Tour on October 6th Uncovers Secrets of Kingston’s Industrial Past
Midtown Neighborhood Being Transformed by Lofts and Arts-Related Businesses
One of Kingston, New York’s historic neighborhoods, where thousands of the city’s residents earned a living, is being rediscovered. The city’s industrial district, located in Midtown, is now the home of stylish residential lofts, professional offices, and workshops making art supplies and design items coveted by artists, architects and decorators across the country. The Friends of Historic Kingston is offering a glimpse inside these spaces during a special guided tour of the industrial district on Saturday, October 6, from 1:00-5:30 p.m. Participants will traverse Midtown on Kingston Trolleys, on special loan for the event courtesy of Mayor Shane Gallo. The tour, which the Friends are calling Essential and Stylish: Kingston’s Factories Transformed, will conclude with a reception in a beautiful residential loft onRailroad Avenue. The reception will feature refreshments, live jazz and historic photos of Kingston’s industrial past.
Ticket price for Essential and Stylish: Kingston’s Factories Transformed is $50.00 per person for the tour and the reception or $25.00 per person for each event. The proceeds will benefit the Friends and its work in preserving Kingston’s architecture and history. Tickets go on sale on August 6, 2012. For reservations and information, please contact the Friends of Historic Kingston at FHKINDUSTRIALTOUR@yahoo.com.
Among the stops on the Essential and Stylish tour will be:
- a strikingly beautiful architectural office in a former cigar factory;
- an airy residential loft in a former wholesale food distribution company;
- a firm that does custom millwork and cabinetry in a former shirt factory;
- a company specializing in limited edition sculptural objects, furniture and kitchen items operating out of an old brush factory;
- one of the country’s leading manufacturers of handmade paints, which also exhibits important contemporary art;
- the future site of 55 live/work artist studios in a massive former lace curtain factory.
Kingston’s economy was initially fueled by shipping, mining, brick-making and shipbuilding. It was in 1883, with the completion of the West Shore Railroad, that large factory buildings were constructed close to the railroad tracks in Midtown Kingston. These factories provided jobs for thousands of local residents, many of whom were from immigrant families who had recently arrived in the city. Some manufacturing businesses remained open until a generation or two ago, while others continue operations today.
The Essential and Stylish tour will allow participants to discover why Midtown Kingston is being touted as one ofKingston’s coolest places to live and work.
The Friends of Historic Kingston (www.fohk.org) supports and protects the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of the City of Kingston through programs of advocacy, education and preservation. FHK has taken the lead in advocating for the city’s involvement in historic preservation and the designation of four local and National Register districts and individual listings. It sponsors regular walking tours of historic districts and education programs for schools and adults. The Friends is located on the corner of Wall and Main Streets in the 1658 Stockade National Historic District. Its 1812 Fred J. Johnston House is maintained as a historic house museum and the adjacent Friends of Historic Kingston Museum provides gallery space for changing exhibitions. The current exhibition is “Save the Best to Last: The Fred J. Johnston Story.” The Friends’ museums are open to the public from May-October, Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by appointment.