Gallery tours tomorrow!

Hudson Valley Ruins Gallery Tours
November 18, 2017, 1:00pm and 3:00pm


Photo by Tom Rinaldi.
August 20, 2016.

Friendly reminder that Saturday November 18 will be the last time that Tom Rinaldi and I will lead gallery tours of our “Hudson Valley Ruins” exhibition at the New York State Museum! Tours begin at 1pm and 3pm. Many thanks to all whom have visited already, and we look forward to meeting those who plan to visit this weekend. The exhibition remains on display through December 31.
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Century House Historical Society presentation
December 2, 2017, 1:00pm


Kiln Ruin, Berme Road, High Falls, NY.
May 27, 2017

Up next will be an illustrated presentation Saturday December 2, at 1:00pm, at the Century House Historical Society’s Annual Meeting at the Rosendale Community Center.
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Sorry I have not posted much lately. A few updates:

Anaconda Wire and Cable Company
Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

The last remaining building at the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company factory was demolished during the past few months. Here are more photos from August 26, 2017.


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St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church
Yonkers, NY

Reader Jeff Alterman just alerted me to the demolition of St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church, said to have been built in 1874, in Yonkers. The property at 40-48 Hudson Street is to be redeveloped with a 156-unit residential tower. Seems like the church building was in good shape, too bad it wasn’t converted for reuse. I wish I knew earlier – if anyone else is selling a church or other building for demolition, please let me know so I can photograph it! Thanks Jeff for the link and for the Anaconda updates.
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Wyndclyffe
Rhinebeck, NY

Wyndclyffe seems to have been sold (again) in early October. The potential sale in early 2017 to a neighbor who expressed interest in demolishing the ruins did not transpire and the property again appeared in real estate listings. Zillow currently shows the property as sold on 10/04/17 for $170,000. Drone video from June 2017 shows that the roof of the northwest section of the house has now collapsed. The interior portion of that section had previously collapsed. Thanks to Robert Christensen for Wyndclyffe alerts and updates.

On a happier note, please check out these watercolors of Wyndclyffe by Ian Hunter. I really like them. Ian also painted Tannersville’s Cold Spring Lodge, which also suffered another collapse this summer.

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Tappan Zee Bridge
Demolition of the Tappan Zee Bridge is underway. RIP to a classic bridge whose form and beams and rivets are more-visually interesting to me than the boring concrete uprights of the replacement bridge. I liked that the undulating outline of the Tappan Zee Bridge harmonized with the hills of Rockland County, as viewed from Tarrytown. Here are a couple photos from Friday November 10, 2017.

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Gallery Tours November 18 / What To Do In Albany

Greetings all!

“Hudson Valley Ruins” remains on view at the New York State Museum in Albany through December 31 of this year. Tom Rinaldi and I will lead two more gallery tours on November 18, at 1pm and 3pm. Once again, we’ve been incredibly lucky to have our work hosted by the New York State Museum, and we’ve had a lot of fun doing the gallery tours and lectures, and it’s been great meeting people who’ve come from far and near to attend. Thank you so much.

So, if you haven’t seen the exhibit yet, or if you have, but especially if you haven’t, time is running out to see our show. I’m sure I’ll visit a few more times myself, but November 18 is the last time that Tom and I will be there to lead tours of the exhibit. So please come on by and hear how we got into this fun little hobby of photographing ruins, some of which we first noticed during our childhoods and then later saw disappear right before our own eyes, with cameras in hand. We’ll talk about our favorite photos and share some histories of the sites and give updates on places that have changed even since our book came out in 2006. We hope to see you there!

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I know Albany is quite a drive from where many of you live but it’s a pretty cool place, and you could certainly make a full weekend out of your visit. I really should have posted this a year ago (the exhibit officially opened September 24, 2016)… But there’s still time to see the exhibit, so I’ve put together some recommendations for places to visit, eat, and stay in and around Albany, in order to help sway your mind on favor of a trip. Now, my idea of a cool place and my comfort level in various parts of a city may be very different than most people’s, so proceed with caution, but I stand by my suggestions as worthy destinations.

NEW YORK STATE MUSEUM

New York State Museum Cultural Education Center

First off, the New York State Museum is a truly awesome museum with fantastic architecture, art, cultural, and natural history exhibits. Here’s just a few things you’ll find:


Architectural remnants.


Sesame Street


Historic carousel – a museum piece you can ride!


Cottage facade from the historic Hudson River estate Springside.


September 11 Exhibit.

Newly-opened exhibits tell the story of the Erie Canal, and New York State in World War I. Opening in November is an exhibit that will celebrate New York’s Suffrage Centennial. Check them all out!

