The white house that was on the corner of Fullerton Avenue and South Street is no more. Tax records confirm rumors that Central Hudson bought the property to build some sort of control station. The purchase price was $35,000 in December 2015. Last week while driving by it was striking to see the house being torn down, floor by floor. An old Zillow listing shows the house was vacant with boarded windows and peeling paint. The listing details that water removal was likely needed in the basement.

It’s still yet to be determined what the replacement structure will be. However, look at the comparison of what was there, and what we are left with. Corner properties are gateway entrances into neighborhoods. Instead of seeing a quaint white house (granted in need of repairs) with a large tree, what you will see is a barren lot, probably to be replaced with a cold concrete structure with a chain link fence.

Google Maps

City Tax Photo

The days are numbered for 68 Campbell (map). At the recent city council meeting, it was announced that this building will be demolished as soon as the city receives a variance and has chosen a contractor.

This really does not come as much of a surprise. I photographed the building in 2010 as a Rescue Me property. Then in 2012, I found it on eBay listed at $15,000. Fast forward to today, 2017 it appears there was a fire that was started possibly from 4th of July fireworks. Upon further inspection, the city found that most of the bluestone lintels on the building had been stolen. Their removal compromises the building as it holds floor joists and supporting elements of the building together. DPW, the fire department, and the city engineer all determined that the building must be demolished to protect the public. Till then, the sidewalks of Campbell and Johnston have been blocked off to pedestrians.  The City of Newburgh is the property owner.

Newburgh has many historic cemeteries. It is very apparent those some of them are in need of care. This hands-on workshop will teach you how to clean and repair the headstones.

Attendance for this workshop is limited to 16 people. The Newburgh site for clean up is- Temple Beth Jacob Big Rock Cemetery in Newburgh on July 16th, 11am-1pm. (at the corner of Carter St and Hillcrest Place) Bring a bucket and a soft brush.

This event is free, however, reservations are required due to limited seating. Call 845-360-6978 or email cvickers@orangecountygov.com

Seven years ago, I took the photo above, hoping that one day we would see a drastic difference. Seven years later the 290 Liberty was still abandoned and in worse shape than it had ever been. With a renovation bill into the million range, no one had stepped up to reverse 30 years of neglect. The Newburgh Community Land Bank came to the tough decision of demolishing the building because of the potential danger it caused to pedestrians, as well as the two neighboring properties. They wrote a very poignant piece on the history of the home, commemorating the lives and the history of the people who once lived there.

Many people are enraged when a building has to be demolished. Some people think it’s just “one more building.” Unfortunately, dozens of other buildings will meet the same fate if not taken care of soon. We lost 290 Liberty, but there are plenty of other buildings screaming out Rescue Me.

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Historical windows, you either hate them or you love them. If you hate them it’s probably because you don’t think they are energy efficient, or the ARC is requiring that you use pricey historically accurate replacements.

Newburgh is the second largest historic district in NY State. That means that there are thousands of historical windows that still remain despite many replacements. What about the windows that remain that have broken panes, rotted sashes or torn ropes? Should you try and save them? Fortunately there are some die-hard old window aficionados out there who are painstakingly restoring Newburgh’s windows one at at time. Ben Brandt of Newburgh Sash and Restoration is one of them.

Here, Ben will explain why it’s worth saving those 100 year old windows on your home. Make sure to visit his facebook page or instragram for other examples of his work! You can also email him at newburghsash(at)gmail.com.

Reasons to restore windows:

“They’re important original features of your house! They were designed for your particular house, and are a significant part of the “look” of a building.  Replacement windows fit inside your existing window frame, so they are slightly smaller than the original sashes. And because they have to accommodate a doubly thick insulated glass unit, they have less depth and edge details than the original wood sashes.  This gives new windows the appearance of being “cut and pasted” onto a building instead of being integrated into the design.  And because modern aluminum and glass are manufactured to have a flawless surface, new windows have a “dead” appearance compared to historic windows that acquire character gracefully over time. While the differences may seem small, it’s the small details that add up to make a big difference.

“They don’t make them like they used to” is a phrase that definitely applies to windows.  Most importantly, the wood that was used for old windows is several orders of magnitude better than wood that is commercially available today.  It was milled from slow-growing, old-growth forests that provided much denser, and more naturally rot resistant lumber. The joinery, or the way the wood parts were assembled were developed to last a lifetime, be super strong as well as reversible, allowing the possibility of repairs as opposed to wholesale replacement.  Also, the pulley- and-weight balances are a simple, durable and effective system that allow for easy repairs compared to the modern proprietary plastic parts that are often difficult to track down when they inevitably brake.

They’re more energy-efficient than we’re led to believe by the replacement window industry. Independent studies have confirmed that a well-maintained or properly restored window with weather-stripping and a good storm window is just as efficient as any modern replacement. When you factor in the energy saved by NOT throwing away the embodied energy in your existing windows and the energy required to produce new glass and wood/vinyl/aluminum replacements, you came out even farther ahead in energy savings.

Quality. Because of their unique materials and traditional construction, they’ve lasted over a hundred years! We can make them last 100 more. The majority of commercially available replacement windows cannot make that claim. Approximately half of all replacement windows ordered today are made to replace failed replacements. Take a look at the windows at the Foundry Condominium development. They’re only about fifteen years old and the color is faded and the insulated glass units have failed and become fogged up. I’d be curious to ask the occupants if they still operate well, my bet would be that they’re sticky and don’t stay open.  Old windows are designed to be maintained for decades, new windows are designed to be thrown out and replaced again.”

To learn more about restoring historical windows, see the following sites:

Studies on efficiency.
Another overview:
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Restoration work is happening to the facade of 115 Liberty Street, aka Palate Wines & Spirits. The old fake stone facade is being removed and replaced by an appropriate clapboard siding. Not only is the interior of the shop gorgeous, but they are making the outside match as well. Be sure to visit. Philippe and company are doing some commendable placemaking work here that is really making Liberty Street a quaint place to be. Before and after photos to come when the work is complete.

It all starts one building at a time…