Alms House landmark designation supported by Kingston City Council

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County officials, members of Friends of Historic Kingston, pose for a recent photo
in front of the Alms House

KINGSTON – The old Alms House at 300 Flatbush Avenue in Kingston
is on its way to becoming an historic landmark. City officials voted to
support adding the site to the National and New York State Registers of
Historic Places.
The Kingston City Council unanimously approved the resolution on Tuesday, following a failure last week in the county legislature, where the measure died in committee. The matter is expected to be reconsidered by the full legislature next month.
The property was transferred to the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance as part of County Executive Michael Hein’s STRIVE initiative, for eventual privatization. Its last public use was for the Ulster County Health Department. Earlier, it was a nursing home until Golden Hill was constructed in 1973.
 “We must recognize that historic preservation has become a hallmark of successful communities,” said Jennifer Schwartz-Berky, member of the city’s Historic Landmark Preservation Commission.  “The rich history of the Hudson Valley is exemplified by the City of Kingston, and we have an obligation preserve and enhance its beautiful legacy.  We are fighting the pandemic of suburban sprawl that has drained our city center of resources, consumers and local pride.”
Originally the building served as the local poor house, built in 1872 by the newly incorporated City of Kingston, as its first major construction project, according to a presentation made earlier this month by Friends of Historic Kingston. That use was abandoned in 1947.
The designer, John A. Wood, was a prominent architect whose work also includes the Stuyvesant Hotel and Ulster Savings Bank buildings in Uptown’s Stockade District.
Alderman Brad Will said that the city must first make a local designation, before the state and federal governments will approve recognition at their respective levels. He said future commercial use would be compatible with such status, citing UPAC was a working example.