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Our intention is not to lecture about history but to have you experience it, and what makes Your History Place most engaging are the popular exhibits we display. Local volunteers, town historians, organizations, and community members help to bring you a piece of history on a local perspective. Our 5,000square foot museum area has multiple exhibits running concurrently. Events are open to the general public and the cost is $2.00. Members and children are free. Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closed Saturday and Sunday. The society is accessible to the physically challenged.
Home Sweet Home: Utica's Olmsted Garden Neighborhoods

We are pleased to introduce an exhibit highlighting the development of several planned neighborhoods in Utica from 1913 through 1929. Home Sweet Home: Utica's Olmsted Garden Neighborhoods details the evolution of some of the city's residential areas including Proctor Boulevard, Ridgewood, Talcott Road and Parkway East.

The American economy was booming in the post World War I era into the 1920s. One of the major growth engines driving this prosperity was the housing industry; the introduction of electric appliances also spurred consumer spending. In a postwar environment where the middle class embraced a culture of consumption, Americans by the millions enhanced their standard of living through the acquisition of all things 'new'.

This exhibit explores neighborhood designs created by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., a nationally-known landscape architect, who first came to Utica in 1906 to design the Utica park system. As a vibrant upstate New York industrial hub, Utica and its residents were not about to be left behind. New landscape, city planning, real estate development and residential architecture design concepts came together in these neighborhoods. House designs range from those created by noted local architects to Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Former Oneida County Historian Virginia Kelly and architect Michael Lehman have planned this exhibit, which tells the story of Utica's residential expansion and details the amenities that one could expect to find in the new neighborhoods and homes. The display highlights the rapidly changing technology of the era which resulted in state-of-the-art devices such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, phonographs and telephones which are now commonplace.

"What the Photographer Saw: Utica in Color."

Developed as a tribute to the buildings and builders that have defined our region, this exhibit showcases one dozen enlarged, colorized images that are sure to evoke memories of years past. With the magic of Photoshop, photo archivist Carl Saporito has brought the photographs back into color, allowing us to see the past as it truly existed.

The twelve images in this exhibit explore mid-century Utica. The added color enlivens the scenes, making details pop and showing a vibrant city with impressive landmarks, busy shops, and active streets. The high quality images illustrate changes in style from 1938 to the 1960s and hint at World War II's impact on everyday life. They show a city in motion with half-painted buildings, flashy billboards, and elaborate window displays. Please enjoy this opportunity to see "What the Photographer Saw."

© 2014 Oneida County Historical Society
1608 Genesee Street, Utica, New York 13502-5425
315-735-3642, e-mail: ochs@oneidacountyhistory.org
Research Requests: historyinquiries@oneidacountyhistory.org