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Clockwise from top: Albany skyline from Rensselaer; middle-class housing in the Helderberg neighborhood; Palace Theatre; Empire State Plaza from the Cultural Education Center; North Pearl Street at Columbia Street; and the State Quad at SUNY Albany.-bə-nee) is the capital of the U. The City of Albany is known for its rich history, commerce, culture, architecture, and institutions of higher education. Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River and approximately 150 miles (240 km) north of New York City.
Simeon De Witt developed a grid block system in 1794, and renamed streets for birds and mammals that had honored British royalty.
The city lies toward the north end of the navigable Hudson River, was the original eastern terminus of the Erie Canal connecting to the Great Lakes, and was home to some of the earliest railroad systems in the world.
In the 1920s, a powerful political machine controlled by the Democratic Party arose in Albany.
On November 1, 1683, the Province of New York was split into counties, with Albany County being the largest.
At that time the county included all of present New York State north of Dutchess and Ulster Counties in addition to present-day Bennington County, Vermont, theoretically stretching west to the Pacific Ocean; Albany was formally chartered as a municipality by provincial Governor Thomas Dongan on July 22, 1686.