2012 Preservation Award Winners
Each year the Friends of Historic Kingston honors individuals who have demonstrated a deep appreciation for preserving our architectural and cultural heritage. Five Annual Preservation Awards were presented for 2012.
241 Catherine Street
A nineteenth-century brick stable is being sensitively transformed by artist Andrew Lyght into a studio and residence. At one time owned by the Gill family, theproperty belonged to Michael Larkin, a grocer, in 1894. In 1975, it was purchased by Ben Wigfall, an artist and SUNY New Paltz professor of printmaking who installed a printing press on the ground floor and used the building as a teaching facility for local kids. After some 20 years of disuse, the building was purchased in 2010 by Andrew Lyght, a native of Guyana who has achieved international prominence as an artist since his arrival in New York in 1977. Lyght designed successful loft alterations in Brooklyn before taking on the redesign of the interior of the Catherine Street building which will itself be a work of art/architecture when completed. Lyght has retained the brick exterior, notably its distinctive segmental-arched windows and broad ground-floor doorway and second-story hay loft opening. The exterior has been enhanced by decorative iron railings designed by Lyght and made by steel fabricator Steve Cross.
122 St. James Street
A two-and-a-half-story, nineteenth-century, brick house, its basic form suggests a mid-nineteenth century Greek Revival design, as do such details as the frontdoorway, with classical columns and sidelights flanking the door and a rectangular transom above. The broad entablature above the second story also implies the Greek Revival style. The bracketed cornices of the front porch and the bay window facing Fair Street suggest late nineteenth-century alterations, also evident in the gable on St. James Street with its three arched windows. The west side of the house has a long porch whose Doric columns resemble those of the front porch. The handsome and recently restored cast-iron fence on St. James Street may date from the late nineteenth century. The 1929 Sanborn map shows an added brick automobile garage described as “stuccoed.”
Carnegie Learning Center, 399 Broadway
The building opened its doors in May 1904 as the Kingston City Library. It was designed by New York architect Raymond Almirall and built with funds from Andrew Carnegie. Its severe, classical facade is dominated by a projecting pavilion of pediment supported by Ionic columns and Doric piers that draw attention to the central doorway. Acroteria of ancient Greek origin provide small vertical accents at the corners of the triangular pediment. After the library moved to larger quarters on Franklin Street in 1978, the building stood little used until rehabilitated by the Kingston City School District in 2010-11 and reopened as the Carnegie Learning Center. KSQ Architects, with offices in White Plains, Oklahoma, and Texas, produced a design which recognized the quality of the architecture of the original building while adapting it for twenty-first-century educational needs. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Kingston Model Railroad Club, Susan Street
Founded on September 15, 1937, the Kingston Model Railroad Club is one of the oldest model railroad clubs in the U.S. The 20 x 40-foot building in which it meets was secured for the club through the cooperation of the West Shore Railroad, a division of the New York Central. Allegedly the oldest structure on the property of the railroad in Kingston, it was originally used as a carpenter and plumbing shop. Over the years additions and alterations to the building have allowed the extension of the original miniature two-track railroad. One extension involved the creation of a “mountain division, patterned after the famou Ulster & Delaware Railroad climbing upwards through the Catskill Mountains.” Painted scenery includes elements of the Catskill Mountains. Another addition was an electric trolley line running along a street including a model of the 1857 Wiltwyck Hose Company, now the Volunteer Firemen’s Hall and Museum on Fair Street. Each November since 1941 the public has been invited to enjoy the miniature world created by club members.
47 North Front Street
The three-story, nineteenth-century commercial building in the Stockade National Historic District has been given a rejuvenating facelift by Maria Philippis who opened Boitson’s Restaurant in the renovated space. Behind large plate-glass windows is an intelligently designed restoration, the work of Kingston interior designer Brian Early. The bistro-style interior features exposed brick walls, a pressed-tin ceiling, chic dark leather banquettes, and marble-topped tables. Restaurant patrons are greeted with a touch of humor by the leaded glass sign hanging over the bar that says, “Lubrication.”