Then & Now

West Point cadets and the sex-and-drug ’60s; IBM, Luckey Platt, and ice harvesters; airports, bridges, and those famous ferries. Join us for a look back at the last 100 years of Valley history


(page 15 of 20)

Luckey, Platt & Co. Department StorePhotograph courtesy of Dutchess County Historical Society

The Macy's of the Mid-Hudson

Then: Founded in the 1840s as a small dry-goods retailer, Luckey, Platt & Company Department Store grew to become the Valley’s major shopping destination for much of the 20th century. The store, located in a five-story building on the corner of Main and Academy streets in downtown Poughkeepsie, operated 43 sales departments at its peak, and even hosted a Thanksgiving parade for a few years in the 1950s. But the advent of suburban shopping centers, such as the South Hills Mall in 1974, badly hurt business. The city attempted to restore Luckey Platt to its former glory by closing off three blocks of Main Street to create a traffic-free “Main Mall,” but the company was forced to close its doors for good in 1980.

Photograph courtesy of Frank RobertsLuckey Platt luxury apartments

Now: In 2004, after decades of renovation rumors, U.S. senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton secured $250,000 in federal funding to refurbish the former department store. The building’s new owners plan to house retail shops on the ground floor. Luxury apartments on the top four floors were expected to become available for rent in November. Prices start at $650 for a studio and climb to $1,300 for a two-bedroom.

Next: Kingston City Hall


Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley


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