The Congress Street Corridor

Welcome to the Congress Street Corridor! This year the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Building Conservation Studio chose the Congress Street Corridor as the site for its project. This website is the final part of the students work and has been made available for the community to use. The Building Conservation class is not responsible for any errors in the material shown on this site or in any document that is made accessible by this website. All material was collected for academic use only.

The tool bar to the left will help you navigate through the site. There are large quantities of information on this site. It is merely a matter of finding it.

  • The Purpose & Needs page introduces the project. It discusses how and why the project was developed using revitalization principles adopted by the National Trust's Main Street program. It also discusses the needs of the corridor as identified by the students after doing a study of the Corridor and a meeting with the neighbors.
  • The History page offers a brief narrative and photographic history of the people who lived and worked on Congress Street, the businesses that made the Corridor thrive, and the Poesten Kill that gave Congress Street its identity.
  • The Demographics and Economics page offers a detailed analysis of the demographics of the corridor. This page also summarizes the findings of several economic surveys taken and reports written about the Corridor by local companies and organization.
  • The Natural Resources page describes the geology and topography as well as the natural assets. This page identifies Prospect Park, the Poesten Kill gorge, and the former Farnam Firehouse site (between the Ascension Church and 520 Congress Street where the Cookie Factory is located) as natural assets that have yet to be tapped to their full potential. The Natural Resources page also offers recommendations for utilizing these assets.
  • The Architectural Characterization link will take you to a map of the Corridor as well as an index by address of all properties in the Corridor. Click on the property/address you wish to view and you will be taken to a page with a current photo of the property, owner information, previous inhabitants, and a quick exterior analysis. The format used is consistent with the format requested by organizations to receive grants or have a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Zoning & Land Use page contains information about the current zoning along the Corridor including maps of property use and zoning sections. The Zoning and Land Use page also discusses current projects to change the Corridor.
  • The Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats, and Opportunities link will take you to a basic analysis of the Corridor illustrating in detail all strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities present along the Corridor.
  • The Our Proposal page has a link to the final presentation given by the Building Conservation students in a downloadable PowerPoint format. It includes their recommendations for how parts of the Corridor may be improved to spur economic growth and an increase in owner occupancy. The page also includes a link a downloadable PDF version of the design guidelines that have been developed by the students.
  • The Resources link will take you to the bibliography for the students' work, a book list of inspiring readings, grant information, and all of the pages of this site in a downloadable format.
  • Finally, the Links page is a page of helpful links that range from local groups to National organizations to great examples of public space projects and community websites.