Binghamton is a city located in the Southern Tier of New York in the United States. It is the county seat of Broome County. The population of the City of Binghamton, according to the 2000 census, is 47,380, a drop from the 1990 census total of 53,008.
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 the future Interstate 86 (also known as New York State Highway 17, The Southern Tier Expressway).
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 now collectively referred to as Greater Binghamton. The 148-member Binghamton Police Department enforces laws and provides police protection to city residents. The Binghamton Fire Department is composed of 134 paid uniformed firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.
Greater Binghamton is also home to Binghamton University. The University's presence is a driving force in the community, acting as an academic, athletic and arts center.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 The region today
- 4.1 Employers
- 4.2 Education
- 4.2.1 Primary and secondary education
- 4.2.2 Higher Education
- 4.3 Metro area
- 4.4 Media
- 4.5 Sports
- 4.6 Transportation
- 5 Government
- 6 Points of interest
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Binghamton in Books
- 9 Binghamton On The Screen
- 10 Sister Cities
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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.
The community was first settled around 1802 and was known as "Chenango Point." Binghamton was first incorporated as a village in 1834, setting itself apart from the Town of Binghamton. Binghamton became a city in 1867.
Binghamton was nicknamed the “Parlor City” for its neat streets and attractive homes, including many stately mansions. Ironically, 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.”
From 1923 to 1927 Binghamton was the Northeast headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan.
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 the generosity of employers (IBM and Endicott-Johnson) and also because of 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 Cold War , and the population peaked at around 85,000 in 1950.
Binghamton is located at 42°6′8″N, 75°54′42″W (42.102225, −75.911797)GR1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.6 km˛ (11.0 mi˛). 27.0 km˛ (10.4 mi˛) of it is land and 1.6 km˛ (0.6 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, New York weather
|Avg high °F (°C)
|Avg low temperature °F (°C)
|Rainfall in. (cm)
|Snowfall in. (cm)
Binghamton is known for its heavy cloudiness; it is the seventh cloudiest U.S. city, and the cloudiest east of the Rocky Mountains.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 47,380 people, 21,089 households, and 10,417 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,752.3/km˛ (4,539.2/mi˛). There were 23,971 housing units at an average density of 886.5/km˛ (2,296.5/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city was 83.18% White, 8.41% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 3.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.71% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. 3.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 21,091 households out of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.6% were married couples living together, 13.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.6% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
The area surrounding Binghamton, referred to in marketing as "Greater Binghamton" - or the Binghamton MSA by the census bureau - is approximately 252,000 people. The Binghamton MSA is composed of all of Broome County and neighboring Tioga County. Alternatively defined, the number of people living in an approximately 40-mile radius of the city is approximately 300,000. This count includes Broome, Tioga, and portions of Cortland, Delaware and Chenango Counties in New York and portions of Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,665, and the median income for a family was $36,137. Males had a median income of $28,774 versus $23,014 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,067. About 16.5% of families and 23.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Binghamton University, the top-ranking public school in the Northeast United States has a significant impact on the Greater Binghamton area. The University contributes an economic impact of $700 million in Greater Binghamton and $894.5 million in New York State.
The region today
Binghamton refers to itself as the “carousel capital of the world,” with six antique Herschell carousels in the region - one of the world's largest functional collections of old-style carousels. The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park is the fifth-oldest zoo in the nation. The Binghamton area is the home of the regional dish known as the spiedie, celebrated at the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, held at Otsiningo Park. The area’s Kopernik Space Center observatory is the largest public observatory in the northeast, and Binghamton was named in 2007 as the 9th greenest city in the U.S. by Country Home magazine. 
Current major employers in the Greater Binghamton area include: aerospace and defense (BAE Systems, Lockheed-Martin, The Raymond Corporation, and Rockwell Collins); food (Frito Lay and Maines Paper & Food); health (United Health Services); higher education (Binghamton University and Broome Community College); insurance (American International Group and Security Mutual Life Insurance Company); legal (Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP); media (Gannett); technology (Endicott Interconnect Technologies, L-3 Communications, Universal Instruments, and hi-fi manufacturer McIntosh Laboratories); and business process outsourcing (Sourcecorp). Government is also a major employer, in particular the State of New York, Broome County, and the City of Binghamton.
Primary and secondary education
- Binghamton City School District (public)
- Broome County Catholic Schools (private)
- The Susquehanna School (private)
Binghamton University, (formerly known as Harpur College, and as State University of New York at Binghamton), part of the SUNY system, is located in nearby Vestal. It offers not only highly ranked education, but a great deal of arts, and Division I athletics. Broome Community College, also a part of the SUNY system, is located in nearby Dickinson and Davis College (formerly Practical Bible College) also call Greater Binghamton home.
Though now physically located in Vestal, the area encompassing the college was once owned by the city of Binghamton and in the recent past, sold to the town of Vestal. A remnant of it's existence on Binghamton city property is its continued use of a Binghamton zip code.
