Isn’t it amazing how a few words by a well known newspaper can downplay the efforts of an entire city? That is pretty much what happened a few weeks ago. But, what exactly is going on?
After a recent article that focused on the tumultuous history of Newburgh’s youth, many felt saddened, embarrassed, and unrewarded for the hard work they have painstakingly put into Newburgh. Many felt such an article was unnecessary, and that they should have equally highlighted the constructive and rehabilitative efforts of the many who work and live in Newburgh. With that said, and with the request of a few readers, we will look at Newburgh as a city of progress, a city undergoing a restoration.
Every struggle has its highs and its lows. Newburgh is no exception in its struggle to become a restored and stabilized city. However, there are many great stories to share of positive developments that are occurring. These deserve equal spotlight. Highlighting these developments makes Newburgh a more desirable place to live for newcomers who perhaps would like to be a part of the change. So, for the past year I have been able to gather many stories together. Here are some of the positive developments that have happened, and surely many things are missing. But here is a look back at the past year and a half:
- 78 Gang members arrested and off Newburgh’s streets, and more continue to turn themselves in
- Washington Headquarters State Park is spared from budget cuts and a new HVAC system installed
- Urban Farms- youth and family operated in open lots and parks around the City
- New building plan approved by ZBA on Broadway and Liberty Street in economically hard times when not many would be trying to build anything
- Greater Hudson Valley Health Center open
- The Ritz Theater receives $400,000 grant to help restore theater, and also received a $200,000 grant to rebuild the box office space
- Newburgh continues to be a place for entrepreneurs opening up new businesses.
- The Wherehouse Restaurant is up and running bringing new faces to the East End and holding many art, music, and cultural events
- The East Parmenter Neighborhood has already been started with families occupying some of the homes.
- Habitat for Humanity continues to change lives and entire blocks in the community by restoring and constructing 43 homes and counting since 2000!
- West Shore Train Station is saved, restored, ready for leasing, and has begun to hold events such as art auctions. Plans are set in place to eventually hold a branch of Cosimo’s restaurant and a nonprofit playhouse.
- Riverfront homes in the Regal Bag Building are approved which will add approximately $2 million in taxes to the City, boost the local economy, and revive another part of the City.
- SUNY Orange campus is almost completed, and set to open in Spring 2011. This project will bring development up from the Waterfront and along Broadway.
- YMCA opened on Broadway which has rooms that will be utilized for educational workshops, teen programs and community events
- Over 1,200 people visited the Ann Street Gallery in 2009, and the Downing Film Center was voted the best movie theater in the Hudson Valley solidifying Newburgh as a cultural destination.
- Historical Broadway Park restored by private funds
- Exterior Bricks have been secured at Liberty School and interior restoration/construction underway. This will eliminate a huge eyesore on Liberty Street and the Heights section of the City.
- Community Clean ups take place around the City
- Newburgh Restoration continually gets emails weekly from many followers looking to relocate and invest in Newburgh.
- Big “New-and improved-burgh” campaign to begin in June 2010….more information to follow
And the list goes on….many people are doing great things daily in Newburgh that might be as simple as helping out a neighbor, or donating time, money, or energy to community efforts. They do not go unnoticed. Another blogger, Genie Abrams, also wrote an excellent response to the above mentioned article and included many points I did not mention. Check out what she had to say here. Also, a great article was recently written in the Chronogram magazine that highlights many positive things going on in Newburgh, and things to happen as well.
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See below for some of the photos from the above summary. Click to enlarge. For more positive Newburgh News check out this link.
Ditto. Years ago I remember a flyer that said, "would the last person leaving Newburgh turn out the lights?" Some lights are dimmed so that others can shine – thanks for the perspective balance 🙂
Thank you for this article. For those looking for a hands on and tangible way to improve Newburgh, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh. Sign up is easy, no experience is necesary, and it is a fun way to make a difference.
Great article. Every time you mention Newburgh to someone they automatically think it's a dump hole and poor city with gangs and violence (for good reason though). Unfortunately it's going to take some years maybe even a generation to change the image of Newburgh in their mind.
Also the government and our politicians need to help. They need to stop sending people who are on welfare and poor to Newburgh because it's cheap here. We need more people who are making an income and paying taxes than being on the government payroll with no chance to get off it until they die (sad, but it's true).