Newburgh, New York facts for kids

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Newburgh
City
Downtown Newburgh from Beacon.jpg
Downtown Newburgh from Beacon,
across the Hudson River
Newburgh NY seal.png
Seal
Country United States
State New York
Region Hudson Valley
County Orange
Landmark Washington's Headquarters
State Historic Site
River Hudson
Coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found.
Highest point S city line on Snake Hill
 - elevation 660 ft (201 m)
 - coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found.
Lowest point Sea level along river
Area 4.8 sq mi (12 km²)
 - land 3.8 sq mi (10 km²)
 - water sq mi (3 km²)
Population 28,866 (2010)
Density 7,436.5 /sq mi (2,871 /km²)
Settled 1709
 - Incorporated as village 1800
 - Incorporated as city 1865
Government Council-manager
 - location City Hall
 - elevation 80 ft (24 m)
 - coordinates Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found.
Mayor Judy Kennedy (D)
City manager Michael G. Claravino
Timezone Eastern Time Zone (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 12550
Area code 845
Exchanges 561–569
FIPS code 36-50034
GNIS feature ID 0958498
Location in Orange County and the state of New York.
Location in Orange County and the state of New York.
Wikimedia Commons: City of Newburgh, New York
Website: http://www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/

Newburgh /ˈnbərɡ/ is a city located in Orange County, New York, United States, 60 miles (97 km) north of New York City, and 90 miles (140 km) south of Albany, on the Hudson River. Newburgh is a part of the New York metropolitan area. The Newburgh area was first settled in the early 18th century by the Germans and British. During the American Revolution, Newburgh served as the headquarters of the Continental Army. Prior to its chartering in 1865, the city of Newburgh was part of the town of Newburgh; the town now borders the city to the north and west. East of the city is the Hudson River; the city of Beacon, New York across the river, and connected to Newburgh via the Newburgh–Beacon Bridge. The entire southern boundary of the city is with the town of New Windsor. Most of this boundary is formed by Quassaick Creek. In May 2016, the city requested help for its PFOS contaminated water supply under Superfund.

History

Exploration and settlement

At the time of European contact the area of Newburgh was occupied by the Waoranek, a branch of the Lenape. The area that became Newburgh was first explored by Europeans when Henry Hudson stopped by during his 1609 expedition up the river that now bears his name. His navigator, Robert Juet, is said to have called the site "a pleasant place to build a town", although some later historians believe he may actually have been referring to the area where Cornwall-on-Hudson now stands.

Around 1683 provincial governor Thomas Dongan purchased the land from the Woaranek. The first settlement was made in the spring of 1709 by fifty-four Palatine refugees, sponsored by Queen Anne of Great Britain. The settlers named it the Palatine Parish by Quassic. In 1743 a ferry at the foot of First Street had been established between Newburgh and Fishkill Landing. In 1752 the land had been surveyed by Cadwallader Colden and named "Newburgh" after Newburgh in his native Scotland. Shipyards were established and docks and warehouses lined the waterfront.

American Revolution

Newburgh was the headquarters of the Continental Army from March, 1782 until the latter part of 1783. While the army was camped at Newburgh, some of its senior officers began the "Newburgh conspiracy" to overthrow the government. General George Washington was able to persuade his officers to stay loyal to him. The army was disbanded here in 1783. Washington received the famous Newburgh letter from Lewis Nicola proposing that he become king here. It drew a vigorous rebuke from Washington. In honor of his refusal of that suggestion, Kings Highway, the north-south street on which the Newburgh headquarters is located, was renamed Liberty Street.

Growth in the 19th century

1842 engraving of Newburgh, NY
Woodcut of Newburgh skyline from Hudson in 1842, with Dutch Reformed Church, then with its original dome and lantern.

