These are photos of Newburgh City Club, also known as the William Culbert House. It was constructed in the mid 1850′s as a residence for Dr. Culbert. A.J. Downing collaborated in building the structure with Calvert Vaux. Downing designed Downing Park in Newburgh and Central Park in Manhattan. In 1906 the house became the headquarters of the Newburgh City Club, which was a club for the city’s leading businessmen and politicians. In the 1960′s the second floor of the house was used to house the Supreme Court Library of the 9 Judicial District. With Newburgh’s decline the building was abandoned in the 1970′s, and saved from the urban renewal project which razed all of the buildings on Water and Front Streets. In the urban renewal project the Palatine Hotel you see to the left was demolished, as well as all the buildings you see to the right down the street heading to the river. In 1975 the Newburgh City Club was painstakingly restored only to be gutted by a fire in 1981. It has stood as you see it above ever since.
Thanks to Google Book Search, Downing’s entire book, “Villas and Cottages” is available online! Starting on page 241, Downing has drawings and plans of the Culbert house-Design No. 20. He gives extensive details in why certain designs were chosen-such as the staircase for example and certain wood. And of the location of the house he had this to say,
“This house has been built on the upper level of Newuburgh, in Grand Street, which is at present the handsomest thoroughfare that passes through the town…Grand Street is thus naturally becoming the principal promenade of Newburgh. [The Hudson River] gives it a charming pictorial character that is very rarely attainable.”
And the house was built for $10,000! This part of Downing’s book reveals so much history to this house. How I hope one day that it can be restored! Clearly this house is an extremely huge part of Newburgh history.
This information was taken from page page 182 of the book, “Hudson Valley Ruins” which also shows a photo of Newburgh City Club with the Dutch Reformed Church in the background. Another great shot of the before and after of this building on Flickr. The library of congress has some great interior photos of the house.
The million dollar question is, who owns this building now?? Are there any proposed plans for the structure?