Works in Progress
The Louw-Bogardus Ruin
Frog Alley Park, Stockade Historic District
Standing just outside the northeast corner of the 1658 Stockade District, the stone ruins of the Louw-Bogardus house afford a fine example of the simplicity of an early settler’s home. It is believed that the original section on the right hand side was built between 1665-1660. Though gutted by a fire in the 1960s, the “bones” of the house are still very visible.
During Urban Renewal, the site was threatened with demolition. In July 1974, the Friends of Historic Kingston met with the Landmarks Commission, members of the Common Council and the Ulster Garden Club, and made the decision to preserve the building as a ruin along with the adjacent property, turning it into a small public park. In 1975, the Friends purchased the property from the Urban Renewal Agency for $1,200, the Ulster Garden Club committed financial support, and a noted stone mason Orazio Contini was hired to stabilize the ruin. In the same year, the Common Council voted to change the name of the street from Converse Street back to its original name of Frog Alley. Since 1975, the Friends of Historic Kingston has continued its commitment to stablilize the ruins and maintain Frog Alley Park. See Preservation: The FHK Story.
The Sharp Burying Ground
In 1832 with space exhausted for new burials in the Old Dutch Church yard, a new property was found near the beginning of Albany Avenue a few blocks away. But by 1870, this small property, known as the Sharp Burying Ground was also filled and newer and larger cemeteries were created elsewhere in the city. Neglected and often subject to vandalism, the Sharp Burying Ground deteriorated over time into a collection of fallen and broken tombstone with grass hiding the original grave markers. In 1995, Mayor T. R. Gallo rededicated the cemetery and the Friends of Historic Kingston began a restoration which is a major and ongoing project of FHK. A 19th century-style wrought iron gate and fence was manufactured and installed by Ron Rifenburg, a Hurley blacksmith. The first plot restored by the Friends was appropriately that of John Sudam, a lawyer and New York State senator who built the house is that is now the Fred J. Johnston Museum on the corner of Wall and Main Streets. To date, several family plots and tombstones have been restored and efforts are ongoing to discourage vandalism. See Preservation: The FHK Story.