1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Jeanne Casatelli Papers


The arrangement and description of this collection was made possible through a New York State Archives Documentary Heritage Program Arrangement and Description Grant.

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Jeanne Casatelli is a native of East Greenbush, New York, who has fought sprawl in her hometown for more than twenty years.


Casatelli, Jeanne
Date Coverage:
2.6 cubic ft. (about 2.6 boxes)  4 videotapes  6 Digital Files

Jeanne Casatelli is a native of East Greenbush, New York, who has fought sprawl in her hometown for more than twenty years. She is a founding member of East Greenbush's Community Action Network, a grassroots organization whose stated purpose is "to promote good planning and the protection of natural, historic, and civic resources in accordance with principles espoused as Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Quality Community." (Community Action Network of East Greenbush Statement of Purpose, undated, Series 2, Box 1, Folder 5.)

One of CAN's most visible activities was their campaign to prevent the widening of a stretch of U.S. Route 9 and 20, also known as the Columbia Turnpike, which passes through East Greenbush. New York's Department of Transportation (DOT) wanted to widen the road by a total of 34 feet, converting it from four lanes to five lanes. Casatelli and CAN argued that DOT's plan was not in keeping with new regulations that favored context sensitive design for highway projects, nor with the recommendations of Lt. Governor Mary Donahue's Quality Communities Task Force. CAN saw the rebuilding of Route 9 and 20 as an opportunity to develop a community-oriented "main street" in the suburban town of East Greenbush, which lacked a traditional town center. They argued that the road could be redesigned to comply with DOT's safety requirements without being widened to five lanes, and sought the input of nationally-renowned highway designers to support their position. CAN's campaign was unsuccessful, and the road was widened.

Casatelli is also involved in Citizens for Riverfront Action, an organization dedicated to protecting and providing access to the Hudson River in Rensselaer.

The papers document Casatelli's interest in issue-based grassroots organizations in the late 1990s and early 2000s through her involvement in Community Action Network (CAN). CAN opposed the widening of U.S. Route 9 and 20 in East Greenbush through a vigorous campaign of public education and political action. The papers provide near-complete documentation of this campaign, including letters, e-mail, press releases, position papers, contact lists, and notes.

Information on another organization of which Casatelli was a member, Citizens for Riverfront Action (CRA), is limited to CRA's involvement in coordinating Scenic Hudson's Great River Sweep in the community of Rensselaer.

Not included in this collection are Casatelli's files on CAN's effort to save the Defreest-Church house from destruction by developers. The house, which was constructed in the 1830s, was eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places because of its links to the Anti-Rent War of the mid 1800s. It was demolished in November 2002 to make way for a Target store parking lot. Casatelli transferred her files on the Defreest-Church house to the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter for use in potential litigation.

Since both CAN and CRA are grassroots organizations, there is virtually no information on organizational structure or membership, and no formal records of meetings. One exception is an undated statement of purpose for CAN in Series 2, Box 1, Folder 5.

The collection is organized into five file series.

All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by Jeanne Casatelli,2002 November

Processed by: Aimee Morgan

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2018-03-06 02:10:36 -0500

Converted to EAD with EADMachine, 2016 December

Encoded in EAD by Aimee Morgan, 2005 March

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Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Jeanne Casatelli Papers, 1966-2002. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Casatelli Papers).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 1 cubic ft. (about 1 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically

This series includes extensive correspondence, e-mail, press releases, position papers, notes, and other documents related to CAN's campaign against the widening of Route 9 and 20. Much of the correspondence is outgoing and addressed to political leaders, including Governor George Pataki, Lt. Governor Mary Donahue, State Senator Joseph Bruno and his staff, and East Greenbush Town Supervisor Bob Angelini. There is also some correspondence with highway engineers from whom Casatelli sought support for a redesign of NYS-DOT's plan for Route 9 and 20. Several folders contain printed copies of e-mail. Most of these e-mails do not contain full headers with date and recipient information. In many cases it is impossible to determine when or to whom individual e-mails were sent. At the end of the series are several oversized items, including posters and a map reflecting community ideas for the redesign of Route 9 and 20.



