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 16 of 20)
Reprinted with permission from Kingston by Edwin Millard Ford with Friends of Historic Kingston
City Hall Fights Back
Then: Built in elaborate Victorian Gothic style, Kingston’s City Hall is a proud reminder of the city’s prominent place in Valley commerce during the late 19th century. Conveniently located near the Hudson River, the D&H Canal, and the growing railroad system, Kingston grew to be an important transportation hub by the late 1800s. And the booming sales of locally manufactured items — especially bluestone, brick, and cement — also contributed dollars to its coffers. Like most of the region’s river towns, however, Kingston had its share of economic ups and downs during the 20th century. And City Hall saw hardship, too: A 1927 fire destroyed the original bell tower and distinctive gabled roof. But the building continued to be the seat of local government until 1972, when new offices near the Rondout waterfront were constructed using urban renewal funds.
Photograph by Phyllis McCabe
Now: Even though it held a place on the national and state Registers of Historic Places, City Hall was shuttered and left to deteriorate for 20 years. Upon taking office in 1994, Kingston’s late mayor, T.R. Gallo, spearheaded a community-wide effort to return the building to its former grandeur. Six years — and $6.5 million — later, the restoration was completed; today, the building is once again home to Kingston’s municipal government.
If you like what you see here, check out www.arcadiapublishing.com, the Web site of Arcadia Publishing. The leading publisher of history books in the U.S., the company generously supplied many of the vintage photographs for this article. Their list includes a large number of titles that profile Valley cities, towns, and other popular locations.
Next: Mount Beacon
Click on any image below to view more historic photos from 'round the Valley