City Receives $20k for Newburgh Broadway Design Guidelines Project


On December 11th, the Regional Economic Council (page 103) announced funds that will be given to a number of historic preservation and Main Street projects. Newburgh was one of them being awarded $20,000 to develop design guidelines for the Broadway corridor. What kind of guidelines would you like to see implemented on Broadway? How about getting ride of metal security gates, neon lights, and satellite dishes?

Photo © Mike Z, NR flickr pool user

22 Comment

  • How about getting rid of supermarket and low-income housing projects, and instead renovation of existing buildings.

    • All valid points Christa but, when renovating existing buildings on Broadway, what design guidelines should the city be sticking to? I’d like to see consistent sinage, like the quaint downtowns of other cities and towns. Broadway is all over the place now.

      • Perhaps, all over the place shows the diversity of the people of Newburgh and need not be bad, as long as the buildings are cleaned up, spruced up, with greenery in front, and a narrow middle aisle along Broadway growing flowering trees. To change the design of buildings is a nice dream, but may be too costly at this time, and we need change now.

        • Yes, some greenery and a median would be great. I know there have been some plans in the past to implement a median. I think we will see the idea resurface again soon.

        • I have to agree with Christa. This city’s diversity is the beauty of it. Clean is good, but homogenized, well, I have to agree. Aesthetics are a matter of taste 😉

  • Neon signs are an important tool for advertising especially this time of year when it’s so dark. Signage is tough because it often requires permits and processes can take months! Don’t take away the people’s right to advertise!

    • SP- Broadway is in the historic district. Many historic districts do not allow neon signs and their business somehow manage to light their signs and they prosper. There are other options to light storefronts and signs. If you take a look at the Preserving Newburgh Manual it says, “Plastic-faced, internally-lit cabinet-type signs are not allowed, although neon signs may be. Care must be taken to attach them to a building in a manner so as to avoid damaging or destroying historic building materials.” The plastic box signs also take away from the character of the buildings.

      What is ultimately desired is as following mentioned in the guide, “in general they must be designed and sized to fit the proportions and architectural character of a building and may not obscure or cover up architectural features and ornamentation on a historic building.” Unfortunately many storefronts on Broadway do this. Google “historic district storefront signage” you will see a lot of great options and inspiration.

    • Neon: If it’s good enough for the historic Village in NYC,,,,

  • I would love to see the satellites go! They are such an eye sore.

    • If the people who live there have chosen to subscribe to satellite TVs, that should be respected in whatever design plans are made. People may need metal gates to keep their homes or businesses safe. It’s bad enough putting up with the Architectural Review Tribunal rigamarole when you need to make an exterior repair to your house before you jump through hoops at the Building Department. Dealing with another official “Taste Police” group in addition to all the other immovable obstacles like the new Parking non-Court is not going to make Newburgh a better place to live. Not when picking up junk, litter, and bulk garbage that’s continually deposited all over the sidewalks, and in empty lots and open spaces throughout the city is a more obvious need. Whoever ends up creating the guidelines for Broadway need to consider the people who live, work, and do business there–from getting tires changed, using the laundromat, picking up food, or accessing City Hall. The mindset needs to be broader and more realistic than one small group’s idea of what looks artistic or constitutes good taste.

      • No one is saying you can’t have a satellite. But again, the Newburgh Preservation manual addresses this issue, which is not being enforced:

        Nothing can disrupt the visual integrity of an otherwise intact historic home more easily than the thoughtless placement of modern communication equipment such as satellite antennas. Always place these out of public view and never on the front of a building. Care must be taken when installing them not to damage historic building materials.

        All too often they are attached to the front of the façade of buildings, attached to the exterior.

  • How about a tree-lined pedestrian friendly strip down the middle of Bway east of 9W?

  • Oops sorry, I just read Christa Ocker’s post and I second it…

  • In my opinion, getting rid of metal security gates is not practical. Safety for businesses and residents is of utmost importance in Newburgh as in any other inner city. I’m out of ideas for design guidelilnes. There’s so many other ways that $20K can be spent in Newburgh.

