B E A C O N
BEACON has turned itself around perhaps more dramatically than any town on the river. Situated directly oppsite Newburgh, Beacon overlooks the Hudson from the river's east shore above the highlands, about sixty miles north of New York and fifteen miles below Poughkeepsie. Since the mid-1990s this small city has shed its reputation as just another fading upstate city. If only for its smaller size, Beacon never experienced the extreme degree of decay seen across the river in Newburgh, and its easy rail link to New York City has undoubtably put it at an advantage. But the improvements are significant, and have inspired increased confidence in the viability nearby river towns like Poughkeepsie.
"Click on image to enlarge."
TIME AND AGAIN, the revitalization of Beacon has demonstrated the potential for re-using abandoned old buildings that many regard as hopeless eyesores. Empty storefronts on upper Main Street have been taken over to house popular antique shops. The much heralded Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries will soon move into a restored brickyard building that had been abandoned for decades. The best known of these projects is the creation of Dia:Beacon, an internationally known gallery of modern art, which moved into an empty box printing factory on the waterfront.
BUT FOR ALL the progress in recent years, a number of ruins survive around town, still waiting to be swept up by the momentum of Beacon's revival. Two great old ruins featured on this web site have sadly been lost since I first authored this page in 1999. But a number of others remain, most notably an array of long abandoned nineteenth century mills and factories that step down the falls of the Fishkill Creek, which flows through Beacon on the final part of its journey toward the river. Where the creek meets the river stand the ruins of the former Dennings Point Brick Works.
© T.E. Rinaldi, 2006