In an 85,000-square-foot warehouse 55 miles north of New York City is a museum that is testament to one man’s twin passions: for motorcycles and for the City of Newburgh.
The Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh is home to over 500 motorcycles. It began when Newburgh residents Ted Doering and his father started collecting motorcycle parts over 60 years ago. During that time, they have amassed an immense and rare collection of motorcycles. They could have chosen anywhere to open the museum, but they decided to do it in a warehouse in the City of Newburgh, because that’s where Ted’s heart is. He wanted not only to preserve and showcase the treasures they had acquired, but to help put his hometown back on the map.
For the new museum’s home, Doering chose a warehouse that was the former home of Miron Lumber. During the time of the warehouse’s construction, New York State was on the brink of legalizing casino gambling, and the owner saw this as a potential future use for his warehouse. He had the first floor built with tall ceilings, so that an additional floor could be built with a corridor overlooking the main floor. The casino dream never materialized, but the structure would later prove to be perfect for displaying the Doerings’ impressive motorcycle collection.
One of the main attractions of the Motorcyclepedia Museum is its collection of vintage Indian motorcycles. The Indian Motorcycle Room has every Indian built from 1901 to 1953 — all of the original bikes as well as prototypes that never went into production. Other highlights include an original Charles Lindbergh motorcycle and the oldest running motorcycle in America, dating back to 1897. You can even see one of the original motorcycles from JFK’s motorcade, used on the day he was assassinated. They also have bikes that appeared in movies such as Easy Rider, Ghost Rider, and Saving Private Ryan. The warehouse space is so abundant that there is also room for three “Wall of Death” attractions, and a railroad box car from 1906.
Motorcyclepedia representative Mark Gamma acknowledges that the City of Newburgh, like any other city, has its share of distressed neighborhoods, but this represents a unique opportunity for those who have a vision and the desire to change things for the better. The museum is located in the southwest corner of the city at the base of Snake Hill.
“The value here in Newburgh is not just space,” says Gamma. “It’s the cost of our real estate, the low cost of doing any business here versus New York City. [Newburgh] offers more room to move around. You get much more for you money in Newburgh.” Real estate is not the only reason Newburgh is worthy of investment. Gamma feels that Newburgh is worth saving and investing in because “there are 4 centuries of architecture here, and we don’t want it to go away.”
To learn more about Newburgh, check out “The River of Opportunities – the City of Newburgh” website.