Well what a surprise this is. Just when everyone thought this building was about to tumble down, brick repair has begun to the former Clinton Hotel at the corner of Washington Street and Liberty. They are starting at the rear off the building, knocking off loose bricks and stacking up others on the side. From the front of the building you can get a glimpse of the scaffolding peeking out from behind.
So what’s the deal with this building anyway? A fire gutted it in 1978. Since then it has been deteriorating brick by brick. I’ve been told plans are to rehabilitate the building into a mixed use property with possible lofts and ground floor exhibition space. And if all goes as planned, it might be the first Passive House in the Hudson Valley. Till then, hopefully the work will continue and prove to all the naysayers that buildings in severe disrepair don’t all have a date with a wrecking ball.
Yesterday was the ribbon cutting of the Central Hudson Main Street Revitalization Project. This project was a collaboration between Central Hudson, the City of Newburgh, Safe Harbors of the Hudson and the Newburgh Community Land Bank. The scope of this project included complete streets planning with crosswalks, curb extensions, planters and a new bus stop by Atlas Industries. It also included the funding of Safe Harbors Green Park and funding for the redevelopment of 96 Broadway – a long neglected building at a major intersection of Broadway.
The energy was very hopeful and full of excitement as we all stood around on this crisp fall day. Pedestrians were using the crosswalks, visitors sat on park benches, readers browsed the Little Free Library and riders sat at the new bus stop. This intersection has come leaps and bounds over the past decade. Although there is still much work to do, these improvements help to inspire others to continue to make progress in the City of Newburgh.
Perhaps you have noticed some major changes happening to some buildings on Washington Street over the past few months. They are located between Clark and Federal Streets and have been in various states of repair and abandonment as one reader mentioned when I posted about them three years ago in a Rescue Me post.
Renovations are wrapping up and I was able to take a peek inside. The buildings have been completely gutted and rehabbed. Brick walls and original wood floors can be seen throughout. The brand new bathrooms have floor to ceiling subway and wood grain porcelain tile. First floor apartments have access to the backyard that abuts St. George’s Cemetery with a nice tall stone wall. Laundry is on-site and accessible via the middle buildings. Much work is left to be done, like fixing the sidewalks, adding wrought iron railings and new glass front doors. Apartments vary from 1-2 bedrooms at $1,250-$1,450 and will be well lit along with security cameras.
The property is just a short walk to Liberty Street and all the latest happenings there. This newest renovation is taking revitalization efforts west on Washington Street. It will be just a matter of time before it carries over to Clark Street.
Some units have already been claimed, but there are plenty left. If you are interested contact:
Habitat for Humanity officially announced yesterday they will be breaking ground at 150, 152, 154, & 156 Ann Street. The homes, which are sponsored by faith-based organizations, are located at the corner of South Johnston Street, right next to the old Broadway Armory.
This location is ripe for new development. One block north is Broadway, and to the east is the Ann Street Gallery, new park Safe Harbors Green, the Ritz Theater, and Liberty Street – with established businesses and new ventures coming to the scene. For as long as I have known this lot, it has always been empty.
The only original home at this corner is to the left. It was once a burned out shell but has been rehabilitated for years now. The owners were in for quite a shock when they bought it at auction sight unseen, only to find out the cute-sounding house with 8 fireplaces was actually a building with no roof, no windows and missing floors in what people were calling the “hooker district“. This corner has come a long way.
There is still room to do more here. Diagonal the the Habitat site is 147 Ann Street, which also suffered a fire according the 1980 historic district inventory report. It is in horrible shape – from roof to foundation. But it has beautiful cast iron lintels and eyebrow windows which have been better highlighted next door at 145 Ann. It also has a storefront that could become an office or shop. On South Johnston Street there are abandoned carriage houses and garages that are in danger of collapsing at any moment.
According to Habitat, their Newburgh homeowners contribute nearly $390,000 per year in school and city taxes. They have helped 95 families become homeowners.
View of Ann Street facing east, with the Ann Street Gallery up ahead at the left.
View of 147 and 145 Ann Street, diagonal from the Habitat site.
The City of Newburgh has sent out the following press release announcing the first convictions for illegal dumping.
Three Newburgh residents were convicted in City Court on Tuesday morning of violating the City’s new anti-dumping law, passed in September 2015. Judge Paul Trachte accepted city Assistant Corporation Counsel Timothy Kramer’s suggested $750 fine for each of the three, and gave them one month to pay up. The new ordinance calls for a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense, but the City wanted to send a message.
“We want everyone to know that littering and dumping in Newburgh is now being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said City Council member Genie Abrams, who represents the Ward in which the dumping occurred.
“This case set the precedent,” said Karen Mejia, Councilwoman for Ward 1, who worked for weeks with Police Chief Dan Cameron to find a test case. “We are serious about our new ordinance, and we want the world to know that you cannot toss trash, garbage, tires, electronics, furniture, building materials or anything else onto any public areas of our City. We will continue to prosecute every single case, and with increased video surveillance, we will be catching more and more culprits. It’s crazy now to risk a minimum fine of $500 to dump a mattress on our streets, when by calling the Department of Public Works at 565-3297 you can arrange for them to pick them up for you, for a small fee,” stated Councilwoman Mejia.
The three men did not retain a lawyer. They heard the charges against them, and their punishment in Trachte’s courtroom. They all quickly accepted their $750 fines and the one-month payment deadline. Outside the courtroom, they told Councilwoman Abrams that they had not been working for a landlord when they were seen by an anonymous tipster on Feb. 10, who saw them dumping mattresses at the corner of Renwick and Johnes streets and called the cops.
“We are very grateful to the person who witnessed this dumping and called the police,” Mejia said, “and we urge all Newburghers to be on the alert for dumpers in their neighborhoods or anywhere in the City.”
Has anyone else noticed the developments of this building located at the corner of Washington and Mill Street? This is one building I definitely thought would be demolished. The east side of the building had a crack from foundation to roof which made the building look like it was breaking in 2. Just last week though, I spotted this construction work happening.
One of the great things about Newburgh is that it is an actual city. Broadway, Liberty Street, and the waterfront are not the only commercial thoroughfares. In 1895 this building and its owner were mentioned:
THOMAS LITTLETON formerly one of the Almshouse Commissioners owns a good business location at No 274 Washington Street Newburgh and enjoys a large retail trade in staple and fancy groceries and liquors…In 1862 he went to New York and served as coachman for Mrs Lawrence on Fifth Avenue remaining there for two years after which he ran as conductor on the old horse car line for three years. Returning to Newburgh he started in business for himself and conducted a store in New Windsor for two years. In 1870 he opened an establishment in the building which he owns at the corner of Mill and Washington Streets.
We know the building, most likely dates back to circa 1870. Hopefully one day it can enjoy the large retail trade it did under Mr. Littleton.