The year 1793 saw Newburgh's first newspaper, The Newburgh Packet. The hamlet of Newburgh was incorporated as a village in 1800. At the time of its settlement it was in Ulster County and was that county's seat. When Rockland County was split from Orange County in 1798, Newburgh and the other towns north of Moodna Creek were put in a redrawn Orange County. Newburgh thus lost its status as the county seat to Goshen. The former Ulster County courthouse still stands as Newburgh's old city courthouse building (currently used as municipal office space).

By 1793 there were four sloop lines operating out of Newburgh. As new turnpikes opened trade extended into the interior. Passenger coaches and farm wagons raveled as far west as Canandaigua. This was the shortest route from the Hudson to the West. By 1819 a steamboat on Cayuga Lake connected Newburgh stage lines with Ithaca. Streets leading to the river were often blocked for hours with farmers' wagons waiting to be unloaded at the wharves. With the opening of the Erie Canal much of the traffic from the Southern Tier was diverted. In 1830 Richard Carpenter of Newburgh had the steamboat William Young built at Low Point; it ran between Newburgh and Albany. Prosperity returned with the arrival of the railroads.

On he evening of September 24, 1824 beacon fires in the Highlands announced the arrival of the Marquis de Lafayette. Having been feted in New York, he sailed upriver on the chartered steamer James Kent. The next day, people came from the surrounding towns to catch a glimpse of the General as her made his way to a reception at the Orange Hotel. The Rev. John Brown of St. George's Episcopal Church was part of the welcoming committee. At 2 a.m. Lafayette sailed from Reeve & Falls dock for Poughkeepsie.

The Erie Railroad charter was amended April 8, 1845 to allow the building of the Newburgh Branch, running from the main line near Harriman north-northeast to Newburgh, also on the Hudson River. The branch opened January 8, 1850. It was later used as a connection to the New York and New England Railroad via a car float operation across the river to Beacon, New York.

Newburgh was chartered as a city in April 1865.

Newburgh became quite prosperous during the Gilded Age that followed. Newburgh had telephone service in 1879. In 1883 there was a steamboat landing on Second Street. The United States Hotel was on Front Street opposite the landing. Also on Front Street near the landing was the Union Depot. In 1883, the West Shore Railroad inaugurated service to the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot at Jersey City and by 1886 was traveling to Weehawken Terminal, where passengers transferred to ferries to Manhattan.

With its situation on the Hudson River, midway between New York City and Albany, it became a transportation hub and an industrial center. Its industries included manufacturings of cottons, woolens, silks, paper, felt hats, baking powder, soap, paper boxes, brick, plush goods, steam boilers, tools, automobiles, coin silver, bleach, candles, waterway gates, ice machines, pumps, moving-picture screens, overalls, perfumes, furniture, carpets, carburetors, spiral springs, spiral pipe, shirt waists, shirts, felt goods, lawn mowers; shipyards; foundries and machine shops; tanneries; leatherette works; plaster works.

J. J. Nutt made this comment about Newburgh: "The year 1891 finds us the most thriving city on the Hudson, with citizens full of spirit of public enterprise, with public institutions comparatively unequalled, and with apparently every factor and requisite to ensure its bright future as a manufacturing and commercial city of importance. . .".

Newburgh NY Columbus Statue
Christopher Columbus Statue on Newburgh's Waterfront

Newburgh was home to the second Edison power plant, installed to power 126 lamps at the Orange Woolen Mill, and was the second American city (after New York's Pearl Street) to have a street lighted using electricity. Broadway, which at 132 feet (40 m) in width is one of the widest streets in the state of New York, runs through the city culminating with views of the Hudson River.

20th century

Newburgh played a pivotal role in television history. In October, 1939, RCA chose to test-market televisions in Newburgh, which was within range of the television signal of RCA's experimental station W2XBS. 600 sets were sold in Newburgh at a deep discount. The test-marketing campaign's success encouraged RCA to go forward with developing the new medium. Additionally, with consumer television production ceasing during World War II, those Newburgh households which purchased televisions during 1939 and 1940 were among the few to enjoy television (albeit with a greatly reduced programming schedule) during the war.