EMPIRE STATE PLAZA

The State Museum and Cultural Education Center are located at the west end of the Empire State Plaza, anchored on the east by the New York State Capitol and flanked by Nelson Rockefeller’s modernist state government complex. You can take a free tour of the Capitol, attend a concert at The Egg (I’ve seen Neko Case and Richard Thompson there, but unfortunately missed the Drive-By Truckers), or visit the observation floor at the top of the Corning Tower (again, free admission! Mon-Fri, 10am-3:45pm.)


New York State Capitol


The Egg


Corning Tower

Views from the top of the Corning Tower:

If you visit in the winter, you can even go ice skating at the Plaza! Again, free admission (but small fee for skate rental if you don’t have your own blades). Check the Plaza website later this year for details.

ARCHITECTURE
Albany has a lot of great architecture. Just by driving around or walking around randomly you are guaranteed to see fantastic buildings and historical locations.


Alfred E. Smith State Office Building


New York State Education Department Building


Washington Avenue Armory


317 State Street

Close by the State Museum are the historic house museums Schuyler Mansion and Cherry Hill. Out by the Albany Airport is the Shaker Heritage Society. All are worth a visit and have important stories to share. The Albany Institute of History and Art is also a fantastic place – check out their incredible display of Hudson River School art.

An historic structure still in use stands prominently next to the State Museum Building. The impressive Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, a survivor of the Urban Renewal program that wiped out the neighborhood that made way for the Empire State Plaza, is one of the very great church buildings I’ve been in. You might appreciate seeing it too, regardless of your faith.


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

ABANDONED BUILDINGS
There are quite a few ruins and abandoned buildings in Albany, some very close to the State Museum:


St. John’s Roman Catholic Church


Public Bath House #2


South End


Public School

WHERE TO EAT
So, after running around all day you’ll want a good meal. I prefer to pick out restaurants that have been around forever, or are located in an historic building or neighborhood, rather than a familiar national chain establishment. So, decor and ambience of that local, historical sort is of as much interest to me as the food itself, maybe more so. If a place hits both marks well, then all the better.

I highly recommend Lombardo’s. Just down the street from the Museum, it has a spectacular neon sign out front and landscape paintings on the walls above the booths. I can imagine it was *the place* to go for all the business lunches and important social functions in another time long ago, and presume it still is to some degree today. Tom and I had dinner with family and friends there the very first day our exhibit opened, Lombardo’s accommodated our group of 25 or so, and the food was great. I’ve also favored the Albany Pump Station (located in an historic municipal pump station) and City Beer Hall (formerly the building of the Albany Home Telephone Company). For vegetarian and vegan options, head over to hip Lark Street for Bomber’s Burrito Bar and Berben and Wolff’s vegan cafe.


Lombardo’s by night


Lombardo’s by day


Lombardo’s


Albany Pump Station


Albany Pump Station


City Beer Hall


City Beer Hall


City Beer Hall


Berben & Wolff’s

Tucked next to the Knickerbocker Arena is this little place which I have not yet patronized. Amo La Bella is open limited hours and, as one of the few old-time places that escaped demolition when the Knick was built, it must be pretty cool inside. I can’t wait to get a plate of pasta there. We’re just bummed out that we missed its neighbor Bella Napoli, demolished in 2012.


Amo La Bella


Amo la Bella

STAYING OVER
There are plenty of hotels in downtown Albany and over by the airport. You’ll do fine with any of them, but for a unique experience there are some B&B’s around town for comparable prices. I haven’t stayed at any in Albany so I can’t vouch for those, but I lucked out at the Olde Judge Mansion in Troy, across the Hudson River. The neighborhood is not upscale but it’s fine, and the house is very cool and the hostess was really nice and accommodating. Check it out!

So, now that you know Albany is a really cool city with lots of interesting architecture to admire, great museums and historic sites to visit, and cool places to eat, come on up for a day or two, and view “Hudson Valley Ruins” at the New York State Museum before it closes December 31! Look for us next to the Mastodon =)

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Upcoming Lecture and Updates

Hudson Valley Ruins Presentation at Hudson River Maritime Museum
Please join Tom Rinaldi and Rob Yasinsac this Wednesday September 13, 7:00pm, at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston for an illustrated presentation of “Hudson Valley Ruins.” “Linger here among the beautiful foolishness of things” as you learn about the Hudson Valley’s historic and distinctive architecture threatened by development, vandals, and time and exposure to the elements. Presentation will be held in the Riverport Wooden Boat School classroom, suggested donation $5.

Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401

​845-338-0071
fax: 845-338-0583
info@hrmm.org
http://www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.html

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Ferryboat Binghamton Demolition
On the topic of maritime ruins, the ferryboat Binghamton was recently demolished. The Binghamton was a landmark restaurant on the Hudson River waterfront in Edgewater, New Jersey between 1975 and 2007, but previously it carried an estimated 125 million passengers between New Jersey and Manhattan between 1905 and 1967. The Binghamton was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In May 2012, the boat took on water, and it was damaged and became further submerged during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The Binghamton was demolished in late July 2017.

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Anaconda Wire and Cable Company Demolition
Demolition is also underway at the last remaining building of the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company at Hastings-on-Hudson. After the majority of the factory buildings were razed in the early-mid 2000s, there was talk of preserving several of the factory buildings at the north end of the site. Soon, all buildings will have been erased from the Anaconda site.

Photos from August 26, 2017


Photos from December 19, 2006.

Building 52 was storage for a private automobile collection at the time.

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Hudson Valley Ruins Exhibition at New York State Museum
Hudson Valley Ruins” remains on display at the New York State Museum in Albany until December 31, 2017. Don’t miss out, if you have not seen it yet! The State Museum has many other fantastic exhibits and collections, and a new exhibit on the Erie Canal, which promises to be great, will open next week.

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Cold Spring House, Tannersville, Collapse
Lastly, word on the internet is that the “tower” portion of the Cold Spring House in Tannersville collapsed this summer (the companion tower at the other end of the building collapsed previously). Here are some photos from several years ago, plus a photo from that time in the early 2000s when we met the equine security guard.

Posted in Albany County, Demolition Alert, Tours Lectures and Events, Ulster County, Westchester County | 4 Comments

The Legacy of the Erie Canal exhibition

Friends of Hudson Valley Ruins will be interested in this exhibit of watercolors by artist and architect Tom Leytham, which chronicles ruins along the Erie Canal. We’ve been a fan of Tom’s work, often focused on ruins and old industrial structures in Vermont, for a long time and we are excited to see his paintings of New York State ruins.
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Tom Leytham: The Legacy of the Erie Canal – The Arkell Museum, Canajoharie, NY
Tom Leytham’s watercolor paintings of hand-built structures along the Erie Canal and Mohawk River Valley depict overlooked or forgotten sites of the manufacturing age. Tom is a registered architect whose work has been exhibited at the Vermont Governor’s Gallery, Bennington Museum, and Southern Vermont Arts Center and included in many publications.


(Click here for full version of image)

2017 is the 200th anniversary of the beginning of construction of the Erie Canal – America’s first super highway. It opened the western United States for trade and settlement. A hand dug ditch – 4’-0” x 8’-0”, 365 miles through the wildness was started in 1817 with pick, shovel and horses. It became a part of a network of canals unifying the northeast.

During the 200 years, technology and invention has changed the canal and the Mohawk Valley. The original can al was beside the Mohawk River because the technology to control the river was primitive. Now the river has been controlled and the canal has become the New York State Barge Canal. The remnants of the Erie Canal have become the route for the adjacent railroad lines and the New York Thruway is in the bed of the canal.

The development along the canal flourished in the 19th and into the middle of the 20th century. This trade route grew industry along its banks but much of the industry has moved on. Many historic and inventive structures remain – hiding in plain sight. The remains of the aqueducts and locks remain as a memorial to the vision of a few developers and politicians. Originally called Clinton’s Ditch by the nay sayers – it made New York the “Empire State.”

On display through August 16

The Arkell Museum
2 Erie Blvd, Canajoharie, NY 13317
Open March – December
Tuesday through Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday: noon – 5:00 PM
Closed Monday
http://www.arkellmuseum.org

“Things reveal themselves passing away”. William Butler Yeats
Since 2004, Tom Leytham has been documenting remnants of 19th and 20th century industrial buildings in the northeast–from New Brunswick to Vermont to the Hudson River Valley. He is fascinated by this architecture of necessity and invention; many of the sites show the evolution of the structures to accommodate the needs of the manufacturers and the land. Despite their massiveness, these unadorned structures also have a hand built character and speak of a time when craftsmanship and resourcefulness were basic values.

These are places of entropic beauty. Some of the buildings have been restored, some repurposed and some are being consumed by the landscape, but usually these former local landmarks are “hiding in plain sight”.

