Postcard #52: Palatine Hotel Lobby

This photograph comes from the collection of the Historical Society. It depicts the magnificent lobby of the Palatine Hotel circa 1910. Note the encaustic tile floors, the large walk in safe behind the desk with the stuffed owl on top, the curved stained glass window behind the safe, the ornate woodwork on the staircase and desk, the gas cigar lighter coming down off the desk lamp and the spittoon on the floor just in front of the staircase. There's also a display case next to the desk filled with cigar boxes. Although Newburgh had financial troubles and Urban Renewal was all the rage- at least for the government- it's hard to imagine how anyone could come to the conclusion that such a building was better off destroyed than given another chance.
Below is an image from the restaurant in the hotel.

Postcard #51: Walsh's Dam

This is an image from a vintage postcard depicting Walsh's Dam on Quassaick Creek circa 1905. The waterway, that runs on the southernmost border of the City of Newburgh, was used extensively to power several of the city's early industries including a bleachery, mills- such as Walsh's Mills- and a candle factory. The only remnants of that industry are ruins that nature has since taken back, several dams and small bridges. About fifteen years ago there was a movement to make the shores of Quassaick Creek a park with trails and historic markers. Although efforts are still being made, the Town of New Windsor has steadfastly refused to cooperate in such a mutually beneficial venture. The public accesses to the creek are limited as most of the convenient accesses are through private property.

Postcard #50: Libby Lyon and the Five Bricks

Soon after New York State designated Newburgh's Historic District in 1973, Libby Lyon appeared on the scene. Urban "Renewal" was still on the rampage of razing more of Newburgh's architectural treasures. She stepped in, purchased the first five surviving brick houses on Montgomery Street north of South Street- nicknamed "the 5 bricks"- for $1,000 each, and effectively stopped the bulldozers in their tracks. With that action, the modern preservation movement of Newburgh was born. Ms. Lyon died in 2000. Ironically she was known more for her social work with the homeless in New York City than the beginning of what some might consider the "gentrification" movement in Newburgh. Although there have been many heroes of preservation in Newburgh since, Libby Lyon was the matriarch.

Postcard #49: Old Post Office

The old post office was located at Second and Montgomery Streets. It was abandoned in the 1930's when the new post office was built on Liberty Street in the mid-1930's and was razed during "urban renewal" in the early 1970's. It was designed by Frederick Clark Withers.

Postcard #48: Tower of Victory

Photograph of the Tower of Victory at Washington's Headquarters from the collection of the Historical Society of Newburgh. This view was from 1907 not long after it was completed in 1890 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington's stay and the events surrounding it. Note the houses in the background on Washington Street that are no longer there. The rooftop lookout was removed after it was damaged by a windstorm in 1953. It may soon be rebuilt thanks to a matching grant that has recently been awarded.

Two years after this photo was taken, there was a statue of General Anthony Wayne, donated by Sculptor Henry Kirke Brown, placed near the tower. It had not been bronzed and fell apart by 1910.

Postcard #47: Dayline Docked at Newburgh

Newburgh was a destination for the Dayline as well as a terminal. The dock for the Dayline was just north of the bus terminal- which was next to the ferry building. "Newburgh is a popular stopping point for one day excursions of the Hudson River steamers. It is impossible for the boats to accommodate all the people ready to take the opportunity of an enjoyable sail on a hot summer day. To view the splendid scenery, fanned by a refreshing breeze, while the band plays lively airs, is indeed a rare treat and delightful outing."

Postcard #46: Christmas Tree on Broadway

The Christmas tree on lower Broadway has been a tradition for years. The planning, the search for the tree and the decorating are all coordinated by Regina Angelo and carried out by the city's Department of Public Works. This photo was taken right after the December 2008 snowstorm.