December 29, 2020Revitalizing Binghamton's First Ward Neighborhood

The First Ward


Located along the western shore of the Chenango

Study Area

The First Ward neighborhood is located along the western edge of the Chenango River, across from downtown Binghamton. The First Ward’s unique identity is due in part to its natural borders. The First Ward is bordered to the north by Route 17, by Johnson City to the west, the Norfolk Southern railroad to the south and the Chenango River to the east.

The compact arrangement of land uses in the First Ward today is mostly due to the neighborhood’s history – it grew to meet the demands of an era in which fewer people commuted by car and many people lived, worked, went to church and shopped in the same neighborhood. The resulting landscape includes a diverse mixture of land uses, including residential, commercial, industrial, parks and other community services.

There are approximately 400 acres of land and 1,886 parcels in the Study Area

Current Land Use

The First Ward is made up of a diverse mixture of land uses unique for a neighborhood its size. The neighborhood grew after several companies located factories here. Homes were built around the factories so that workers would only have a short distance to walk to work.

Soon after, shops and services grew along Clinton, Glenwood and Front Streets to support the growing population of workers and their families. The combination of manufacturing, homes and shopping in the First Ward made for a lively and healthy neighborhood throughout the 20th century.

The First Ward neighborhood’s current mix of land uses is illustrated in the charts to the right. A land use map can be downloadedbelow.

Residential (53%)

Services (15%)

Commercial (13%)

Vacant (12%)

What’s Your Story?

Are you a lifelong resident of the neighborhood? Do you own a local business? Did you grow up in the First Ward, but move away later? We all have a story to tell and we would LOVE to hear yours!

Parks & Open Space

The diversity of parks and open space in the First Ward enhances the neighborhood’s quality of life and sense of identity. The neighborhood’s open spaces also have historical importance that help tell the story of the First Ward and Binghamton. The four most prominent parks found in the First Ward include:

  • Spring Forest Cemetery
    Spring Forest CemeteryOpen SpaceThe Spring Forest Cemetery, constructed in 1851 and one of the most prolific cemeteries in the Southern Tier, is not officially a park, but provides 61 acres of walking paths and wooded areas used by many local residents.
    • Sunflower Park
      Sunflower ParkNeighborhood ParkSunflower Park came about through Binghamton's Design Your Own Park competition. The park is not only a place for children to play, but is also the venue for annual community events and a weekly pick-up location of food packages for families in need.
      • Veteran’s Memorial Park
        Veteran’s Memorial ParkRegional ParkVeterans Memorial Park is adjacent to the historic First Ward pool, which is dedicated to Veterans of World War II (the pool is scheduled to be demolished in the spring). The Park has a soccer field and baseball diamond.
        • Valley Street Park
          Valley Street ParkNeighborhood ParkValley Street Park covers 3 acres on Valley Street and includes basketball courts, tennis courts and a baseball diamond for the community to enjoy.


          The city of Binghamton is an historical city with many older homes. More than half of the homes in Binghamton were built before 1939. Many of the city’s older homes are concentrated in the First Ward. Although older homes often require more maintenance and attention, they add character and value to not only that property, but the surrounding neighborhood.

          VACANCY RATE
          MEDIAN VALUE
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