Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last Day in Newburgh

The city's large grassy hill and the Newburgh Beacon Bridge in the background.

So many properties sitting empty, waiting for restoration. Since most places have been cleaned up and many contractors are busy here, it felt hopeful.

My friends asked why I want to go back to Newburgh. I found it to be a very interesting place. (I also want to check out Washington's Headquarters, and spend some time at the Manuscript Museum.)

Tall ships have been wandering up and down the river all week. This weekend the big flotilla will arrive in Newburgh for a festival.

William Street near Ann Street.

There are some serious buildings in Newburgh. Sadly some great buildings were lost during the urban renewal "removal" programs of the 60s and 70s, but many gorgeous buildings remain.

I saw so many groundhogs (and rabbits, too-- running around right downtown.) This might be due to so many well-fenced vacant lots filled with tall grasses and shaggy areas here and there.

I found the many vacant lots interesting as well as this pattern left behind.

This huge vacant lot was just one of several. Despite the economy, things are being built.

Other lots remain simple grassy areas where just one or two condemned buildings were removed.

Another historic building waiting for funds. (The modern library is on the right.) The library has a great staff and a good collection.

There's also a wonderful manuscript library / museum.

The original library is now a church.

Broadway is probably the widest Main Street in the state. It doesn't take much imagination to see that Newburgh was once a grand town.

Newburgh's situation on the river, halfway between NYC and Albany helped it to thrive in the past. In the 1930's the new invention, Television was tested by over 500 local families. The sets were met with enough enthusiasm that the RCA company decided to move forward with the technology. Many of the little items that are now manufactured in China were once made in the city. Newburgh also manufactured hats, silks, cottons, woolens, perfumes, soaps, and many luxury items. There were plenty of machine shops, leatherworks, and factories for shipyard equipment. Tools and auto parts were manufactured here as well as furniture.

A farm market and the Armory.

An old furniture store front on Broadway. Spending two days in Newburgh wasn't enough. The town has a fascinating history and there's much more to see.