Saturday, August 6, 2022

Hudson Valley: Newburgh, New York – Hidden Gem on the Hudson River

Washington's Headquarters, Tower of Victory

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Newburgh, NY is a scenic, Hudson River town 60 miles north of New York City in Orange County. But, it may not be on your radar as it’s overshadowed by the town of Beacon, directly across the river. However, as Beacon becomes trendier, it’s worth exploring Newburgh and its' undiscovered, funky charm.
In addition to fantastic, Hudson river views, Newburgh has history, an array of architecturally-interesting buildings, quaint shops, nice restaurants, and friendly locals. There are restaurants along the river waterfront, but most of the action takes place up the cliff on Liberty Street and beyond.

Newburgh was once an important harbor town and a strategic location during the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s. During the 19th Century, it was a center for agriculture, shipping, and major manufacturing companies. Hence, successful merchants built impressive homes here. But, it’s the range of architectural styles that’s so intriguing:
East End Historic District – Architectural Finds
Download this PDF with map & details, then start walking around. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see:
Warren House, Gothic Revival

Dutch Colonial, such as the Hasbrouck House where General Washington resided; Federal style, some of the earliest US examples are found here; Greek Revival, popular from the 1830s through the 1850s, the Quality Row townhouses on First Street are excellent examples; Gothic Revival, popularized in the 1840s by Newburgh native Andrew Jackson Downing & architect Calvert Vaux (of Central Park fame), along with the Carpenter Gothic & Hudson River Bracketed styles; additionally, there are lovely examples of Second Empire, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival.

Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site
84 Liberty St;        
Washington's Headquarters
From 1782 to 1783, the Continental Army was headquartered in Newburgh.
On these beautiful grounds, overlooking the Hudson river, tour the rooms where American history was made. During the time General George Washington spent in Newburgh, he made significant contributions to the American ideal: rejecting the concept of an American monarchy; ending the potential military control of the government; creating the Badge of Military Merit (the Purple Heart); and outlining the key principals of the new republic. There’s also a museum filled with historical artifacts and the Tower of Victory; climb to the top of its newly-restored belvedere for views of the Hudson.

Crawford House
189 Montgomery St; 
Crawford House

Run by the Newburgh Historical Society, this majestic, 1830 home of Captain David Crawford is a mix of Greek Revival and Federal styles. The house showcases the lifestyle of a wealthy 19th-century family as well as the history and traditions of Newburgh and the Hudson Valley. There’s an impressive collection of Hudson River School paintings; 18th-century, New York furniture, including a Duncan Phyfe settee; locally-made silver and textiles; and a wonderful collection of antique, model ships.

After shipping along the Hudson ceased, due to railroads, then interstate highways, Newburgh entered a long period of urban decline. Its current revitalization is due, in large part, to all the artists who came in search of low rents and larger studio space. Another aspect that makes Newburgh special is an emphasis on community. Hence, many of the venues and art spaces focus on local creatives and artists in underserved sectors.
Safe Harbors of the Hudson
Safe Harbors is a nonprofit organization committed to transforming lives by
providing affordable housing & building community by supporting the arts in the City of Newburgh. Safe Harbors runs a community art gallery, an event space, and is restoring the historic Ritz Theater: 
Yvonne Lamar-Rogers, Ann St Gallery
Ann Street Gallery 
104 Ann St - The gallery presents both emerging and established artists through an exhibition program that also supports and encourages local Black and Latino residences.
Atlas Studios
In a beautifully-renovated 1920s factory, there’s now studios for artists, designers, photographers, musicians, writers, etc. The gallery space hosts art shows, concerts, literary and film events for the community. Also housed at Atlas Studios:
Newburgh Community Photo Project
102 South William St; newburghcommunityphotoproject
NCPP, Dutch Reformed Church

This incredible program was founded by photographer, educator, and community-activist Vincent Cianni. NCPP teaches photography and related media skills to underserved Newburgh youths by exploring social justice issues that relate to their lives and community. The current, three-year-long photo project investigates Black history in the City of Newburgh, “Truth Be Told: Uncovering Newburgh’s Muted Legacy.” Check out and support this mind-blowing project.
The Newburgh Pottery
102 South William St; - This ceramic studio does small-batch production and offers classes & workshops.
Holland Tunnel Gallery
46 Chambers St; - In an 1860 warehouse in the heart of Newburgh, Holland Tunnel is a space for art exhibits, performances, concerts, movie screenings, etc. The gallery, sculpture garden, and artist studios augment the lively, local arts community.
Grit Works
115 Broadway; - This is a nice, community, co-working space that also serves as an art gallery and events space for music, etc.
Quality Row, First St
Motorcyclepedia Museum
250 Lake St; - Discover an impressive collection of motorcycles, bicycles and memorabilia from the 1860s to the 1960s.
Velocipede Bicycle Museum
109 Liberty St; - Learn about the evolution of bicycles in Motorcyclepedia’s sister location that showcases velocipedes, boneshakers, bicycles, and tricycles from the 1860s to the 1960s.

