Newburgh, New York
Downtown Newburgh from Beacon,
across the Hudson River
Location of New York in the contiguous United States
|Incorporated as village||1800|
|Incorporated as city||1865|
|• City manager||Joe Donat (interim)|
|• Mayor||Torrance Harvey|
|• Total||4.78 sq mi (12.39 km2)|
|• Land||3.81 sq mi (9.86 km2)|
|• Water||0.98 sq mi (2.53 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||7,409.35/sq mi (2,860.69/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern Time Zone)|
|��• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight Time)|
|GNIS feature ID||0958498|
|Wikimedia Commons||City of Newburgh, New York|
Newburgh (//) is a city 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 Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which belongs to the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical 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 is across the river; and it is 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Preserving the past
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Politics
- 7 Fire department
- 8 Churches
- 9 Education
- 10 Notable people
- 11 Crime
- 12 Transportation
- 13 Sports
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 Bibliography
- 17 External links
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.
Newburgh was the headquarters of the Continental Army from March 1782 until late 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
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 the 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 he 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 am. 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 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.
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.
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.
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 café, 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
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 the 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
East End Historic District
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 the Washington Heights section 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 data for Newburgh|
|Record high °F (°C)||71
|Average high °F (°C)||35
|Average low °F (°C)||20
|Record low °F (°C)||−15
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.66
|Source: The Weather Channel|
|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.
Newburgh has seven elected officials, a mayor and six city council members, four elected by ward to four-year terms, staggered so that the mayor and two at-large councilmembers are up for re-election one year and four others, by ward, two years later. It was anticipated that in November 2007, Newburgh voters would decide on whether to split Newburgh into eight wards and elect one councilmember from each ward. The City Council voted to disallow this referendum from appearing on the ballot pending further public input.
In 1915 it became one of the first American cities to delegate routine governmental authority to a city manager. The mayor accepts all legal process and often serves as the symbolic head of the city, but other than that has no special powers or role. The city manager, who appoints all other city officials subject to council approval, serves at their pleasure. Since the position was created, there have been 33 managers who have served an average tenure of 2.7 years, with John Fogarty holding the longevity record at eight years in the 1950s. His term ended with his dismissal, as did eight others.
In January 2009, Jean Anne McGrane, the first woman to hold the position, was fired for, among other issues, withholding an unfavorable federal report on the city's mishandling of two HUD grants from the City Council in the midst of the consideration of a $6 million bond, the 2009 city budget and the 2009 CDBG funds.
The city has had five mayors and eight city managers (five if two who served twice are counted only once) since 2000. Two subsequent acting city managers, after McGrane, quit. Richard Herbek, the third acting manager, took the job months later. He resigned in 2013 amid reports that he had misrepresented an encounter with a prostitute the year before. The (former) police chief, Michael Ferrara, replaced him on an interim basis. Michael G. Ciaravino was appointed City Manager of Newburgh on May 19, 2014 by unanimous vote of the City Council.
A recurring complaint has been that, rather than taking direction from council, some city managers have exploited divisions among members to turn it into a rubber stamp for their policies and actions and render themselves unaccountable. There have been proposals to change the situation by assigning council members to or eliminating the city manager's position. But they have been perceived as politically motivated, and thus have not been adopted. Newburgh is in the 18 Congressional District.
In April 2018, Judy Kennedy who was elected Newburgh's mayor in 2011, died of ovarian cancer at the age of 73 leaving the office vacant until her successor Torrance Harvey was appointed the following month.
In May 2016, the city requested help for its PFOS contaminated water supply under Superfund; The source of the contamination was foam used during firefighting drills held by the Stewart Air National Guard Fire Department. Representative Sean Patrick Maloney demanded Emergency Action after EPA announced PFOA and PFOS Standards for Drinking Water, and called Stewart Air National Guard Base being "the most likely source" of contamination.
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Tensions flared during the city's hotly contested 1995 mayoral election. Allegations of electoral fraud had dogged the city's first African-American woman mayor, Audrey Carey, since her 1991 victory in a four-way race. Supporters of Republican candidate Regina Angelo alleged that many registered voters in neighborhoods Carey had carried heavily used false addresses. In response, four years later deputy sheriffs were stationed at polling places and challenged voters to provide proof of residency and identity. Although she won, Carey's supporters claimed that the deputy sheriffs had singled out minority voters for such challenges, and accused the Republicans of voter suppression. These tensions were only aggravated when the council selected the city's Republican chairman at the time, Harry Porr, as the new city manager. Carey was defeated by Tyrone Crabb, a black man running on the Republican line, in 1999. Porr was fired, rehired and fired again in 2001. Crabb died suddenly of a heart attack ten days before he was slated to take office. The vacancy was filled by his widow, Mary.
