Tomorrow, December 11th is the anniversary of when I started writing Newburgh Restoration. I started writing the anniversary blog posts every year to show that throughout the year, there are many small and large victories of revitalization happening despite what you might read in the news. There is a general consensus that there is a bubble of change happening locally and organically. Houses are being restored, business plans are being made, and slowly but surely people are making their way up to Newburgh to hear what all the buzz is about. Things won’t change over night but it’s happening steadily. It’s a change that I think can be seen regionally for the Hudson Valley. There are new blogs, Instagram accounts and even new magazines promoting life upstate from NYC. As people continue to be priced out of NYC, and now other Hudson Valley towns that are becoming over saturated, it is only natural Newburgh will receive some attention.
Something that I have noticed much more this year is the willingness of newcomers to share their skills with Newburgh. Whatever their profession might be, they are bringing it with them creating diversity and impact to the city.
I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who reads this little ol’ blog that I manage all by myself. Life will soon get a little more hectic for me, but I hope to always keep it going. Some ways that you can help: 1) if you have an event you want published, please create an account and post to the community events calendar. It’s open to everyone. 2) the forum is seeing a lot more posts. It’s a huge help when the community helps to answer questions there. 3) If you have photography skills and take photos depicting Newburgh, I’d love to share the city through your eyes with the photo of the week, or weekly link round up. Just email me the photos or share them on the flickr pool. 4) If you are renovating or restoring your house, please share it! It inspires others who are wanting to do the same. Just email me at NewburghRestoration[at]gmail[dot]com.
Below is a summary of good things that happened in the city. If I missed anything you feel is worthy of mention, please include it in the comments section.
- The Monell Mansion has sold. It’s now affectionately being called the Orchard House. Updates are here.
- Columbia University urban design studio came back to Newburgh for a second time, this time analyzing how Newburgh and Beacon can collaborate for future development.
- The first homeowner for Habitat’s Live/Work program has been selected for Washington Street. Two more spaces remain open.
- This year has probably been the year I have received the most emails about new families moving or looking to move Newburgh (check out the forum). It’s great seeing a concentration of homeowners develop in new areas.
- After major hurdles the owners of 1 Edward have (mostly) finished their renovation and now live in their new home that was once a collapsed warehouse!
- 420 Grand – (or what most of us were calling the Wes Anderson house) sold to a young couple. Happy to see next generation carrying the torch for these old houses.
- New businesses came (or reopened) on Liberty Street: Palate Wine & Spirits, Ms. Fairfax (formerly Martha), Juice HQ, Maison du Bien-Être, Confectionery Comforts, and a new owner for Caffe Macchiato. Liberty Street has some solid businesses now which we hope more will join.
- Newburgh Art Supply celebrated 7 years in business.
- Art continually has a place in Newburgh with pop-up installations and the return of Newburgh Open Studios. Decora’s album release party brought Newburgh entertainment options to a whole new level. There will be a similar event for New Year’s Eve.
- I graduated with my masters degree in urban planning!
- The Newburgh Illuminated Festival returned this year. It was the biggest and best ever! Residents reclaimed the streets and the turn out was large despite the rainy weather. Video and photos.
- Safe Harbors of the Hudson purchased the Liberty Street/Broadway lot with the purpose of creating a community park! This is huge news for this intersection and Liberty Street/Broadway corridor. Also announced from the land bank was Phase I renovations of the controversial building, 96 Broadway. This intersection will look vastly different by the Spring/Summer of 2016.
- Beacon’s high rent becomes too expensive for small businesses, forcing some to move to Newburgh.
- The original steel Art Deco facade of Lillian’s Family Diner on 9W was revealed. The owner decided to give it away for free to anyone who could haul it away resulting in a massive outpouring of interested buyers. The good news is that it will stay in Newburgh as a movie prop, and maybe function as a diner again in the future.
- The Chapman Steamer Firehouse is sold to a new couple who plan to restore it. A few other artists are moving to Dubois by Downing Park, thus creating a growing pocket of revitalization of properties. (More to be announced later)
- The city launches a “Mill and Fill” project to repair severely damaged roads, although it has resulted in covering original red brick roads.
- ECO Shrimp opens in Newburgh. This is quite special as there are very few indoor shrimp farming facilities in the country.
- Habitat for Humanity will rehabilitate 3 derelict properties on South Miller, helping to change this block one house at a time.
- The Pivotal: Faces of Change art project highlighted Newburgh residents making positive changes in the City of Newburgh. The viewing party was held in back of Thornwillow Institute on South Lander, which was a wonderful urban experience inside a space imagined in a new way.
- Reinventing warehouse space, there was a Filipino dinner held inside Atlas Industries Studios. Hard to believe just a few years ago it was a scary and neglected warehouse.
- A small glimmer of hope: the facade of 69 Liberty sees repairs revealing original details. Hopefully a business can move in, opening up another boarded storefront.
- A new Newburgh resident opens RagHaus Letterpress on Broadway. It’s a trend I’m seeing a lot of lately, especially from Atlas Studio residents: new business owners buying houses and new homeowners moving their businesses to Newburgh.
- Chambers Street saw some more development this year like the restoration of 13 Chambers, and Habitat completely gutting 55 Chambers. It’s becoming a lovely block.
- The film industry continues to use Newburgh as a backdrop. Everyone is excited about that. And Mi America, a movie filmed entirely in Newburgh was released this year.
- Revived mixed use plans for the Regal Bag building were presented to the city council. The future is still uncertain, but it has not been forgotten.
- Photographers for Hope visit Newburgh and get mentioned in the New York Times.
- South William Street might be seeing much needed change as a new developer has started renovating 3 properties with neighborhood revitalization in mind.