University students are helping to revitalize the historic downtown of Oneida, New York

Oneida is a city of about 11,500 people in Madison County, New York, about 30 miles east of Syracuse. The city was founded in 1848, and was named for the Oneida tribe they threw off the land. They Oneida people had a large territory around Oneida Lake during the colonial period.

Now, students at the State University of New York (SUNY) are working with the Oneida City Center Committee, or OC3, to revitalize a historic section of downtown Oneida.

The students working with OC3 are members of a SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) landscape architecture course.

Maren King, the director of SUNY-ESF’s Center for Community Design Research, said the class — which consists of nine undergraduate and graduate students — is in the process of synthesizing large volumes of data, community insight and other information to create cohesive designs for the future rehabilitation of the city center.

According to the real estate website Neighborhood Scout, most of the buildings in the area OC3 has focused on restoring in Oneida were built before 1939 and have a 12.4 percent vacancy rate.

The students are planning to hold two upcoming community workshops under the themes “rethink and realize,” that will allow them to engage with the downtown community.

OC3’s mission is to build a strong, vibrant City Center; to stimulate growth and community involvement, and act as a catalyst for positive change. OC3 connects residents, businesses and visitors to enrich and enhance our community by establishing a place where new energy and traditional values meet.

Photo is a 1907 postcard depicting downtown Oneida.

See full article by Mary Catalfamo in The Daily Orange.

See SUNY-ESF website.

See Oneida City Center Committee website.

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