Despite demographics and urban trends favoring Democrats, the voters of the city had until recent years regularly voted across party lines. Nicholas Valentine, mayor from 2003 until 2011 and several other recent mayors and council members were Republicans. The late Thomas Kirwan- Republican, a resident who served in the New York State Assembly until 2008—and was re-elected in a successful comeback bid in 2010, by one of the smallest margins in state history (15 votes). He died late in 2011. On March 20, a Special Election was held to fill the vacancy in which former Assemblyman Frank Skartados – Democrat, won by a large margin. In the general election held in November 2011, a newcomer to the city named Judith Kennedy was overwhelmingly elected Mayor over incumbent Republican Councilwoman Christine Bello. In addition, the Democratic candidates for Council seats, Gay Lee and Cedric Brown, were also overwhelmingly elected. Accordingly, the Council is now 5-0 Democrat – the first time in memory one party monopolizes the City government.
An independent documentary was made in 2004 about the mayoral race in Newburgh, called Saving Newburgh.
In 2009, the Republican party did not field its own candidates for City Council. Instead, the Republican Committee endorsed two Democrats – one a former Councilman, the other an incumbent Councilwoman – and they were not opposed for the Republican nomination in the primary despite their being registered Democrats. The Conservative and Independence Parties both nominated them also. They lost the Democratic primary and despite their appearing on three party lines they lost the November election to two straight Democrats, both one time Republicans.
The City of Newburgh is protected by the firefighters of the City of Newburgh Fire Department which has 70 members and operates out of two citywide firehouses. The department runs a frontline apparatus fleet of four engine companies (including two reserve engines), two ladder companies (including one reserve ladder), one fire boat, one fire alarm truck, and seven support units. It also houses and runs one of the Orange County Technical Rescue trailers as well as a Foam Trailer as part of the NYS Foam Task Force.
Newburgh's Fire Department is one of the oldest chartered departments in New York State being established by an act of the young state legislature on March 24, 1797. The earliest Newburgh fire companies were the Protection Engine Company, Cataract Engine Co., Washington Engine Co., and Empire Hook & Ladder. More appeared as neighborhoods expanded. The department purchased its first steam engine in 1872. In its inaugural test, the engine threw a stream of water over the top of the cross of St. Patrick's Church, 161 feet high, to the delight of the citizens watching. The first firefighter to die in the line of duty, Joseph Tillotson, burned to death in a fire at The Bleachery on Lake Street in 1887. In March 1889, the city purchased and installed a modern electric telegraph fire alarm system with 23 alarm boxes placed around the city, these boxes are still in service today. As horses were phased out of service, Ringgold Hose on Colden Street was the first of Newburgh's companies to get a motorized fire truck in 1907. As early as 1915, editorials were calling for the establishment of a paid fire department to assure the response necessary for a densely populated and heavily commercial and industrial city like Newburgh. Beginning with drivers, tillermen and then officers, paid positions for full-time firemen were gradually created for each company. In 1934, the volunteer companies disbanded, and a professional department was instituted by resolution of the City Council. Protection has a cost. Eight men have perished in the line of duty during the department's history: Joseph Tillotson, Willis Meginn, James Hunter, Moses Embler, Armand Santacroce, Edward Maney, Frederick Carpenter and Patrick Bardin.
- Calvary Presbyterian Church grew out of First Presbyterian, founded in 1793. The two congregations merged in 1945 and retained the name "Calvary".
- The First Baptist Church of Newburgh was established in 1834.
St. George's Episcopal
In 1728 the Rev. Richard Charlton was sent from England to be a missionary to the people of New Windsor in then Ulster County (later Newburgh in Orange County). St. George's Church developed from St. Thomas' Church in New Windsor. In 1770, during the tenure of the Rev. John Sayre, St. George's Church was granted a royal charter by King George III. The Rev. Mr. Sayres left for Canada at the time of the Revolution. In 1790 Rev George Spierin served as both minister and schoolmaster, but resigned in 1793. St. George's Church was re-established in 1805. In 1838 the Rev Dr. John Brown organized St. George's Cemetery, open to members of any race, religion or belief. He was also a founder of St. Luke's Hospital. Originally, services were held in the old Glebe schoolhouse until the church was built in 1819. In 1834 the bell tower was added. Dr. Brown was succeeded by his assistant, Rev. Octavius Applegate who founded the mission chapel, of the Good Shepherd.
