01/20/15 6:50am


Traditionally Meet a Newburgher is an interview. However, I thought this sweet letter from this new-to-Newburgh couple was a great example who is moving to Newburgh, how they find it, and where they are buying houses. It was my pleasure Ben, Betsy and Percy! Their letter is below:

“Just wanted to say “Hello” and Thank You for your blog and all the work you do with it. We just purchased a home on Renwick St. at the end of October and have already moved in with our dog, Percy. My wife, Betsy, is a writer and I’m an artist and carpenter. Your blog was/is a great way for us to learn more about Newburgh as we began exploring it last year. We’re very happy to be here now and excited to be part of the community.

I’m carpenter with a specialty in restoration, and I’m planning to re-start my wood window restoration business as well as offer free and low-cost workshops for do-it-yourselfers as soon as we get our place tightened up a bit, and I get my workshop set up (and hopefully more of an on-line presence).

A year ago we thought Benkard and Renwick and Carson seemed pretty sketchy, but the more time we spent here the more we realized that it’s actually totally fine. A few houses on Benkard have been fixed up really nice… Sure it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely lively and depressing at turns, which make it interesting… Thanks again for all your efforts and hard work.”


01/16/15 9:30am


The weekly link roundup is a collection of links related to Newburgh, revitalization, urban planning and anything else that might inspire change or create dialogue. “Burn barrel” Photo by Brian Wolfe

Why Habitat For Humanity Isn’t Building As Many Houses As It Used To [Fast Co.Design]
No One’s Very Good at Correctly Identifying Gentrification [City Lab]
Four Cities Making the Most of Alley Spaces [Urbanful]
The Greening of a Suburban Downtown [Huffington Post]
Philadelphia’s riverfront reclamation continued [Architect’s Newspaper]
60 Years of Urban Change: Midwest [Institute for Quality Communities]

Add your own photos depicting city life to the Newburgh Restoration flickr pool to be used on the blog, or email me. **Flickr users please do not forgot to remove disabling of downloading of pictures. Otherwise I can’t use them**

01/16/15 7:30am

195 Montgomery St Newburgh NY

This house has been on and off the market for a while. But this is the first time there have been interior photos to accompany the listing. The Sunflower House is a historically significant house in the City of Newburgh. It was cataloged by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1970 and is available at the Library of Congress. According to the listing this house was home Captain David Crawford’s descendants. Really, you could not pick a more historically prestigious location in Newburgh. Just take a look on Google maps to see other architecturally significant homes.

195 Montgomery St Newburgh NY
Asking Price: $300,000
Year Built: 1830
Size: 2,612 sq ft
Neighborhood: MGL
Taxes: N/A but surely greater than $10k
Distance to NYC: 58.1 mi, 1 hour 9 mins
Public Transportation: MetroNorth to Beacon, then take ferry across
Closest Roadways: 9W, I-87, I-84
Google Map



195 Montgomery St Living Room A

195 Montgomery St Living Room B

195 Montgomery St Living Room


-Historic photos taken from the Library of Congress

01/15/15 7:30am


This is a great story from the Harsh Family that decided to move back to Newburgh from Florida. They chose a house that needed a lot of work. Some rooms are still a work in progress, but the results show a beautiful warm home for this young family that will surely create many new memories to come. Read about their story and see more photos below.

“My husband and I purchased a foreclosed home on South St in August of 2014. The home had been abandoned and was in pretty rough shape (all the copper had been stolen), but the price was great. We are still working on the kitchen, but moved into the home in October and have continued to work on it while living here with our two young children.

I actually lived on South St, in a different house, when I was young and my husband is from New Windsor. We just moved back after living in South Florida for almost 10 years so that our kids could grow up close to family. Moving to Newburgh was logical for us because we needed a location that was both close to family and convenient for my husband to commute to Manhattan for work.

As for Newburgh itself, my neighbors have all been very welcoming and there is a great feel of community in Newburgh, something we didn’t feel in South Florida. We were able to buy our home for less than it would have costed us for a couple of years rent in some of the places we looked, and with two children under the age of 5 and I being in grad school, was important. I love the feel of our home, you can feel the age of it when you walk in, but in a good way. I felt that way about a lot of the houses we looked at in the city of Newburgh. There are so many little details of these homes that divulge a history that I believe is hard to find elsewhere.
P.S My husband wants to note that it was very important he live near Pete’s Hotdogs”

669 Collage A
This is the outside of their home before and after it was purchased. You can see that it had been neglected, and that the staircase was crumbling. It is still a work in progress but looks a million times better and in no longer an eyesore for the community.

669 Collage B
Here is Hudson’s room before and after. A great new room!

669 Collage Ca
Baby Clark’s room looks amazing. The bicycle theme is too cute.

669 Collage D
The master bedroom went from being cold and barren to warm and just right for this family.

669 Collage E
Now on to more drastic changes in the home. This bathroom received a nice upgrade as well as a nice coat of blue paint. The cat seems to agree!

669 Collage F
One of the most drastic changes is one you might not necessarily see, the basement. All the dirty white tile is gone and years of grime removed.


The living room before. Lindsay, the home owner, notes that the entire ceiling was peeling off. The repair is the first photo of this blog post.


The living room after. A beautiful inviting place to raise a family.


The Harsch’s also refinished the living room floors giving the room final finishing touches.

669 Collage G

Old homes always have surprises. Lindsay says, “We also found something kind of cool that had fallen behind some of the molding in the house. I am not sure if Walter Felton was local to Newburgh or not, but we framed it, and kept it in the house.”

Thanks so much to the Harsch Family for sharing the updates of your lovely home. You are an inspiration for others wanting to buy and fix up their own home in Newburgh. Have your own home renovation adventures in the City of Newburgh that you would like to share? Your own before and after? Email me!


01/13/15 7:30am


Lan has been so great keeping updated with the progress of their new home. It has been an honest look at the good, bad, and the ugly of buying structures that have been abandoned and unattended. Last time we saw an update was in August 2014 when the new wall built by the general contractor began to tilt. Since then Lan has hired a new general contractor who had to remove the old wall and start from scratch to build a new one.


It’s been a rough journey, especially when they planned on moving in last year. Lan has always remained positive. Even so, she has learned some serious lessons along the way when choosing a general contractor.

“There was a condition on purchasing 1 Edward, owner financing was one. And the owner work on the renovation after he sells is the second one. We spoke for a long time with the owner and decided to take the risk.  And the property came with that risk precisely.  We waited as long as we could and patience and let him go, so there is no legal issue unless we take him to court.

In fact, I saw another property with the same condition of owner wanting to do the renovation. I just wanted to mention this, so other buyers are aware of the risks they are taking.  Or, make a proper contract to get out of the condition faster. Just thought about to give you this info, in case of anybody else is thinking about the same purchase condition.”

Just as a reminder, here’s a look at the wall that had to be taken down:
1 Edward

Follow the progress at 1 Edward below or the tag 1 Edward:

1 Edward Warehouse with Collapsed Roof has SOLD
Home Renovation Adventures: Removing a Collapsed Mega-Roof by Hand
Home Renovation Adventures: Debris Cleared at 1 Edward
Home Renovation Adventures: 1 Edward Update, Building New Walls
Home Renovation Adventures: Tilted Wall