The nearby suburb of Vestal has many strip malls along a five-mile stretch of the Vestal Parkway (NY 434). Johnson City has the region’s largest indoor mall, the Oakdale Mall. Other area shopping centers include Boscov's department store (corner of Court St. and Water St.), Court St., Washington St.and State St. all in downtown Binghamton.
The Greater Binghamton metro area is served by the following media outlets:
- Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (owner: Gannett)
- Greater Binghamton Business Journal (owner: CNY Business Journal)
- Southern Tier Business News (owner: Gannett)
- Pipe Dream (Binghamton University)
- Citadel Broadcasting cluster: WYOS, WAAL, WHWK, WNBF, WWYL
- Clear Channel Communications cluster: WINR, WENE, WKGB, WMXW, WMRV, WBBI
- Equinox Broadcasting cluster: WCDW, WRRQ
- Independently owned: WLTB
- Non-commercial: WSKG-FM (NPR), WSQX-FM (NPR/Pacifica), WHRW-FM (SUNY Binghamton)
- Commercial: News 10 Now (Time Warner 24-hour news), WBNG (CBS-12), WICZ (Fox-40), WIVT (ABC-34), WBGH (NBC-20)
- Non-commercial: WSKG-TV (PBS-46)
- Cable TV:
- Commercial: Time Warner Cable 
- Non-commercial: Public access television, Time Warner Cable channel 4
- Non-commercial: Binghamton Independent Media Center 
- Recording Studios
The area is home to the Eastern League's Binghamton Mets (AA affiliate of the New York Mets) and the Binghamton Senators (AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators).
Division I College Sports are played at Binghamton University (a member of the America East Conference). Division III College Sports are played at Broome Community College.
Binghamton is also home to two semi-pro football teams, the Broome County Dragons (members of the Empire Football League) and the Southern Tier Green Machine (members of the North American Football League).
The area is also home to an annual Professional Tennis Challenger, the Levene Gouldin & Thompson Tennis Challenger, part of the USTA pro circuit (Known as the Frito-Lay Tennis Challenger in years past). Tennis greats such as Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and more recently Andy Murray found their start with this tournament, using it as a spring board to the U.S. Open (tennis) .
The B.C. Open was an official PGA Tour event that was held annually from 1971 to 2006 at Endicott's En-Joie Golf Course. (Note that the 2006 B.C. Open had to be played in Verona, N.Y. due to extensive damage during the June 2006 Flooding of the Susquehanna River.) Beginning in 2007, the area will host a PGA Champion's Tour event, the Dick's Sporting Goods Open. The event will replace the B.C. Open and continue to be played at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott.
Since 1978 a round of the American Motorcyclist Association's Motocross Championship has been held at the nearby Broom-Tioga Sports Center each year.
The area is served by a medium-sized regional airport, Greater Binghamton Airport. Destinations served by the airport include Philadelphia (US Airways), Dulles Airport serving Washington, D.C. (United), Detroit (Northwest Airlines), Atlanta and John F. Kennedy International Airport serving New York City (Delta Air Lines).
Intercity bus service is also available out of downtown Binghamton via Greyhound (with destinations including Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Scranton, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City.) Shortline/Coach USA also service the region, with daily departures to Olean, Albany, Oneonta, Elmira, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, Utica, Atlantic City, Monticello, and New York City.
Public transportation in Binghamton and outlying areas is served by B.C. Transit, a service of the Broome County Department of Transportation. Students at Binghamton University are also served by OCCT (Off-Campus College Transport).
The current Mayor of Binghamton is Matthew T. Ryan (D).
Points of interest
- Cutler Botanic Garden
- Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park
- The six carousels in Broome County, two of which are located in Binghamton
- Binghamton University
- Rod Serling Museum
- Roberson Museum and Science Center
- Clinton Street Antique Row
- NYSEG Stadium
- Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
- First Ward Park home of one of the last remaining and operational pre WW2 era public pools
- Oakdale Mall
- Binghamton prides itself in a rich history, including the birthplace of IBM, Endicott-Johnson, Dick's Sporting Goods and Link Simulators. It is also home to the fifth oldest zoo in the country.
- Binghamton had the first Asylum for Chronic Inebriates in the United States. It was later renamed State Hospital.
- Binghamton had the first farm bureau in the United States
- "Greater Binghamton" (specifically, Vestal as opposed to Binghamton) is home to Binghamton University, the top ranked University in the State University of New York system.
- With 6 historic wooden carousels, Binghamton boasts itself as the carousel capital of the world.
- With a rich ethnic history, the greater Binghamton area boasts one of the busiest summers of ethnic festivals in the country.
- Prides itself as the home of Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame.
- Prides itself as the home of Johnny Hart, cartoonist The Wizard of Id and B.C.
- Location of the first Dick's Sporting Goods Store.
