Plattsburgh (city), New York

From Academic Kids

Plattsburgh is a city located in Clinton County, New York. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 18,816.

The City of Plattsburgh is located entirely within the original boundaries of the Town of Plattsburgh.



Plattsburgh is a small U.S. city located on the western shore of Lake Champlain in the northeastern part of the state of New York. Plattsburgh was founded by Zephaniah Platt in 1785 after he was granted the land for it by George Clinton. The city government was established in the former Village of Plattsburgh in 1902.

With its significant location on a major water thoroughfare and close to the US-Canadian border, Plattsburgh has been the site of a number of historic events including the Revolutionary War's Battle of Valcour and the War of 1812's Battle of Plattsburgh. In more recent times, the city has been distinguished primarily by its United States Air Force base and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, although it is also a node for tourists headed to the Adirondack Mountains.

On the south and east side of Plattsburgh is a plot of land that used to be home to Plattsburgh Air Force Base (PAFB). Until its closing on September 29, 1995, this Air Force Base was the oldest continuously active military base in the United States. Plattsburgh was the site of the United States Army's first tank base in the mid-20th century.

During the Cold War, PAFB was the location of the Strategic Air Command's primary wing on the US east coast due to its geographic desirability. The base's location in the Champlain Valley (protected by the Adirondack Mountains) ensured consistent, year-round weather that was safe for take-offs and landings. The 380th Bombardment, Aerospace and Refueling Wings, located at PAFB included B-52 Bombers, air-refueling "tankers" and FB-111s. With a sparse civilian population in Plattsburgh, the base had a great deal of land surface and was one of only four military bases in the United States with a landing strip large enough for a Space Shuttle landing.

Despite its geographic desirability and numerous awards for performance excellence, PAFB was closed in a round of national base closures in the early 1990s as the Air Force began to pare down its post-Cold War missions. The base property is now managed by the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC) and is used by a number of industrial manufacturers and commercial airlines.

Throughout much of the 1980s, when the Canadian dollar was strong relative to the U.S. dollar, Plattsburgh was a favorite tourist location for vacationers from Montreal and southern Quebec. The city beaches and camp grounds were packed all summer long and Plattsburgh attracted enough retail stores and outlets to build a second large indoor shopping mall, in addition to several outdoor shopping centers. Unfortunately, with the closing of PAFB and the strengthening US dollar in the 1990s, much of this Canadian tourism has ceased. Today, city residents rely mostly on the aging industrial paper plants (owned by Georgia-Pacific and Tenneco) that were built when the Adirondacks were a center of logging in the United States.

Plattsburgh has been tied to a number of famous and infamous people. John Henry Hopkins, a former rector of Plattsburgh's Trinity Episcopal church was the author of the well-known Christmas hymn "We Three Kings of Orient Are." John Russell Pope, the architect who designed Plattsburgh's City Hall, was a famous architect whose work includes the Jefferson Memorial. Recent former residents of Plattsburgh include Doug Raaberg, holder of a world circumnavigation record in the B-1B; Michael P. Anderson, one of the seven astronauts who died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster; and Eric Harris, one of the two shooters at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

On April 20, 2002, there was an earthquake a few miles south of Plattsburgh. It measured 5.1 on the Richter Scale, and was felt as far south as Pennsylvania and as far north as Maine.


Plattsburgh is located at 44°41'43" North, 73°27'30" West (44.695365, -73.458593)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.0 km² (6.6 mi²). 13.1 km² (5.1 mi²) of it is land and 4.0 km² (1.5 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 23.40% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 18,816 people, 7,600 households, and 3,473 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,438.6/km² (3,728.2/mi²). There are 8,010 housing units at an average density of 612.4/km² (1,587.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.41% White, 2.46% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.38% from two or more races. 2.12% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 7,600 households out of which 22.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.1% are married couples living together, 11.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 54.3% are non-families. 40.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.10 and the average family size is 2.83.

In the city the population is spread out with 16.5% under the age of 18, 27.7% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 86.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 83.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $28,846, and the median income for a family is $46,337. Males have a median income of $35,429 versus $26,824 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,127. 23.1% of the population and 13.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.0% of those under the age of 18 and 13.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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