Binghamton, often known as "The Parlor City," is a city located in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. The "Home of the Square Deal," it is the county seat of Broome County and the principal city and cultural center of the Greater Binghamton region. The population of the City, according to the 2000 census, is 47,380.
The City of Binghamton is located at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. The city is at the crossroads of Interstates 81 and 88, as well as New York State Route 17 (also known as The Southern Tier Expressway and the future Interstate 86).
The Binghamton Metropolitan Area includes approximately 252,000 residents in all of Broome and Tioga (NY) counties. Binghamton is part of the "Triple Cities," along with Endicott and Johnson City (which are actually villages). The region is collectively referred to as Greater Binghamton.
The city was named after William Bingham, a wealthy Philadelphian who bought the surrounding land in 1792. Before that, the first known people of European descent to come to the area were the troops of Gen. John Sullivan in 1779, during the American Revolutionary War.
Abel Bennett, who made a fortune as owner of the Pennsylvania Coal Company, was the city's first mayor. His farm property on the city's west side (in an area bordered by Riverside Drive on the south, Beethoven Street on the west, Seminary Avenue on the north, and portions of Chestnut Street and St. John Avenue to the east) is known as the Abel Bennett Tract. On Feb. 19, 2008, this historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
An early Link Flight Simulator, invented in Binghamton in 1929.
Binghamton was nicknamed the “Parlor City” for its neat streets and attractive homes, including many stately mansions. Strangely enough, many of those stately mansions are now funeral parlors. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many immigrants moved to the area, finding an abundance of jobs, leading them to call it the “Valley of Opportunity.”
Greater Binghamton is noted as being the birthplace of the Link flight simulator as well as IBM. Until the Cold War ended, the area never experienced an economic downfall, due in part to its defense-heavy industries. This concentration of the defense industry made the area the seventh most likely area in the nation for a nuclear attack during the old War, and the population peaked at around 85,000 in 1950, but now hovers around 50,000.
Along with the start of IBM, the original Dick's Sporting Goods started out as a fishing store in the East Side of the City of Binghamton.
Facing west towards the confluence of the Susquehanna (left) and Chenango (right) rivers. Confluence Park, Downtown Binghamton, 2007
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.6 km² (11.0 sq mi). 27.0 km² (10.4 sq mi) of it is land and 1.6 km² (0.6 sq mi) of it (5.43%) is water.
The north branch of the Susquehanna River passes through downtown Binghamton. This branch rises in eastern New York and receives a number of tributaries above Binghamton, most notably the Chenango, which joins from the north just outside of the business district. Major floods occurred in the city during 1865, 1936 and 2006.
In 1935 the Chenango suffered a flash flood, which was damaging, but less severe once it joined the larger Susquehenna. So much water came from the Chenango, that the Susquehanna flowed backwards for some distance above the confluence. In 1972 the remnants of Hurricane Agnes flooded the entire Susquehanna basin downstream from Binghamton, but the damage in the city was minor.
In 2006, the Susquehanna flooded again in Binghamton causing massive amounts of damage in the city and the entire metropolitan area. The Exchange Street and Washington Street bridges were flooded and the height of the river surpassed the flood walls on North Shore Drive, Court Street, and Conklin Ave. The damage was extensive enough to force large scale evacuations, including that of Lourdes Hospital which was unable to pump water out of its basement fast enough.
Binghamton has a humid continental climate, with cold, snowy winters and warmer, wet summers. Snowfall is significant, with an annual total of 82.4 inches. Binghamton is not as greatly affected by the lake-effect snows as the cities in the north (Syracuse) and closer to the Great Lakes, but persistent snow bands from the lakes do occasionally result in moderate snows. Binghamton receives significant snows at times during the year from Nor'easter storms as well.
Summers in Binghamton are typified by warmer, less humid days with occasional temperature spikes into the upper 80s and lower 90s. Higher temperatures have occurred, but are very uncommon. As with most cities in upstate New York, precipitation in Binghamton is spread evenly throughout the year; there is no "dry season."
Points of Interest
- Cutler Botanic Garden
- Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
- There are six carousels in Broome County, 2 of which are located in Binghamton
- Rod Serling Museum
- Roberson Museum and Science Center
- Clinton Street Antique Row
- NYSEG Stadium
- Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
- Discovery Center
- The Bundy Arts and Victorian Museum
- Cyber Cafe West
- Rick Baker (Academy Award winning make-up artist)
- Mark Clayton (Famous football player)
- Richard Deacon of The Dick Van Dyke Show also worked as an orderly in City Hospital, now known as Binghamton General Hospital
- Five Eight, members of the rock band grew up in Binghamton, later moving to Athens, Georgia.
- Anthony George (soap-opera actor) born in Binghamton.
- Johnny Hart (cartoonist of B.C. and The Wizard of Id)
- Edwin A. Link, Binghamton-based scientist invented the flight simulator used for pilot training and video interface technology
- Ernie Manouse (TV Anchor/Producer PBS)
- Billy Martin, New York Yankees Hall of Fame second baseman/Manager lived in Port Crane, a Binghamton suburb, until his death.
- Leonard Melfi (poet, screenwriter and playwright, author of "Oh Calcutta" and "Birdbath")
- Bridget Moynahan (actress, Coyote Ugly, Six Degrees)
- Elmar Oliveira resided in Binghamton in his younger years and in 1979 when he became the only American ever to win the Gold Medal for violin at Moscow's Tchaikowsky International Competition.
- Marla Olmstead painter whose abstract works attracted worldwide and media attention from the time she was four years old, and whose work is documented in the 2007 documentary My Kid Could Paint That.
- David Sedaris (comedian) and sister Amy Sedaris (actress)
- Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery)
- Jack Sharkey (heavyweight boxing champion) was born in Binghamton.
- George Hull - originator of the Cardiff Giant, resident and tobacconist/cigar maker in Binghamton.
- Steve Perry, lead vocalist, songwriter and founding member of the rock/ska/swing band the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, best known for the song "Zoot Suit Riot" was raised in Binghamton, NY having graduated from Vestal High School.
- Dave Michaels Former CNN/KABC-TV Anchorman worked at WENE, WKOP and WINR Radio in the mid-fifties. He hosted WKOP's Moonlight Serenade and WINR's All Night Show using his full name - David Michael Potts.
- Bill Hallahan - was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball during the 1920s and 1930s.
- Slam Stewart - Leroy Eliot "Slam" Stewart: jazz bassist.
- Jiverly Voong - Perpetrator of the Binghamton shootings of 2009 was a resident of Johnson City, NY.
- Fred Coury - drummer for 80's hair-metal band Cinderella was raised in Johnson City
Connection to The Twilight Zone
- ↑ "2003 Metropolitan Area Rankings". 2003-06-06. http://www.proximityone.com/msa03us.htm. Retrieved on 2007-12-17.
- ↑ WestsideBinghamton.org
- ↑ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved on 2008-01-31.
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