Celebrating Kingston's Architecture
Kingston, the third oldest city and largest surviving early Dutch settlement in New York State, has some of the oldest and most historic architecture in the Hudson River Valley and the state. The street plan of the original walled village laid out in 1658 by Peter Stuyvesant, Director-General of New Netherlands, remains today, and many limestone houses built by the early European settlers and their descendants still stand within the eight-block area known as the Stockade Historic District.
The story of the city’s more recent settlers -- the melting pot of immigrants who poured into the waterfront area in the nineteenth century -- is reflected in the Rondout-West Strand Historic District, a separate village until 1872. The growth of Rondout’s population and prosperity can be traced uphill to the adjoining Chestnut Street Historic District. Click Here for Walking Tour. Beginning in mid-century, affluent Rondout businessmen built large residences overlooking their enterprises and affording expansive views of the Hudson River. At the same time, the Fair Street District, another neighborhood of fashionable homes began to be built along the streets bordering the Stockade District.
For a more detailed description of each of these four unique neighborhoods, read the brochure, Kingston’s Historic Districts.
Kingston’s midtown area retains many buildings that reflect the city’s role as a major manufacturing center for ladies’ garments and cigars. In the heart of the area stands Kingston’s exquisitely restored City Hall, a testament to the worth of preserving historic buildings.
Explore this site to learn about Kingston’s treasury of architecture and how you can help preserve it. If you are contemplating making changes to a building within one of the city’s historic districts, Preservation Guidelines takes you step-by-step through the design review process and outlines guidelines for restoring a home or commercial building. 7 Ways To Love Your Older Home provides practical advice for repairing or restoring your older home. The Kingston Historic Preservation Library Reference List, at the Kingston Public Library, offers a wealth of resources on the history of Hudson Valley architecture and how-to publications for restoring old materials. You can also view and print out applications for building permits, zoning variances and historic landmark designation. For information and answers to your questions, contact:
Julie Edelson-Safford, City of Kingston Historic Preservation Administrator, Planning Department at City Hall (845) 334-3931.