Sneak Peek Inside Weigant’s Tavern

Weigant's Tavern Newburgh NY

Weigant’s Tavern is one of those special buildings in Newburgh surrounded by history, mystery, and neglect. It might look like scrap wood to you, but this building is special with Weigant Family connections to the Revolutionary War. According to local historian Mary McTamaney, the original tavern was located at the north side of Broad Street just east of Liberty. The building was most likely moved during the 1930’s, and it is unlikely any of the original 18th-century building parts remain.

However, as Orange County Historian Johanna Yaun stated,”The structure was moved and repaired so we’ll never know how much of the configuration is original. But the care given to moving the structure in the 1930’s illustrates a chapter of Colonial Revivalism in the early 20th century. I think this story, especially in a city so rich with Revolutionary War connections, is important to remember. We weren’t only the place where Washington headquartered, we are also the place that pioneered the historic preservation of sites associated with the founding era. The tavern reminds us that if not for the local militias and committees of safety (the men who rose up from the community to take a stand against the monarchy), Washington’s army would not have come into existence. We can’t explain the success of the Army without telling the story of what happened in the colony’s taverns.”

It is exciting to learn that Thomas Burr Dodd of RipRap LLC will oversee the rehabilitation of Weigant’s Tavern (also spelled Weigand and Weygant). The interior condition is much worse than anything that you can imagine just by judging from the outside. There isn’t one right angle in this entire building. The floors are warped, the walls are disintegrating and everything else is collapsing. It is little wonder it hasn’t imploded. Where does one even begin on a project like this? In the first few minutes of talking to Dodd, you realize he has a passion for history and old buildings. He has tentative plans to create an office here, but would also consider other possibilities like renting out to a tenant who wants to restore the original tavern use.

The abandonment that plagued this corner of the Old Town Cemetery made it an incredibly frightful place. Hopefully, the development of Weigant’s Tavern will be one more building block to the revitalization of northern Liberty.

*Please note, there are no tours of the tavern and you should not try to gain entry. For now, enjoy these photos of the current condition.

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2 Comment

  • We can thank the longterm reticence of the former Brooklynite(?) owner. Without including recent history- and the main reason it is in such deplorable condition- lack of criticism is a whitewash. If we are going to expect respect for these landmarks and other contributing properties in our Historic District- and beyond- we must as a community publicly condemn such irresponsible property conditions.

  • Continuing to watch the people disappear from the city- that block on Liberty Street is a no mans land because of the open air restaurant /club at Liberty and Broad. It’s an ordinance that no more than 10 people gather without a permit yet there it is. Local delis in the City serve as bars for the many addicted smokers and alcoholics as well as meeting places for drug users. There are more than 100 small sellers of pot in the City- an estimate recently given to me by a user who knows. So if you want to address the physical state of the buildings, without addressing the continued residencies of that population, good luck. Sanctuary Cities are having their federal funds cut so when that comes up, it will help a bit. Republicans in Goshen and Albany won’t have to look very hard.
    I am happy that Mr Brown is investing in the Liberty Street area. Liberty Street should be the commercial heart of the Mt St Mary campus as it provides a walkable conduit from there to the waterfront and Broadway. More People are needed in this area. The first step is to get them to be able to walk through there unmolested to enjoy the new businesses on Liberty St further south.