Newburgh was one of the first cities in the country to fluoridate its water in 1945.

Newburgh from the bridge
View of Newburgh from the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge

In the late 20th century the industrial base of the city declined as industries relocated operations south or to other locations with cheaper labor costs and lower taxes. The Hudson River, which previously served as the main means of transporting goods, lost much of its shipping traffic to trucking. The city's trolley system was shut down in 1924 in favor of buses. The nation moved to the automobile for transportation and, as with many other cities, there was a resulting migration to the suburbs. In 1963 the Newburgh–Beacon Bridge was opened, carrying Interstate 84 and spanning the Hudson River, bypassing the Newburgh waterfront and the City of Newburgh altogether. The ferry closed down soon thereafter − it was not revived until 2005 − and the waterfront area declined rapidly.

In 1962, Lloyd's Department Store became the first major shopping center in the Town of Newburgh. Its motto was "Years Ahead" and the motto proved prophetic. Many features of Lloyd's, including widely divergent ministores under one roof, did not become common in other shopping centers for many decades. Lloyd's successfully drew a great deal of retail business away from the downtown area. In 1964, the Mid Valley Mall opened, also outside of the city limits in the Town of Newburgh, and attracted many long-established local businesses away from the waterfront and downtown City of Newburgh. Other retail shopping malls soon sprang up, all also outside the City of Newburgh, and the retail portion of the City was doomed. The city continued to lose its previously well regarded retail sector along Water Street and Broadway to the suburban shopping malls, which did not share the City's congested parking and traffic problems — or the perceived rising crime rate.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the city's response to the economic decline was an ambitious urban renewal plan. The city's historic waterfront area, an area composed of several square blocks which included numerous historically significant buildings, was completely demolished between 1970 and 1973. Residents were relocated, or were supposed to be relocated, to newer housing projects around Muchattoes Lake in the city's interior.

A grand complex that was planned for the urban renewal area was never built when state and federal spending began to dry up after the 1973 oil crisis. To this day, the blocks which slope down to the river remain open, grassy slopes, offering sweeping views of the Hudson but generating no property taxes for the city. Public sentiment is mixed on whether they should be built on again at all, and the city's view-protection ordinances make it less likely. Below, the waterfront was developed in the late 1990s after the city was once again able to secure grants from the state's Environmental Protection fund for riprap (a type of stone) to stabilize the shoreline.

Joseph Mitchell NBC White Paper 3
City manager Joseph Mitchell attending the Newburgh City Council in 1961

In the early 1960s, city manager Joseph McDowell Mitchell and the council attracted nationwide attention and the admiration of political conservatives when they attempted to require welfare recipients to pick up their payments at police headquarters. Mitchell later announced a program aimed largely at blacks on welfare, whom many in the community blamed for its economic problems. The program would have denied welfare payments to all after three months except the aged, the blind and the handicapped. Those affected would have largely been single mothers of young children, the only category in which blacks were predominant. After opposition by both state and federal officials, the program created a national controversy and never went into effect. Along with the failed urban renewal, the mid to late 1960s in Newburgh were also marked by race riots and other tensions.

Newburgh in the early 21st century is more racially diverse than it used to be, as a growing Latin immigrant (mainly of Mexican descent) population complements the city's sizable African American contingent. Economic development is a major concern, but poorly realized, as the good jobs once found in the local manufacturing sector have not been replaced. Pockets of poverty persist in the city, often mere blocks away from its many historical and architectural landmarks. In addition to this, the city has been facing issues regarding illegal immigration, like many other cities across the United States, ranging from overcrowded apartment buildings to mild racial conflict.