Just as the ruins in their incompleteness invite visual exploration, through the use of partial views, negative space, dramatic perspectives, and rich textures, I seek to create complex, pictorial environments that will engage the viewer’s imagination and focus attention on elements of detail and construction. The duality of density and emptiness—a motif of my work—lends an air of mystery and elegy to the landscape images.

https://www.tomleythamarchitectartist.com/

Posted in New York State, Tours Lectures and Events | 1 Comment

Upcoming Events – June 9 and 10

Friday June 9, 7:00pm.
D&H Canal Historical Society and Museum
23 Mohonk Road, High Falls, NY 12440
$5 admission.
www.canalmuseum.org
Rob Yasinsac will present Hudson Valley Ruins at the D&H Canal Museum in High Falls. Come early and check out the nearby ruins of the D&H Canal, which was built for the delivery of anthracite coal from Pennsylvania to the Hudson River at Kingston. The canal operated between 1828 and 1898.

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Saturday June 10, 2017, 10:00am
Cornish Estate Hike with Thom Johnson & Rob Yasinsac
Cold Spring, NY.
$5 admission
Join Rob Yasinsac and Thom Johnson for a hike to the Northgate Ruins, known locally as the Cornish Estate, on Saturday, June 10 at 10am. Rob and Thom will share information about the history of the estate and its original owners, the Stern and Cornish families, in this program for the Putnam History Museum. To guarantee a spot, please register through Eventbrite. $5 fee, free for members of the Putnam History Museum. For further information please contact rachel@putnamhistorymusuem.org or call (845) 265-4010 with questions, or visit www.putnamhistorymuseum.org.
www.eventbrite.com/e/cornish-estate-hike-with-thom-johnson-rob-yasinsac-tickets-34519496744

Posted in Putnam County, Tours Lectures and Events, Ulster County | Leave a comment

Wyndclyffe Update – April 2017

Local rumor has it that Wyndclyffe is under contract to a buyer who wishes to demolish the ruins. An application for a “Certificate of Removal or Demolition under Town Code Chapter 125, Zoning, Section 125-62, Historic Buildings, in the matter of the proposed demolition of the circa 1853 “Wyndclyffe Mansion” ” was filed with the Town of Rhinebeck Planning Board this past winter. This application seems to have slipped under the radar of many persons who would have been interested; the comment period ended February 6, 2017.

Thanks to one of our readers for passing on the link.

Here are some recent photographs.

Posted in Demolition Alert, Dutchess County | 4 Comments

Abandoned Estate Buildings at Trump State Park

Donald J. Trump State Park – not an April Fool’s joke – contains some old estate buildings slated for demolition. More photos and information at this new entry on HVR.

Posted in Demolition Alert, Westchester County | 4 Comments

Upcoming Presentations


Hudson Valley Ruins
April 5, 2017 at 7:30pm
Ferry Sloops meeting at Shattemuc Yacht Club, Ossining

In an effort to raise awareness for the plight of neglected historic sites, Hudson Valley Ruins authors and photographers, Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi, will offer a glimpse at some of the region’s forgotten cultural treasures on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:30pm, Shattemuc Yacht Club in Ossining.

Many of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and a few are even National Historical Landmarks. But in spite of their significance, these structures have been allowed to decay, and in some cases, to disappear altogether. In addition to great river estates, this presentation profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: Churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations. Included in the presentation will be a series of images of Ossining-area ruins.

Thomas Rinaldi and Robert Yasinsac have been photographing the Hudson Valley since 1994. Their book “Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landscape of America” was published in 2006 by the University Press of New England. An exhibition of their work is on display at the New York State Museum through December 31, 2017.

This event is presented by Ferry Sloops and will be held at the Shattemuc Yacht Club, Westerly Road, Ossining, NY 10562. Free admission, public are welcome.

Pictured: LCI (L) 766 / Circle Line IX (demolished)
Built in 1944, this Landing Craft Infantry vessel served at Iwo Jima and Okinawa to ferry troops from sea to the beach.
It later served as a Day Line, and then Circle Line, sight-seeing boat. Purchased for scrap, it was relocated to the Shattemuc Yacht Club where it became part of the club’s rebuilt breakwater and auxiliary clubhouse. It has since been razed to the waterline.

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Hudson Valley Ruins
Sunday April 9, at 2:00pm
Friends of Historic Kingston Annual Meeting
Old Dutch Church, Kingston

The Friends of Historic Kingston invite you to attend its annual meeting in the Old Dutch Church’s Bethany Hall on Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at 2 pm. Please use the Wall Street entrance. Free admission, public are welcome.

