Industrial Growth in Syracuse, New York

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Through the course of the semester I aim to further analyze the development of industrial factories and their relation to infrastructure in Syracuse, New York. The Erie Canal was a main contributor to the initial start up of Syracuse and was a continued success. The city then transitioned to a railroad transportation infrastructure which was also successful for a period of time.

I would also like to dive into the production and distribution process of these factories. I believe that having a detailed understanding of these factories will help myself identity how and why these different forms of transportation infrastructure were successful to the industrial sector of Syracuse.

erie canal 1838

Initially I will focus on gathering maps of Syracuse, from the early 1800’s to the mid 1900’s, to further understand the location and growth of industry. An analysis at a macro-scale will enable myself visualize patterns of development related to infrastructure. Then, zooming in to the micro scale, I will begin to understand the more prominent industries west of Downtown (Clinton Square) and individually analyze each factories contextual condition. I am hoping to achieve this from first hand analysis of the sites, as well as gathering of other maps and articles.

Now that I am beginning to narrow my research further I would like to raise a few more questions. What specifically made each of these transportation systems successful to the growth of industrial architecture? How successful was the transition from the Erie Canal to the railroad system? What social and economic conditions were created from this relationship? What social and economic conditions formed this relationship? Were there downfalls between this relationship? I hope to answer these questions, and through this gained knowledge I might be able to apply this same method of thinking towards the creation of the I-81 corridor in downtown Syracuse and ultimately answer the same questions.




Bird Library Map Room – Call Number: G3804.S

Hardin, Evamaria, and Jon Crispin. Syracuse Landmarks: An AIA Guide to Downtown and Historic Neighborhoods. New York: Onondaga Historical Association, 1993. Print.

Analysis of Commercial Revitalization Potentials: Salt Springs Business District, Syracuse, New York. Washington, D.C.: Hammer, Siler, George Associates, 1976. Print.

Syracuse Planning Commision. A General Plan РSyracuse, New York.  1959. Print.


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