This is an update for an old post on 144 First Street. I posted the “after” photo of this building to Instagram last week, and it was very popular. There were a few comments asking if it was for sale and others admiring the beautiful exterior. It made me think that we should take a look back at what it looked like before. I’ve been calling it a carriage house, but it definitely seems to have been an old store that was replaced with carriage house doors. The result is beautiful and charming. Funny enough, most people don’t realize there are hundreds of buildings like this in Newburgh. They look scary at first but hold a lot of potential for anyone with a vision.
We are taking another look at the apartment buildings on Washington Street to see a final side by side comparison of the massive changes that have happened since they were rehabilitated. These buildings were in perpetual disrepair over the past 10+ years. For the past 3-4 years I have observed them they were vacant and covered in graffiti. In 2016 work began to completely overhaul the five buildings and now in 2017 all the units have been rented out except one. The sidewalks have been repaired with new tree plantings, applying City Planning streetscape standards and the interiors are modern with have historical characteristics.
As a corridor to Washington’s HQ, the changes here make this section of Washington Street a more inviting and pleasant block for residents and pedestrians alike. Undoubtedly projects of this scale require a lot of patience and money, but the results display the value of these buildings in the historic district.
A newly renovated building on Liberty Street is a fine example of the potential of Newburgh’s historic district. Two years ago this building was up for sale. Since then new business, Palate Wine and Spirits, has moved in, raising the bar of the Liberty Street corridor. The fake stone facade and aluminum siding was removed and replaced with historically accurate details and color scheme. Job well done, it looks beautiful!
Imagine if all the buildings on Liberty Street were restored the same way? One building at a time …
It is not uncommon to hear people say homes in this condition should be torn down. Hopefully, seeing makeovers like this changes their minds. This quaint rowhouse on Chambers Street has been restored and dedicated to a new family by Habitat for Humanity. The dramatic changes made are revitalizing Chambers one house at a time. The building across the street is an excellent candidate.
Homes don’t have to be decrepit, vacant or blighted to see a dramatic makeover. Some just need maintenance or restoration from attempts to “modernize” them over the years. Such is the case with this home in the Heights section of Newburgh. The owners really had their heart set on a brick home, but they loved the view from this frame house.
When they began to remove the aluminum siding, they were thrilled to discover fishscale and clapboard underneath. The siding had retained water and at least 50% of the wood needed replacing.
The porch had rotted away and needed to be rebuilt. Water had softened the structural beams which is part of the unexpected surprises of renovating an old home. The contractor and owners also paid careful attention to restoring the architectural balance of the house by opening and changing windows that had been covered (sometimes to retain heat).
The exterior has been fully restored. It makes the neighborhood so much more attractive and not only adds value to the home, but that of the neighbors. The Heights has been seeing a steady influx of new residents and families who are restoring homes. There are many more for the avid old home lover.
Although there are many distressed buildings in Newburgh, there are plenty that have been restored and rehabilitated over the years. It can be easy to forget or to overlook these buildings. This is a wonderful and dramatic reminder of what 107 Liberty Street used to look like. Local business woman and owner, Stacie Laskin, bought the property from the city of Newburgh. The entire building was gutted to make 2 spacious apartments and a proper storefront that she now uses as an office. Stacie also removed the white paint from the facade and rebuilt the bay windows that were rotting.
Buildings like this look all too familiar. Some people say they should just be torn down, but the “after” photo below shows how valuable and irreplaceable Newburgh architecture is. There are many more buildings on Liberty Street just waiting for their turn to be brought back to life.