The first Catholic service in Newburgh took place around 1816 when Mass was said in the house of Henry Gilmore on Western Avenue (now Broadway) by Rev. James McKenna. He was followed in 1817 by Rev. Ffrench. A church was formed in 1826, served by circuit-riding missionaries. Rev. Philip O'Reilly made Newburgh the base from which he served other communities. St. Patrick's Church was founded in 1836. Fr. Patrick Duffy was the first pastor and served for seventeen years until his death in 1853. He was followed by Rev. Gallagher, who was succeeded by Rev. Edward J. O'Reilly. Father O'Reilly was followed by Father Broidy.
A stone church building was completed in December 1842 and formally dedicated by Bishop John Hughes of New York in 1849. In 1852 land was purchased for a cemetery at the corner of First and Stone streets. The rectory was built in 1854. The parish established in 1855 a Library Association, later known as the Young Men's Catholic Lyceum. In 1881 a new building was erected for the Lyceum on Liberty St.
In 1879 Right Rev. Monsignor J.F. Mooney became pastor and started the mission of St. Joseph's in New Windsor. He also founded Calvary Cemetery which opened on May 30, 1898.
St. Patrick's began its Hispanic ministry in the mid-1960s. In 1966 Father John Filippelli of the Society of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart initiated a Spanish Mass as well as cultural celebrations such as the Feast of Three Kings. In 1973, Fr. Rogelio Cuesta, OP was named Director of the Hispanic Apostolate of Newburgh and Beacon. Other patronal feasts were celebrated such as Our Lady of Charity from Cuba, Señor de los Milagros of Peru, and Our Lady of Suyapa of Honduras, reflecting the diversity of the community. In 1989 the ministry was expanded to include outreach to migrant workers.
In 1850 a school was established in the basement of the church; the school building was constructed in 1858 and staffed by the Sisters of Charity. St. Patrick's Female Academy was at 5 Grand St. In 1877 St. Patrick's Institute was founded and staffed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. In 1914 Monsignor Henry O'Carroll was appointed pastor of St. Patrick's, where he served forty-three years. During his tenure the Newburg Wheelman's Club Building, designed by Newburgh architect Frank E. Estabrook, was purchased for the establishment of St. Patrick's High School. In 1957, a new elementary school housing both male and female students was built at 157 Liberty St. and the high school was renovated under the leadership of Monsignor Francis Doersam. In 1967 it was decided to phase out St. Patrick's High School. The school briefly relocated to Epiphany College in New Windsor until John S. Burke High School in Goshen opened. St. Patrick's High School closed in 1969.
On August 1, 2015 St. Mary's Parish merged with St.Patrick/Our Lady of the Lake.
- The chapel of Our Lady of the Lake, is a mission church of St. Patrick's. It is located in the Town of Newburgh, not the city. Prior to the construction of the current chapel, Roman Catholic services were held in the ice house at Lakeview House. Since the closing of St. Mary's Church on August 1, 2015, the weekend attendance at Our Lady of the Lake has increased greatly. This is especially true at the 4 p.m. mass on Saturdays, which Our Lady of the Lake commenced on August 1, 2015, in order to take the place of the 4 p.m. mass which had been traditional at St. Mary's.
St. Mary's Church was founded on March 19, 1875, on the application of a number of members of St. Patrick's to Archbishop McCloskey, who granted an order dividing the original parish and constituting from the northern part of its territory St. Mary's parish. Rev. Michael J. Phelan was appointed pastor, and said his first mass in the parish on Easter Sunday, 1875, in the opera-house. The Wilson property at Gidney Avenue and South Street was purchased and mass celebrated in the mansion on the premises. In May following a temporary frame building for church purposes was erected. In 1880 the building occupied by the church until 2015 was erected. It was dedicated by Archbishop McCloskey on Sunday, October 3. The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy (a branch convent of the Sisters of Mercy of New York), which was opened at Balmville in the summer of 1875.
