The Newburgh Preservation Association is pleased to report progress is being made at the former Dutch Reformed Church in the City of Newburgh following last January’s devastating ceiling collapse. As already reported, last month, the City of Newburgh, which owns the DRC, agreed to work with NPA to test the ceiling debris at the site and, depending on the results, remove it before the Christmas holiday. This week the results came back, and because they were negative, the way has been cleared for the City’s Public Works Department under the leadership of George Garrison to begin the haul-out.
Works crews arrived bright and early this morning and will continue working hard at the DRC through the end of the year removing debris and separating out salvageable items for preservation, reuse or sale. Also this week, Jeff Wallace, a local artist and craftsman, volunteered his time and materials to repair the open hatch in the Church ceiling, saying simply, “it needed to be done.” This should serve as an inspiration to all this season. It also represents a crucial and much-appreciated breakthrough that will now allow NPA to raise the $25,000 it will need to match a state grant for conducting stabilization studies of the church and ultimately replace the ceiling and restore the structure for its future use as the Newburgh Lyceum at the DRC, a civic center where the people of Newburgh will be able to gather together in common purpose to discuss, even debate, ideas; celebrate our heritage and culture; host important events; and enjoy the arts. The total estimated cost of the project is between $10 and $12 million.
Please join NPA in extending profound thanks to: George Garrison and his outstanding team of professionals at the City of Newburgh Department of Public Works (845-565-3298), City Manager Rick Herbeck (845-569-7301), Jeff Wallace and all those who made this clean-up and repair effort possible. The challenges at the former DRC can feel overwhelming at times, but with partners like these, we can be confident in our cause and in the future.
The Newburgh Preservation Association (NPA), an all-volunteer organization founded in 1978, is the only local nonprofit exclusively committed to rebuilding, preserving and promoting the architectural heritage and historic viewsheds of the City of Newburgh. In 2010, NPA helped facilitate the sale of the 1914 West Shore Train Station to Ray Yannone of Storm King Builders, and earlier this year, announced plans to re-launch Alexander Jackson Davis’s historic 1835 American Reformed Church as The Newburgh Lyceum at the former Dutch Reformed Church, part of a broader effort by the group to stabilize, restore and rededicate the landmark building as the heart of Newburgh’s public square.
About the Newburgh Lyceum at the Dutch Reformed Church
The former Dutch Reformed Church is an outstanding Greek Revival building designed in 1835 by world-renowned architect Alexander Jackson Davis. The monumental structure borrows proportions, siting and details from classical Greek precedents. Intended as a symbol of the community’s enlightened taste, it commands a dominant view over the Hudson. The DRC is “the greatest surviving ecclesiastical commission of America’s greatest architect of the era” according to J. Winthrop Aldrich, former New York Deputy Commissioner of Historic Preservation. In 2001, the United States government designated it a National Historic Landmark.
To support NPA’s mission, become a member and/or contribute to The Newburgh Lyceum at the former Dutch Reformed Church, please visit http://www.preservenewburgh.org/.
-Press release and photos courtesy of the NPA