Terraine Exhibition
Newburgh Art Supply

5 Grand St;
Proprietors & artists Michael Gabor and Gerardo Castro not only run an arts supply store, they organize the Newburgh Open Studios festival, help connect local artists with other creatives, host a variety of arts events, and promote the emerging arts community in Newburgh. (They also run an Airbnb, so stop by!)
These Arts organizations offer additional event resources: Newburgh Arts & Cultural Commission; Orange County Arts Council.

While you’re wandering around looking at all the stunning architecture & checking out artwork, you’re going to work up an appetite. Foodies will discover lots to love in Newburgh because several, talented, young chefs have set up shop here:
Liberty St, shops & cafes
Mama Roux
96 Broadway; - “Southern cuisine meets country French” meets melt-in-your-mouth delicious dishes served in a lovely setting.
Machu Picchu (301 Broadway) - Peruvian cuisine. There’s a large Latino population in Newburgh, so try some tasty eats.
SnacksCommodore Chocolatier 482 Broadway - Old-fashioned, family-owned, chocolate shoppe since 1935 with hand-crafted bonbons.
2 Alices Coffee Lounge
Newburgh Waterfront (photo: JCarnegie)
 117 Broadway; - A great place to hang out, grab some coffee, soup & tasty snacks; see interesting artwork & perhaps hear some music.
Waterfront Dining: Blu Pointe – Seafood; The River Grill - American eclectic cuisine; Cafe Pitti – Pizzas & Italian classics; Billy Joe's Ribworks – Smoked ribs & live music. 
Newburgh Farmers Market (Sat, June-Nov) 
Safe Harbors Green - Produce & Handcrafts!


Newburgh Brewing Company
88 South Colden St; - In an impressive, former steam engine factory, you can try over 70 styles of beer from traditional to eclectic. The taproom menu also offers locally-sourced food, local wine & cider. 
Newburgh Brewing Co
Spirits Lab
105 Ann St; - This distillery, of artisanal spirits and handcrafted cocktails, has a Tastings Room menu to help you decide what you might like to try/buy.

In addition to checking out the historical landmarks, quaint bars and cool restaurants, stroll down Liberty Street to do some local shopping:
Field Trip 113 Liberty St; - Handmade goods from the Hudson Valley as well as their our plant-based, skincare line, "Hudson Naturals."

Cream 101 Liberty St; - Nifty, women’s clothing: “Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day!”
At this point, you might need some Pilates &/or Acupuncture!

There’s a “Visitors Information Kiosk” (April-Nov) at Unico Park on the Newburgh Waterfront with brochures, maps, & event information.
Safe Harbors of the Hudson (
Offers year-round entertainment: concerts, summer movies on The Green, and dancing, including the popular “Salsa under the Stars” & “Soul under the Stars.”
The Lobby At The Ritz
111 Broadway, - Safe Harbors’ intimate performing arts space for concerts and events.
Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra - Concerts throughout the year in various venues.
Festivals: Newburgh Illuminated (June) – A day of music, art, dance & poetry; Newburgh Open Studios (Sept) – Visit local artists’ studios; Newburgh Literary Festival (Oct) – Readings & conversations with acclaimed writers. 
Terraine Exhibitions (Oct, biennial) - A month-long exhibit of art installations in front yards, porches, windows, and building facades throughout the city, free to view by all.
Exciting things are happening here. Artists, entrepreneurs, and all manner of creative professionals are now calling Newburgh home. Come for the day; you might decide to stay.

Where To Stay: Currently, there are no hotels in the City of Newburgh, but you can stay in any number of picturesque Airbnbs in lovely townhouses & stunning, 19th-century homes. Or, if you prefer, there are several chain hotels in the Newburgh area: Ramada; MarriottHampton Inn.
And, these lovely inns: Cromwell Manor Historic Inn in nearby Cornwall, NY;
Caldwell House B&B in nearby Salisbury Mills, NY.

Getting There: Drive or take the Train: Grand Central Station, Metro-North (Hudson Line) to Beacon. Newburgh is directly across the river. From the station, either take Taxi: Bob’s Taxi, 845/561-5000; Perusa Taxi, 845/565-8989; All Family Taxi, 845/565-1616. Rent a Zipcar; On Weekdays, Shuttle Bus: Leprechaun LinesFerry: NY Waterway 

Newburgh-Beacon Bridge: Want some exercise? From the train station in Beacon, bike or walk over the bridge for some amazing river views. (Walking, on the protected walkway, takes about one +1/2 hours from the Beacon train station to a Newburgh waterfront café.)
Bus: From Port Authority, Shortline Bus to Newburgh. 

Nearby Places To Explore: It’s so nice up here, you might be inspired to stay longer and explore more of this lovely area:
Storm King Arts Center – A stunning, open-air museum with sculptures by renowned artists. West Point - A military post during the Revolutionary War, in 1802, it became the United States Military Academy. Visit the museum in this beautiful spot to find out more. 
Start Your Vacay: Newburgh is a perfect place to get out of town & relax, it’s also a jumping off point for both domestic & international destinations. Fly in/out from Stewart International Airport.

No comments:

Post a Comment