Upcoming Walks of Kingston’s Rondout

October 10th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

If one personified Kingston’s Rondout neighborhood as a storyteller, you might well be inclined to pull up a chair and listen for many hours. In this compact Hudson Valley neighborhood of city blocks and winding streets, hills and paths, architectural gems and eye-catching details, and waterfront setting, you can see, sense, and discover a microcosm of America’s past and present.

During autumn, I will lead a Mindful Walker-themed walk, “A Walk Around the Resilient Rondout.” The first walking tour will occur on a Saturday in October, and the same tour will be offered on two Saturdays in November. We’ll explore the Rondout and examine its incredible treasure of historic buildings, in the architectural design and details that both convey its varied chapters and are objects of beauty and craftsmanship. They include the former Village Hall and Cornell Firehouse, which villagers constructed after a great fire in 1849 swept through the heart of the Rondout. Today, the building is an inviting commercial space, its flower shop and gallery signifying the Rondout’s regeneration, along with other galleries, museums, restaurants, cafes, and other local businesses here.

Abeel Street Housetop
The gracious top of a Second Empire-style dwelling on Abeel Street

We’ll consider ways to understand the Rondout’s and Kingston’s past and present in walking the neighborhood and waterfront. It was home to Native Americans for centuries. It thrived in the boom times as a canal and river port through an industrial heyday of the 19th century and early 20th centuries. It became the home for various immigrant and ethnic groups who have shaped the Rondout’s history and culture.

Our exploring encompasses the 20th century to today. We’ll discuss the physical and psychic impact of the 1960s urban renewal program on the east side of Broadway, which rather than renew the neighborhood, decimated and reshaped a significant portion. Ultimately, it became a significant spark in the important work of preservation and resurgence. Also, we’ll touch on the Rondout’s life today as a hub of culture, history, enterprise, and neighborhood and civic spirit. During the walk, we’ll learn of people who have shaped its commerce, culture, activism, and neighborhood life.

The walks will be on Saturdays, Oct. 21, Nov. 4, and Nov. 18. Each walk will be from 2-4 p.m. (with a mid-walk break). The cost is $20 per person. Be advised that the walk includes some hilly streets (as well as the flat land near the waterfront), and it will be at a leisurely pace. A social hour for those who wish to gather will follow the walk at a local establishment.

Go here for full details and to register for the walking tour.

Come and enjoy an autumn walk of Kingston’s Rondout!

Steeple at 29 Wurts Street

A meticulously restored steeple on the former Trinity Methodist Church, built in 1867, topped by a replica of the steamship Mary Powell

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Caryn S

    Susan, I am so excited about this! I will share this. I’m looking forward to learning more about the Rondout area. Our region is so historically rich that there is always plenty to learn…

    • Susan DeMark

      Thank you, Caryn! The “historically rich” description is so true, layers and layers of history. I always find that it prompts even more questions!


  • Phyllis J DeMark

    Susan …I wish I could spend the Saturday afternoon with you. The walk sounds soooo interesting…may a warm, sunny day be with you!

    Cousin Phyllis

    • Susan DeMark

      Dear Phyllis,

      I’m thrilled that you find the walk very interesting, particularly as you have walked so many fine walks on your travels, near and far. It would be such a gift for you to join in! I know you will be there in spirit and love. Thank you!


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