1 1Addresses of Homes and Business on Route 9 and 20Undated


1 2Conceptual Stage Relocation Plan, U.S Route 9 and 20ca. 1997


1 3Contact Listca. 1998-ca. 2001


1 4Correspondence1997-1998


1 5Correspondence1999 January-June


1 6Correspondence1999 July-December


1 7Correspondence2000


1 8Correspondence2001 January-February


1 9Correspondence2001 March-April


1 10Correspondence2001 May-June


1 11Correspondence2001 July-December


1 12Correspondence2002


1 13Correspondence - Department of Transportation1998-1999


1 14Department of Transportation, Route 9 and 20 Newsletter, Issue 31999


1 15E-Mail1999-2002


1 16E-Mail1999-2002


1 17E-MailUndated


1 18E-MailUndated


1 19Final Design Report/ Environmental Assessment1999


1 20Notesca. 1998-ca. 2001


1 21Notesca. 1998-ca. 2001


1 22Parcel Maps - Route 9 and 20 PropertiesUndated


1 23Petitions1997-2001


1 24Position Papers, Fact Sheets, and Fliers1998-2001


1 25Press Releases1997-2001


1 26Project Location MapUndated


1 27Proposal Buildout ImagesUndated


1 28Proposal and Placement Plan, First Draft of Colombia Turnpikes Transportation Management System1998


1 29Public Hearing on 9 and 20 Proposal - Transcript1998


1 30Report from the Public on the Rt. and 20/Colombia Turnpike Project1998


1 31Signalized Intersections Input WorksheetsUndated


1 32Survey of Route 9 and 20 Business OwnersUndated


Oversized 11Community Action Network, Route 9 and 20 PostersUndated


Oversized 12Route 9 and 20, Maps and PlansUndated
Quantity: 1 cubic ft. (about 1 boxes)

Arranged alphabetically

This series contains files on various areas of concern to Casatelli and the activist groups with which she was involved. There is extensive information on topics relevant to the campaign against Route 9 and 20, such as road design, smart growth, and suburban sprawl. Other subjects include the Hudson River, waterfront access in Rensselaer County, and East Greenbush political life.

There is one folder on Scenic Hudson's Great River Sweep. The River Sweep was a grassroots event coordinated by volunteers in local communities along the Hudson River. Volunteers from these communities cooperated to remove debris from the river. Casatelli and her Citizens for Riverfront Action coordinated the Great River Sweep in Rensselaer from 1998-2000. The Scenic Hudson Great River Sweep folder contains correspondence, press releases, financial records, and other documents related to the local River Sweep.



