsie, Schenectady, Bridgeport, Springfield, Worcester, Nashua, Lawrence
Harrisburg doesn't have a lot of surface parking lots downtown, but it certainly engaged in widespread demolition from the 1950s-1990s for new buildings and parking garages. I don't think it really belongs on the same list. Reading is also a stretch.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 7:52 PM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is online now
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Columbus
Posts: 19,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Welll saying I went "to" Cohoes would be a stretch. I definitely went "through" Cohoes. Why?
Well, this.


https://tripadvisor.com/
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 8:04 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
Haha, no but thanks to you I've pinned it on my Google Maps app for the next time I'm there.
__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 8:11 PM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is online now
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Columbus
Posts: 19,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Haha, no but thanks to you I've pinned it on my Google Maps app for the next time I'm there.
Millennial.
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 8:19 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
10 miles to the nearest Cheesecake Factory
__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 9:10 PM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is online now
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Columbus
Posts: 19,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
10 miles to the nearest Cheesecake Factory
2005 called and they want their joke back.
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2024, 10:05 PM
Cirrus's Avatar
Cirrus Cirrus is offline
cities|transit|croissants
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 18,380
Oh my bad; sorry man I thought it was always 2005 in Ohio
__________________
writing | twitter | flickr | instagram | ssp photo threads
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2024, 2:39 AM
ColDayMan's Avatar
ColDayMan ColDayMan is online now
B!tchslapping Since 1998
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Columbus
Posts: 19,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Oh my bad; sorry man I thought it was always 2005 in Ohio
I'd rather I'd be in 2005 than 1845 like your antebellum-living self south of the Mason-Dixon.
__________________
Click the x: _ _ X _ _!
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2024, 4:48 AM
xzmattzx's Avatar
xzmattzx xzmattzx is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 6,352
Nice pictures! I drove through the Troy area going from Vermont to Buffalo this past summer. It was my first time in that part of New York. I have to get up there and explore it for real.

Those steps are really feast and famine.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2024, 7:52 AM
JManc's Avatar
JManc JManc is offline
Dryer lint inspector
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Houston/ SF Bay Area
Posts: 37,908
Troy is a very underrated town and just screaming for some investment.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2024, 8:53 AM
Murphy de la Sucre's Avatar
Murphy de la Sucre Murphy de la Sucre is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Antwerp
Posts: 1,075
An typical and tradtional North American city, I mean, you can easily and visually distinguish it from those in Germany and France by achitactural styles without any modern highrises in disturbance.
__________________
I am delusional, I talked to photos.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Photography Forums > My City Photos
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:16 PM.

     
SkyscraperPage.com - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.