    • You are right Peter. What I really meant to say is to have see-through metal security gates. The ones many stores have now block light and make streets darker at night.

  • I think one thing that is crystal clear from all the comments is that if the community is given an opportunity to give input in the design guidelines, everyone should show up! We all have so many ideas and can all learn from each other.

    • A good place to start may be to look at what’s worked in similiar inner city areas in NY. I can tell you now that a lot of the tree lined medians etc have turned into an absolute nightmare in NYC as far as impeding traffic, causing congestion and wasting space. See Allen St in Chinatown, etc.

      One of the beauties of Newburgh’s Broadway is the river/mountain views as you head east. It is also spacious and easily navigated. If businesses on Broadway boom, the spaciousness and freedom from congestion will be much needed. My suggestion is not to clutter it up with medians and trees that hide the views in the east.

      On some of my Saturday trips up there I already notice heavier traffic than last year as more businesses open.

  • While I appreciate this forum for discussion, these points have been dialogued and “studied” ad nauseum. There are piles of disregarded studies that included many hours of public input on the city’s shelves- and wasted grant money galore. This is a common thread here: the public is called on to voice their opinion about what they would want to see happen to improve the city; the comments are recorded and included in a report; the report is put on a shelf never to be seen by human eyes again; the city gets yet another grant for yet another study and calls on the public for their insight: wash, rinse, repeat. That money should go toward reviewing and publishing all those archives into a searchable, organized publicly-accessible outlet so that this circle comes to a halt. The bs about times have changed and there are new people here does not preclude the great efforts of people before them. Ignoring those efforts is just setting the same machine in motion towards that crowded shelf in our archives. This city has a great history but it can’t ignore its recent history of all the people who have given their all to move this city forward. The foundation for any renaissance in the city was laid by those efforts. The least that could be done is to respect those efforts. The technology to cull these ideas and publish them in a responsive format has never been more readily available. It’s time to take advantage of it with this money.

    @Elizabeth Holpuch: The ARC are not the taste police or some small group. Their guidelines are spelled out and their purpose is to preserve the historic character of the city. You can freely add your input by going to these meetings and speaking during the public hearings. They welcome outside opinions and are considerate of them. There are plenty of places in the Hudson Valley where you can do whatever the hell you want- and that’s exactly what it looks like- but we have something unique and valuable here that can’t be replicated for any price and once gone cannot be replaced.

    • Michael, I remember reading similar guidelines or studies that were done on Broadway that used to be available online. If I can dig them up I’ll try sharing them too.

      **Edit** I found a ton. I won’t link them all, just google “study newburgh broadway median” and go through all the pdf’s on the first 2 search pages. Tons of plans and studies to choose from.

      Here’s also another article from the 80’s that talks about how development was slow at that time too….

      • Thanks for doing the research Cher. There is PLENTY accessible on the web, Yes, Michael, I feel exactly the same way; what? another 20K study? what about all the ones that came before..And why not execute some of these publicly vetted ideas already…why are we STILL, as Elizabeth points out, looking at bulk garbage on every empty lot or vacant building sidewalk…Let’s get to STEP NUMBER TWO, people.

  • Definetely, strictly set sign ordinances. this includes outside signs on the building and in store window. I agree with your above suggestions, however, the security gates for now are a necessity, perhaps regulations on design of them for now should be in place. No loitering on city streets, there are a few regular Prostitutes that frquent the street at night in better weather, I do not go on city streets at night.
    No loitering in general!
    The sidewalks in front of business need to be swept and cleaned regularly by business owner.
    Strict no littering fines.
    Shop keepers must keep their window clean inside and out.
    Stricter block party regulations.
    Regulations for buildings/apt owner regulations for aesthetics of facades of buildings.
    No peeling chipping paint ,masonary, graffiti-STRICT, HEAVY FINES FOR VIOLATIONS ON LANDLORDS.
    Strict regulations on how many people can live in a certain square footage of apt. Over crowded apts. put stress on the education system, as the landlord only pays per apt in bldg, not how many kids live there.