Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats & Opportunities

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Several weaknesses and threats have been identified which will affect the area’s potential revitalization.  Due to the rock outcroppings and some steep grades that help to give the area its unique natural qualities, there is limited space for parking.  Apart from the churches that service the area, there are few gathering places such as restaurants or theaters.  Many of the buildings have been altered and/or are in need of renovation and maintenance.  It is an inconvenience and a safety hazard that many people need to cross Congress Street in front of the AAA Building, as the barricade on the north side of the street makes the crossing hazardous.  The busy intersection where Pawling Avenue meets Congress is potentially dangerous for both pedestrians and motorists.  The neighborhood certainly needs a strong community organization that can work to seize and pursue opportunities and correct and/or lessen the weaknesses and threats.

Below is the SWOT analysis delineated by category referencing the concerns mentioned above as well as other conditions along the Upper Congress Street Corridor.    


  • Strong historical background
  • Good inventory of architecturally appealing buildings
  • Opening of the view of the Poestenkill gorge between the Ascension Church and the Cookie Factory and potential access along the south side of the corridor
  • Business/retail district at Fourteenth and Congress Streets
  • Prospect Park to the east
  • High volume of traffic
  • RPI and Emma Willard campuses within walking distance of area


  • Break in the continuity of Upper Congress Street around the AAA Building and the Cookie Factory with large gaps between buildings
  • Lack of a warm sense of community and neighborhood connectivity
  • Shortage of parking spaces
  • Few cultural amenities, restaurants, etc.
  • No strong neighborhood organization



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