Four neighborhoods within the City of Kingston are designated as Historic Districts:
Stockade National Historic District
This is the site of the original village of Kingston fortified by a 14-foot high stockade fence. The early settlers at Esopus were ordered to move here for their safety in 1658 by the Director-General of the New Netherland Colony, Peter Stuyvesant, who designed the street plan that still exists. He called the village Wiltwyck. Nearly two dozen 18th century limestone houses still stand in the neighborhood, now the uptown business district of Kingston. The government of New York State came into being in buildings in this neighborhood in 1777. Listed on the National, State and Local Registers of Historic Places.
Friends of Historic Kingston offers walking tours on the first Saturday of the month, May-October, from the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum. A self-guided walking tour of the Stockade District is also available at the and the Kingston Heritage Area Visitor Centers.
Rondout-West Strand National Historic District
Sweeping downhill from McEntee Street to the waterfront on Rondout Creek, this district encompasses the area that rapidly transformed from farmland into a thriving maritime village after the opening in 1828 of the Delaware and Hudson Canal with its terminus at Rondout. Plentiful jobs on the canal, in boatyards and in allied industries such as brick and cement manufacturing, drew a melting pot of immigrants whose imprint is still visible in the rich legacy of commercial buildings, cast-iron storefronts, homes and churches they built. Listed on the National, State and Local Registers of Historic Places.
Friends of Histroic Kingston offers walking tours of the Rondout District on the last Saturday of the month, May-October. A self-guided walking tour of the Rondout District is also available at the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum and the Kingston Heritage Area Visitor Center (click on the Tourism button).
Chestnut Street Historic District
As Rondout grew in size and prosperity, several of its most affluent and powerful businessmen built large homes at the top of the hill on West Chestnut Street. From their porches and gardens they enjoyed magnificent views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. The street offers splendid examples of various architectural styles. Listed on the National, State and Local Registers of Historic Places.
Download and print the Chestnut Street Historic District Walking Tour.
Fair Street Historic District
As uptown Kingston developed into a mercantile center in the 19th century, affluent businessmen began to build large homes just outside the business district beginning about 1850. Over the next several decades, a long line of distinguished residences representing several architectural styles were erected. The tree-shaded street has significant examples of the Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and Colonial Revival. On the Local Register of Historic Places.
For more information, download Kingston’s Historic Districts. Historic Districts: Kingston, New York is available at the Friends of Historic Kingston Museum.
Besides four historic districts, Kingston has many neighborhoods that each bear a distinctive flavor. Explore them on foot, by car or from your armchair with Kingston New York: The Architectural Guide by Dr. William B. Rhoads.