(Picture taken from Hudson River Valley Heritage Library)
It’s crazy to see the state this school has fallen into from the pristine condition in the first photo. (You can click on the library link below the photo and even get a close up of the wardrobes of the people). And, you can check out more recent pictures of the school and Newburgh from Anna at Door Sixteen here. Here’s a bit of history of the structure: This school was designed by architect Frank E. Estabrook when in 1891 the contract was awarded to build the structure. The building contained 8 classrooms with enough room for 40 desks each. The estimated cost to build the structure was $30,000. The last class left this building in 1980. That is 29 years of non habitation.
I know I’m a little late with this but, for those of you wondering what was going on with the Liberty Street School here is a little information. An anonymous person informed me Bluestone Developers are in the process of restoring the building. I’m saddened to know that this WON’T become a building dedicated to artists as was once planned in 2003 by Philip Rudolp! After doing a little digging here are the minutes from the public hearing July 22, 2008. For a full version, click here. (Skip to the last paragraph to read a summary of the minutes)
“Requesting a Use Variance to renovate the existing Liberty Street School building into approximately 25 apartment units and the Johnes Street parcels for parking use…Jerome Blue, of Bluestone Developers, addressed the Board and explained how the exterior of the building, for the most part, will remain the same. The interior will consist of approximately 25 various sized apartment co-ops and the parking will be around the corner on Johnes Street.. He noted that one of the parcels included in the project is currently designated as a brownfield. The target is 80% market value and 20% affordable housing.”
Then on September 9, 2008 they were back again. Here are the minutes. Click here for full detail:
“The Board discussed the limitation of the interior brick work and roof repair to the stabilization of the structure and to install one over one wood windows and wood entry door for the purposes of stabilizing the building located at One Liberty Street. The Board also acknowledged the integration of the demolition of the building located at 511 Johnes Street into the project. “
On November 12, 2008 they were back again. Click here for full details.
“To install GAF fiberglass roof shingles, repair/restore cornice? rebuild existing gutter system? repair existing stone staircase? install new handicap concrete ramp with metal pipe railing? remove existing pavement? remove/replace existing concrete sidewalk and install new concrete sidewalk pattern to match existing on Renwick Street side? reset existing flagstone walk and install concrete sidewalk and patio area on Liberty Street side? install trees, shrubs and ground cover at One Liberty Street? remove concrete sidewalk and curb and install 6’ wood stockade fence and decorative lighting at 511 Johnes Street … The Commission discussed the application as submitted and requested that the Applicant return for further approvals regarding the color of the roof shingles and paint and for additional landscaping “
I was beginning to think nothing is going on with this structure, but apparently things are going on behind the scenes. They are going to knock down the building at 511 Johnes Street, but I guess it’s for the better because this school is huge. The impact of the restoration is going to be a lot greater than keeping one structure in the way. It is just really disappointing to see that the school didn’t end up becoming the artist haven it was once envisioned as. Newburgh could really use more community minded buildings, rather than more unconventional housing-no matter how awesome the condo’s might turn out. However, it’s great to see that the city/developer is making the structure historically accurate because they are already discussing roof shingles, paint, and landscaping. Now my question is-when do they break ground??? The last meeting minutes are 3 months old.