Introduction to Kingston, New York
Kingston is situated on the west bank of the Hudson River in Ulster County. The city has three neighborhoods known as uptown, midtown and downtown. The uptown and the downtown are historic districts. A wide variety of architecture such as Art Deco, Victorian, Greek Revival, Italianate, Neo-Classical and Romanesque are located in the city. The downtown has a prominent artist community and notable art galleries.
The area was originally named Esopus; the name of an Indian tribe and was one of the primary communities in New Netherland. The British took over the Dutch colony and changed the name to Kingston in 1664. It became the first capital of the state of New York in 1777. After the Battle of Saratoga was over, Kingston was set on fire by British soldiers. The fire destroyed most of the buildings and a significant granary.
The city of Rondout which is now part of Kingston, was an important freight center for moving coal from Pennsylvania to New York City. Due to major deposits of bluestone and cement the region was a prime location for quarrying, which began in 1844. The Newark Lime and Cement Company was sending cement all over the country. The brick making industry was thriving and was a significant factor for the economy.
The city is served by the Stewart International and the Albany International Airports.
- Fred Johnston Museum has an elegant interior and features antique furniture and noteworthy artwork.
- Maritime Museum is dedicated to the maritime history of the Hudson River.
- Old Dutch Church & Museum.
- Senate House Museum is one of the oldest public buildings in the country.
- Trolley Museum.
- Volunteer Fireman's Hall & Museum of Kingston.
- Coykendall Coach Houses.
- Rondout Lighthouse features historic furnishings.
- Van Steenburgh House.
- Henry Sleight House.
- The Historic Kingston Stockade District.
- The old village of Wiltwyck is a National Historic District, featuring numerous unique Pre-Revolutionary stone houses.
- Carnegie Library includes an attractive facade made out of bluestone, taken from local quarries.
- The Old City Hall.
- Ulster Performing Arts Center.
- Montgomery Place Historic Estate is located on a large acreage and is an architectural landmark.
The Big Indian Valley, located in the Catskill Mountains is a beautiful location and provides excellent opportunities for camping, hiking, snowshoeing and fishing. The Interpretive Nature Trail includes a wide variety of trees and offers scenic views of the Hudson River. The historic Roundout Walking tour showcases a 19th Century waterfront area named Kingston Landing, which offers different styles of architecture.
The Kingston Heritage Trail provides visitors the opportunity to see notable historic structures. There are a large number of noteworthy art galleries and theaters in the city. A cruise on the Hudson River is popular with tourists. The King Jazz Festival is a prominent event.