Press release: “Launching June 1, 2019, Newburgh is the first expansion for Urban Archive outside of New York City. Urban Archive, a technology non-profit, had their start in 2016 working with three institutional partners and only a few hundred archival photographs. Today, Urban Archive’s digital platform features more than 80,000 geolocated images sourced from more than two dozen organizations in New York City. These images, which are available at your fingertips on a free iOS app, constitute a vital resource for the documentation of the City’s rich history.
Local institutions in the Hudson Valley have now begun to make their rich photographic collections publicly accessible, utilizing Urban Archive’s digital platform to tell their stories: the important intersections of architecture, preservation, place, and community. Through this new partnership, Newburgh residents and visitors can use the Urban Archive mobile app to interact with Newburgh’s history where it happened through archival photos and special features such as curated walking tours, audio tours, and DIY then-and-now photo recreations. For this launch, five collaborative partners have added over 148 images of historic Newburgh for users to explore.
Situated 60 miles north of New York City, Newburgh NY is the second largest historic district in New York State with architectural styles representing three centuries. Walking through the city, visitors will learn about the buildings and their stories with the Urban Archive mobile app. Examples include structures by renowned local architect Frank E. Estabrook whose specialty was designing public buildings and schools, AME Zion Church where Frederick Douglass visited in 1870, and the endangered Dutch Reformed Church – an 1835 Greek Revival “temple” that is on the World Monuments Fund’s list of the “100 Most Endangered Sites”. Like many industrial cities, Newburgh suffered through the mid-20th century losing jobs, taxes, investment and over 1,000 structures to a failed urban renewal program. Some of Newburgh’s lost notable buildings are also included in Urban Archive.
Collaboration is essential in compiling these archives. Local partners include City of Newburgh Heritage Center, Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, The Newburgh Free Library, The Southeastern NY Library Resources Council and The Department of Small Interventions. The five partnering organizations are excited to see how the platform can be utilized by teachers, students, and researchers to uncover location-based history. The team welcomes the opportunity to expand membership to other organizations who want to share their collections with the public.”