1 1Articles - Miscellaneous1998-2001, Undated


1 2BASF2002, Undated


1 3Capital District Transportation Committee2001


1 4Community Action Network of East Greenbush, Statement of PurposeUndated


1 5Community Image Survey2001


1 6Context Sensitive Design1998-1999, 2001


1 7Contributors to Senator Joseph Bruno's Campaign2001


1 8Defreestville Area Neighborhoods Association2000, Undated


1 9East Greenbush, Boat Launch1997-2000


1 10East Greenbush, Politics, 1999, 20011999, 2001


1 11Energy, Alternative Sources, 20002000


1 12Friends of Hudson/St. Lawrence Cement Project2002


1 13A Good Place To Live, Terry Pundell, ExcerptsUndated


1 14Greater Capital Region Teacher Center1995, 2001


1 15Healthy Heart Program, New York State Department of Health2001


1 16Hudson River and Hudson River Valley1995-2001


1 17Miscellaneousca. 1996-ca. 2001


1 18National Register of Historic PlacesUndated


1 19New York State Department of State, Publications1998, 2000


1 20New York State Governor's Office, Press Releases1998, 2001


1 21New York State, History and FactsUndated


1 22New York State Tourism, Brochures, and PostcardsUndated


1 23Northern Adirondack Revitalization Initiative, Briefing PaperUndated


1 24Planning Commissioners' Journal, Articles1992-1994, 1996-1997


1 25Project for Public Spaces, Inc.2000


1 26Property Rights Foundation of America2000


1 27Quality Coasts, Quality Communities, Waterfront Rediscovery Conference2001


1 28Quality Communities, Demonstration Program and Task Force2000-2001


1 29Quality Communities, Quality Coasts Conference, Brochure2002


1 30Rensselaer1996-2001


1 31Rensselaer County 1791-1966, Excerptsca. 1966


1 32"Rensselaer: The Right Side of the River" Campaign1994


1 33Rensselaer Waterfront1997-1998


1 34Riverview Road, Rexford1999


1 35Road Design1984, 1997-1999, 2001


1 36Scenic Hudson, Great River Sweep1998-2000, Undated


1 37Smart Growth1995-2002, Undated


1 38Smart Growth, Urban Advantageca. 2001


1 39Surface Transportation Policy Project1996, 1998, 2001


1 40Urban Design Groupca. 2000


1 41Walkable Communities Incca. 2000


1 42Walkable Communities, Slide PresentationUndated


1 43Website Printouts - Miscellaneous2001


1 44Westchester Land Trust2001, Undated
Quantity: 0.4 cubic ft. (about 0.4 boxes)

Partially processed; not arranged

This series consists of news clippings on topics of interest to Casatelli. Duplicates have been removed from the series, but the clippings have not been arranged further. Many clippings relate to the Route 9 and 20 widening issue. Sources for the clippings include the Albany Times-Union, the Rensselaer Beacon, and the Independent. There are also some clippings on highway design and other environmental issues from newspapers in other regions, as well as clippings on Scenic Hudson's Great River Sweep event.

Quantity: 0.2 cubic ft. (about 0.2 boxes)

Arranged by format

This series contains four VHS videocassettes, 29 color snapshots depicting Route 9 and 20 in East Greenbush. Although the photographs are undated, they probably date from 1999-2001.



1 1Photographs of Routes 9 and 20, East Greenbush [29 items]ca. 1999-2001


2 1Rennselaer [sic] River Sweep and Urban Sprawl," VHS Videocassette2000


2 2"Route #303 The Visioning Process: Smart Growth and Public Health," 2 VHS VideocassettesUndated


2 3"Scenic Hudson: The Great River Sweep," VHS Videocassette, Roadrunner Production ServicesUndated
Quantity: 6 Digital Files  

This series is comprised of three PowerPoint presentations and three video clips, most of which are related to a community-oriented sustainable development study on Route 303 in Rockland County, New York. It is likely that Casatelli saw this study as a model, which could be applied to redesigning Route 9 and 20. The two video clips on Route 303 duplicate footage found on the Route 303 video in series 4. The third video clip is a brief interview of Don Chen, founding director of Smart Growth America. The sound is very low in this clip and difficult to hear.

The files were originally located on two recordable compact discs. They have been copied to a University Libraries' server for preservation reasons.



MPEG 1"303." "The Route 303 Sustainable Development Study, Rockland County, New York." 7 min., 36 sec. Copyright 2000, Rockland County.2000 May 31 (Last Modified)


MPEG 2"303Charette." "Route 303 Sustainable Development Study: The Visioning Process." 6 min., 20 sec.2000 February 5 (Last Modified)


AVI 3Untitled file. Interview of Don Chen, founding director, Smart Growth America, 2 min, 5 sec.Undated


PPT 1"Charette Presentation." Microsoft PowerPoint file. 24 slides.2000 April 21 (Last Modified)


PPT 2"Route 303 Challenges Presentation." Microsoft PowerPoint file. 18 slides.2000 April 20 (Last Modified)


PPT 3"Route 303 Slideshow." Microsoft PowerPoint file. 18 slides.2000 April 20 (Last Modified)