After the annual meeting, Thomas Rinaldi and Robert Yasinsac will present a lecture entitled, “Hudson Valley Ruins.” The pair have authored a book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, which studies the region’s forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the Valley: churches and hotels, commercial and civic buildings, mills and train stations. Included are works by some of the most important names in American architectural history, such as Alexander Jackson Davis and Calvert Vaux. Mr. Yasinsac and Mr. Rinaldi will be available after the lecture to sign copies of their book.

Questions? 845.339.0720 – www.fohk.org

Pictured: Pieter-Corneliessen Louw House, Kingston.
Also known as the Louw-Bogardus House, or the “Frog Alley ruin,” the Louw house may be the oldest substantial ruin in the Hudson Valley. The eastern section of the house was likely built about 1676, while the western portion was probably added in the eighteenth century.The house burned in the early 1960s and was subsequently threatened with demolition by the Kingston Urban Renewal Agency. The Friends of Historic Kingston acquired the property and at times various steps have been taken to stabilize the ruin. Further work is necessary to ensure the long-term preservation of this important ruin.

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Friendly reminder that our exhibition “Hudson Valley Ruins” remains on display at the New York State Museum through December 31, 2017. It has been on display for six months, with eight months to go. Don’t miss it!

New York State Museum
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230
http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/

Museum Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday, 9:30 AM – 5 PM
Closed Mondays
Closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving,
Christmas, and New Year’s Day

Posted in Albany County, Tours Lectures and Events, Ulster County, Westchester County | Leave a comment

“A View Of Northgate” – Original Works by Thom Johnson

Announcing “A View Of Northgate” – Original Works by Thom Johnson

A collection of ink washes by Hudson River Artist Thom Johnson, based on the ruins of Northgate (the old Cornish Estate) located in Hudson Highlands State Park near Cold Spring, N.Y.

On Display April 20th – May 20th
Opening Reception April 27th 6:30 – 9pm

H-Art Gallery
1 South Division Street
Peekskill, NY, 10566

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I’ve seen many of these images already, as works-in-progress, and I eagerly await viewing the completed works. The ink washes, directly based on actual photographs, depict the ruins of the Northgate estate among altered landscapes that are devoid of the vines and old-age trees that obscure and intrude into photographic views of the ruins while presenting other features that may be interpreted by the viewer. The images present a unique visual survey that will be of interest to those who have hiked to Northgate or who appreciate Hudson Valley ruins in general. I’ll be at the opening reception – I hope you can attend too!

-RY

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HVR 2016

A few representative images from this past year. Many more photos from 2016 can be found on our instagram account (no account needed to browse those photos).

01. January

Sunset in an industrial space, before its conversion to residential. Beacon, NY.

02. February

Hat-making machinery removed from the c. 1811 cotton mill (demolished in April) and discarded as scrap. Beacon, NY.

03. March

Farmhouse, Albany County, NY.

04. April

Hudson River State Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY. The Administration Building, shown here, is one of several buildings that were secured professionally for potential preservation and reuse.

05. May

RIP, Brandreth Pill Factory. Ossining, NY.

06. June

St. John’s Catholic Church, Albany, NY.

07. July

General Motors factory, Sleepy Hollow, NY. Redevelopment of this site is underway as of the end of 2016, as demolition of the GM factory floor and foundation has begun, twenty years after the factory closed and seventeen years after the buildings were demolished.

08. August

Rensselaer Iron Works/Ludlow Valve/Scolite International. Troy, NY.

09. September

Hutton Company Brick Works, Kingston, NY. Publicly-accessible this summer and slated for preservation as Smorgasburg Upstate. A nice turnaround for a site that, not long ago, that was largely slated for demolition and redevelopment. Fingers crossed for the preservation of the kiln sheds, pictured here – the last of their kind in the Hudson Valley.

10. October

Hop-O-Nose Knitting Mill, Catskill, NY. I lucked out to have a day off and to be in Catskill on a peak fall day. I camped out the night before at North-South Lake on one of the warmest October days that I can ever recall.

11. November

Albany, NY.

12. December

Wyndclyffe, Rhinebeck, NY. Sold and up for sale again, its future as secure as that one barely-hanging-on staircase.


Happy Holidays (belatedly) and Happy New Year.

PS. See you January 14, 2017 at the New York State Museum! Tom Rinaldi and I will lead gallery tours of “Hudson Valley Ruins” at 1pm and 3pm! Many thanks to all who have come to our events or who have seen the exhibit on your own. And if you have not yet seen the exhibit, there are precisely 367 (minus closed Mondays) days left to see it!

Posted in HVR Annual Calendar, Tours Lectures and Events | 8 Comments