- Location of the very first ever U.S. golf mail order business, Dimmock Hill Golf Course.
- On Christmas Day 1989 Yankee's Baseball player, Billy Martin died while under the influence in an automobile accident in front of his home in a Binghamton suburb.
- Former home of the BC Open a PGA tour event that has since been reworked as a PGA seniors tour event.
- Former home to Jessica Lee, Playboy's Miss August 1996.
Famous people who resided in Binghamton include Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone), Leonard Melfi (poet, screenwriter and playwright, author of "Oh Calcutta" and "Birdbath"), Paul Reiser (famous actor, comedian and creator/co-star of the NBC sitcom "Mad About You"), Ernie Manouse (TV Anchor/Producer, PBS), Mark Clayton (Famous football player), Rick Baker (Academy Award winning make-up artist), Ota Ulc,an author, university professor and world traveller and Johnny Hart (cartoonist of B.C. and The Wizard of Id). Richard Deacon of The Dick Van Dyke Show also worked as an orderly in City Hospital, now known as Binghamton General Hospital. Binghamton scientist Edwin A. Link invented the flight simulator used for pilot training and video interface technology. David Sedaris (comedian) and sister Amy Sedaris (actress), Anthony George (soap-opera actor) and Jack Sharkey (heavyweight boxing champion) were born in Binghamton. Elmar Oliveira resided in Binghamton in his younger years and in 1979 when he became the first and only American ever to win the Gold Medal for violin at Moscow's Tchaikowsky International Competition. New York Yankees Hall of Fame second baseman/Manager Billy Martin lived in Port Crane, a Binghamton suburb, until his death. Steve Perry, lead vocalist and founding member of the famous eight-piece ska/swing band Cherry Poppin' Daddies, singer of famous hit song "Zoot Suit Riot" was raised in Binghamton, NY having graduated from Vestal High School.
Binghamton in Books
- A History of the Binghamton Slovaks, by Imrich Mazar: A chronicle of one of Binghamton's largest ethnic populations.
- From Vision to Excellence: A Popular History of Binghamton University, by Karen T. Hammond: Although Hammond's book focuses on the SUNY campus, it also provides interesting information on the city of Binghamton.
- Binghamton (Images of America), by Ed Aswad and Suzanne M. Meredith: A photographic history. There are several companion books dealing with IBM, Endicott, Johnson City, and baseball and hockey in Broome County.
- A Mind of Summer, by Erik Grayson: Includes Tales of Three Cities, a short oral history of the greater Binghamton area.
- Diary of a Binghamton boy in the 1860s, by Morris Treadwell: Early Binghamton through the eyes of a young boy.
- Partners All: A History of Broome County, New York, by Gerald R. Smith.
- Working Lives, Broome County, New York, 1800-1930: A Social History of People at Work in Our Region, by Ross McGuire.
- Broome County Heritage: An Illustrated History, by Lawrence Bothwell.
- Broome County: A Contemporary Portrait, by Karen Hammond, Suzanne M. Meredith, Kirk Van Zandbergen, and Leslie Van Zandbergen.
- Actual Conversations With Myself, by Jeff Orlick. Includes many chapters based in and around the city of Binghamton and Binghamton University.
- Reflections On My Dirty Dog Days, by Dene Farrell. Discusses childhood adventures in Binghamton and neighboring Johnson City.
- A Picture Post-Card History of New York's Broome County Area--Binghamton, Johnson City, Endicott, Owego, and Surrounding Communities, published by the Kiwanis Club of Binghamton
- "Tastes and Tales of New York's Southern Tier". Profiles of Binghamton area restaurants and other food related businesses by Paul VanSavage, Suzanne M. Meredith and Ed Aswad.
Binghamton On The Screen
- The Twilight Zone Mentioned and shown in various episodes. Rod Serling's home address in Binghamton was used in the episode "They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar"
- Inside Deep Throat
- Death Wish 3 Paul Kersey's girlfriend's sister is from Binghamton
- Rounders (film) A poker game is played here, not filmed here.
- Mystery Alaska At the end of the movie, it is stated by a character, "I'm not going to the New York Rangers right away. They're sending me to Binghamton, which is like the AHL."
- The Sopranos In season six, Christopher Moltisanti's mistress is from Binghamton.
- X-Files In season 2, the episode "Colony", Mulder and Scully briefly track a killer through Binghamton, stopping at the fictional "Globe and Mail" local newspaper office. Also, in season 9, Monica Reyes' new Georgetown apartment address of 67 Bennett Avenue was actually Rod Serling's home address in Binghamton.
7th Heaven-Binghamton is mentioned by the Reverend when a visitor comes to town. He says "Binghamton...my Binghamton?"
- Law and Order Mentioned and shown in various episodes of all the Law and Order shows
Binghamton has two sister cities, according to Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):
- Borovichi, Novgorod Oblast, Russia
- La Teste-de-Buch, Aquitaine, France