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Binghamton, NY

Located at the junction of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers and surrounded by low, picturesque hills, Binghamton is the seat of justice for Broome County in the Southern Tier of upstate New York. The city is named for attorney William Bingham, who worked to bring settlers to the area after the American Revolution; before that, it was home to Native Americans.

Binghamton became known in the late 1800s as one of the country's top cigar-making cities. The industry attracted immigrants from various countries, and its population increased rapidly. IBM, one of the world's largest computer companies, was founded in the Binghamton area and remains a major employer.

Today, the city is well known as the home of Binghamton University, one of the state universities of New York, with 14,000 students. The city has an overall population of 45,000. Binghamton was named one of the ten "greenest" cities in the U.S. by Country Home magazine. Interstates 81 and 88, as well as U.S. Route 17, run through Binghamton; Greater Binghamton Airport and the Tri-Cities Airport are located here.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Binghamton comprises eight neighborhoods, each of which has its own Neighborhood Assembly. Binghamton Neighborhood Assemblies (BNAs) were created to spark citizen participation in city government, and regularly scheduled public forums allow residents to voice their concerns and learn about local issues.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Some of Binghamton's major employers are in the technology and defense industries, as well as education and health care. IBM, Dick's Sporting Goods, and L-3 Communications were founded in the Greater Binghamton area; and Universal Instruments, McIntosh Laboratories, Maines Paper and Food Service, and Security Mutual Life are headquartered in the region.

FOR VISITORS

Once known as the "Parlor City" because of its cleanliness, Binghamton is now called the "Carousel Capital of the World." In the early 1900s, local shoe manufacturer George F. Johnson donated six carousels to Broome County parks, believing that happy children would grow into happy, productive citizens; two of these wood-carved carousels (of fewer than 170 antique carousels remaining in the United States and Canada) are located in Binghamton. Rides, offered from Memorial Day until Labor Day, are free of charge.

  • George F. Johnson Recreation Park: This park is home to one of Binghamton's carousels, which is still accompanied by its original Wurlitzer organ. The park also has a reflective pond, a band shell where concerts are held, pools, tennis courts, athletic fields, and a playground.
  • Ross Park: Home to the Ross Park Zoo, the fifth-oldest zoo in the country, Ross Park also contains Binghamton's other carousel.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • Anderson Center for the Performing Arts: Located on the campus of Binghamton University, the Anderson Center presents performances and productions by both university students and professional artists.
  • Binghamton Community Orchestra: This local symphony orchestra can be seen in at least three major concerts every season. It also performs in surrounding cities.
  • Binghamton Philharmonic: The city orchestra performs classical and pop concerts, which often include local and foreign guest artists.
  • Binghamton University Orchestra: This 80-member orchestra performs an annual concert, in addition to children's concerts, holiday programs, and special events.
  • Binghamton University Theater: This local theater presents plays year-round.
  • The Forum: Once a vaudeville house, the Forum houses a rare theatre organ.
  • Binghamton Philharmonic, the Tri-Cities Opera, the Broadway Theater League, and various dance groups perform here.
  • Know Theatre: Founded by actors dedicated to providing audiences with quality productions, the theatre presents plays both classic and unknown.
  • KopernikSpace Education Center: The Kopernik Observatory, perched atop a 1750-foot hill in Vestal, 10 miles southwest of Binghamton, has been the best-sited and best-equipped public observatory in the northeastern United States for over 20 years. The new Kopernik Space Education Center is New York State's first science laboratory facility designed for K-12 teachers, students, and their families.
  • Phelps Mansion Museum: Built in 1870, Phelps Mansion is a prime example of post-Civil War Victorian architecture. It is now a historical landmark, and its three stories house a museum.
  • Roberson Museum and Science Center: With a local focus, Roberson Museum is an educational center that includes the Link Planetarium and Clayworks, a pottery studio.
  • The Discovery Center: This family-oriented museum has plenty of interactive exhibits for children, including an air traffic control tower, a life-size fire truck, and an "action news" television studio.

EVENTS

  • Binghamton River Trails: This summer program offers nature walks and waterfront activities.
  • Downtown Binghamton Farmers' Market: Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, the Farmers' Market is set up on Collier Street, next to the Court House Green. It features produce stands, music, and events.
  • First Friday Art Walk: On the first Friday of every month, more than 30 art venues stay open from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Visitors can attend openings, listen to live music, and partake in local food in downtown Binghamton.

EDUCATION

  • Binghamton University (State University of New York): National college guides consistently rank Binghamton University among the top public universities. It has a diverse student body of 14,000 and prides itself on its world-class academics.
  • Broome Community College: Located in the heart of the city, Broome Community College offers two-year programs, as well as continuing education and online courses.

SPORTS TEAMS

Binghamton is home to the domed Greater Binghamton Sports Complex. The Binghamton Tiger Cats, a women's professional football team, play here. The complex also contains an indoor golf course, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and more.

  • The Binghamton Mets, an Eastern League baseball team, is an AA affiliate of the New York Mets.
  • The Binghamton Senators, an American Hockey League team, play at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

LOCAL MEDIA

  • Press & Sun-Bulletin
  • Greater Binghamton Business Journal
  • Southern Tier Business News
  • Pipe Dream (Binghamton University's newspaper)