In spite of this Newburgh is experiencing a spurt of new businesses on its historic Liberty Street near Washington's Headquarters. An art supply store, a gourmet food market, an antique store, a used furniture shop, a souvenir shop, a flower shop, a bakery and a restaurant have joined an existing cafe, a graphic design shop and two additional antique stores in the final months of 2008 and January 2009. This is all in the midst of the redevelopment of East Parmenter Street in a partnership with Habitat for Humanity and a private developer to build 24 new houses. The city has completed the overhaul of the infrastructure of the street.

Preserving the past

Washington's Headquarters, Newburgh
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site
Dutch Reformed Church, Newburgh NY
The Dutch Reformed Church, a National Historic Landmark.

Newburgh's preservation history can be traced all the way back to 1850 when Washington's Headquarters was designated a state historic site, the first in the country. The Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands was chartered by the State of New York. Incorporated in 1884. The David Crawford House, on Montgomery Street, built in 1834 by Captain is the current home of the Newburgh Historical Society.

The city's modern preservation efforts began when the Dutch Reformed Church, a Greek Revival structure designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, was slated for demolition as part of urban renewal after the congregation left the decaying building in 1967. The movement to stop it led to the development of a historic district, now the second largest in New York State. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places three years later, and in 2001 became the city's second National Historic Landmark after Washington's Headquarters.

The city was designated a Preserve America community in 2005 and it also signed an agreement with the State Office of Historic Preservation as a Certified Local Government community. Its East End Historic District, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as that and the Montgomery-Grand-Liberty Streets Historic District, has the most contributing properties of any historic district in the state.

The city's historic architecture, featuring historic designs by Calvert Vaux, Andrew Jackson Downing and Frederick Law Olmsted, has attracted a stable core of preservation-minded community activists willing to invest spend time and money in renovating property.

Belknap Stone House

Located on Broadway, the Belknap house was built around 1750 as is the second oldest house in he city. Belknap chaired the local Committee of Safety during the war. The house served as James Clinton's headquarters.

Newburgh Colored Burial Ground

Newburgh Colored Burial Ground is a historic cemetery and national historic district located at Broadway and Robinson Avenue. The 19th-century burial ground was active between about 1832 and 1867 and contains approximately 100 graves.

Montgomery-Grand-Liberty Streets Historic District

  • Old Town Cemetery (Newburgh, New York)
  • David Crawford House
  • Dutch Reformed Church (Newburgh, New York)
  • United States Post Office (Newburgh, New York)

East End Historic District (Newburgh, New York)

Geography

Chambers Street, Newburgh, NY
These homes on Chambers Street show the two faces of contemporary Newburgh: both historic, one newly renovated, the other exemplifying urban blight.

The city is on the west bank of the Hudson River. Next to it, the land rises at first sharply to a bluff, where many historic homes are located due to the sweeping views it offers of the Hudson Highlands to the south, Mount Beacon to the east and the bridge to the north; then more gradually to a relatively level western half. There are some notable hills in outlying areas, such as Overlook Terrace in the city's southeast corner and Mount St. Mary's at the northeast.

The lowest elevation in the city is sea level along the river; the highest is roughly 690 feet (210 m) on Snake Hill along the city's southern boundary with the Town of New Windsor.

Newburgh is located at (41.503193, −74.019636).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 sq mi (12.4 km2). 3.8 sq mi (9.9 km2) of it is land and 0.97 sq mi (2.5 km2) of it (20.08%) is water.

