Since its completion in 1825, the Erie Canal may be considered the most fundamental part of Syracuse’s history. The canal ran straight through the center of the city, allowing for the city to expand along its path. The canal gave Syracuse a direct trade link between Albany, Buffalo, and many other cities. Although much of Syracuse’s growth and economic prosperity can be attributed to the Erie Canal, in the 1920’s little funding was left to maintain it. The city eventually filled the canal with hard landfill and soda ash, creating, what is today, known as Erie Boulevard.
I am interested in analyzing Syracuse’s infrastructural shift away from the Erie Canal. What social, political, and economic events caused the abandonment of the canal? What social, political, and economic impacts resulted from the abandonment of the canal? How did this affect the buildings which were built along the canal? How did the city of Syracuse adapt to the rise of the railroad?
As a platform for my research, I would like to begin understanding the timeline of factories which were erected because of the canal.