Climate

Climate data for Newburgh
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
(21.7)
71
(21.7)
85
(29.4)
96
(35.6)
97
(36.1)
102
(38.9)
103
(39.4)
103
(39.4)
105
(40.6)
89
(31.7)
82
(27.8)
72
(22.2)
105
(40.6)
Average high °F (°C) 35
(1.7)
39
(3.9)
48
(8.9)
61
(16.1)
71
(21.7)
80
(26.7)
85
(29.4)
83
(28.3)
75
(23.9)
63
(17.2)
51
(10.6)
40
(4.4)
60.9
(16.06)
Average low °F (°C) 20
(-6.7)
23
(-5)
29
(-1.7)
40
(4.4)
50
(10)
59
(15)
64
(17.8)
63
(17.2)
55
(12.8)
45
(7.2)
36
(2.2)
26
(-3.3)
42.5
(5.83)
Record low °F (°C) −15
(-26.1)
−11
(-23.9)
0
(-17.8)
15
(-9.4)
27
(-2.8)
40
(4.4)
45
(7.2)
41
(5)
32
(0)
22
(-5.6)
10
(-12.2)
−7
(-21.7)
−15
(-26.1)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.66
(93)
3.20
(81.3)
3.89
(98.8)
4.13
(104.9)
4.11
(104.4)
4.56
(115.8)
4.59
(116.6)
4.61
(117.1)
4.47
(113.5)
4.99
(126.7)
4.33
(110)
4.20
(106.7)
50.74
(1,288.8)
Source: The Weather Channel

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 12,578
1870 17,014 35.3%
1880 18,049 6.1%
1890 23,087 27.9%
1900 24,943 8.0%
1910 27,805 11.5%
1920 30,366 9.2%
1930 31,275 3.0%
1940 31,883 1.9%
1950 31,956 0.2%
1960 30,979 −3.1%
1970 26,219 −15.4%
1980 23,438 −10.6%
1990 26,454 12.9%
2000 28,259 6.8%
2010 28,866 2.1%
Est. 2015 28,290 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 28,866 people, 9,030 households, and 6,051 families residing in the city of Newburgh. The racial makeup of the city was 39.4% White, 30.2% Black, 1.7% American Indian, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 22.6% from other races, 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 47.9% of the population, an increase from 36.30% in 2000.

Of the 9,030 households, 39.4% had children under the age 18, 30.8% were married couples living together, 26.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals living alone, and 9.4% consisted of individuals over the age of 65 living alone. The average household size was 3.09, and the average family size was 3.71.

As of the census of 2000, there were 28,259 people, 9,144 households, and 6,080 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,393.6 inhabitants per square mile (2,856.2/km2). There were 10,476 housing units at an average density of 2,740.9 per square mile (1,058.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 42.33% White, 32.96% African American (U.S. Census) or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 18.11% from other races, and 5.07% from two or more races.

There were 9,144 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 25.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the city, the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 18, 12.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 16.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 90.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,332, and the median income for a family was $32,519. Males had a median income of $26,633 versus $21,718 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,360. About 23.0% of families and 25.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.3% of those under age 18 and 16.1% of those age 65 or over.

Despite progress from the early 1990s, poverty remains a significant problem. The 2000 census found that two of the city's five census tracts are among the poorest in the entire state. In 2004 the state declared it one of the state's five most "stressed" cities, based on a mix of statistics like families headed by single mothers, abandoned buildings, unemployment, residents under the poverty line and adults without a high school diploma.

Transportation

Stewart International Airport serves the city. Metro North Railroad is accessible via the Newburgh–Beacon Ferry during peak hours connects to the Hudson Line, with frequent service to Westchester County and Grand Central Terminal in New York City. There is also service on Metro North Railroad nearby in Salisbury Mills-Cornwall on the Port Jervis line to Hoboken Terminal and Secaucus Junction in New Jersey with a connection to Penn Station in New York City.

Ulster County Area Transit provides limited bus service to New Paltz on its route X. Short Line, part of Coach USA, provides daily service down Route 32 to Central Valley and points in New Jersey and New York City. Local service is also provided within the city. Leprechaun Lines also provides a Newburgh-Beacon-Stewart link. Coach USA also provides transportation to other points in Orange County, including Middletown and Woodbury.

New York State Route 32 and U.S. Route 9W pass through the city. New York State Route 17K and New York State Route 207 also reach their eastern termini within city limits. Interstate 84 passes just north of the city and the New York State Thruway is not far to the west.

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