In 1883 Father Phelan invited the Sisters of Dominic to open an academy for young ladies and Mt. St. Mary's Academy was founded. In 1884 the Rev. John C Henry appointed rector and opened St. Mary's Parochial School on September 1, 1886. under the direction of four Sisters of St. Dominic.
In 2005, the Archdiocese of New York decided to close St. Mary's Church as a cost saving measure. The people of the parish, and of the Newburgh community as a whole, rose up in protest and the Archdiocese withdrew the proposal. Then, in the summer of 2015, the Archdiocese proposed closing the parish yet again, and while the community protests eclipsed those of 2005, this time the proposal was carried through. St. Mary's Parish was merged with St. Patrick's effective August 1, 2015. The church building was shuttered and closed and has not been used since that date. Father William Scafidi, the pastor and arguably the most popular community leader in Newburgh at that time, was transferred by the Archdiocese to a parish church in Liberty, New York.
St. Francis of Assisi
In December 1908, Father Francis Fabian, pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Rondout visited Newburgh. Seeing that there the city had only two churches serving a large Catholic population, Fr. Fabian began to look into establishing another parish. Meetings were held and funds were raised and on April 22, 1909, Archbishop John Farley of New York appointed Fr Fabian pastor of the new congregation. Land was purchased at Benkard Avenue and Avoca Street and by May a temporary chapel was started. By August 15, 1909, the first Mass was celebrated in a small chapel on Benkard Avenue.
In May 1911, construction began on the main church, designed by Fabian in the style of a traditional European Basilica. The bricks were donated by nearby brickyards and transported from the different yards to the dock in Newburgh free of charge. Gustave Fettweise donated a bell. The church was completed on August 15, 1909, and a rectory completed that same year. The parish grew so rapidly that two-year later excavation was begun for a new stone church on a hill east of the rectory. Services were continued in the old chapel until September 1, 1913 when the new church was dedicated. The interior has beautiful Bavarian stained glass windows and a large mural behind the altar that was painted in Bavaria. The Tracker organ was built in 1862. It has 2600 pipes and two keyboards. The interior was completely renovated in 2000.
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Parish traces its roots to when Rev. John B. Gallo came to Newburgh to minister to the spiritual needs of the Italian-speaking people who had been attending Mass at St. Patrick's Church. The parish became separate from St. Patrick's on September 8, 1912. Land was purchased on the southeast corner of Robinson Avenue and Ann Street. A temporary chapel situated in a vacant store at 286 Washington Street was used until the church was completed. The first Mass was celebrated in the new church on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1913. Rev. Cyrus Falco was the pastor who guided the parish through the trying years of the Great Depression. In 1933 he invited the Sisters of St. Dominic to take charge of our parish Sunday School. Rev. John B. Caldarola was pastor during World War II.
Rev. Salvatore Celauro became pastor in 1947. The groundbreaking ceremony for the parish school was held on April 23, 1950 and school opened on September 9, 1951. In the mid-1950s it became apparent that a new church was needed as repairs would not be cost-effective. Work began in May 1963 and the first Mass in the new church was said on Christmas Eve, 1964. In September 1967 Rev. Salvatore Cantatore was named pastor of Sacred Heart and in October 1978, opened the Sacred Heart Parish Center. Msgr. George J. Valastro became pastor in 1981 and saw the parish celebrate its o75th Anniversary in 1987. Msgr. Valastro purchased the building at 319 Broadway which became the Activity Center.
In 1978 students at Newburgh Free Academy, the city's public high school, boycotted classes. This ultimately led to a major reorganization of the school system. Newburgh is served by the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. The local high school is called Newburgh Free Academy or "NFA", and is the largest public high school in Orange County. It serves approximately 3,000 students in grades 9–12 from the Newburgh area. Newburgh Free Academy is currently split into three campuses, with NFA Main located on Fullerton Avenue, NFA North located on Robinson Avenue a few blocks away, and NFA West located on West Street. Between the three campuses, there are roughly 4,300 students enrolled.
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Newburgh, New York was ranked more dangerous than 95 percent of US cities by website NeighborhoodScout, based on 2012 FBI crime data. This group also ranked Newburgh as the 10th most dangerous place to live in the United States based on the same 2012 dataset. It was ranked at number 12 in the previous year's rankings.
In 2010, The New York Times wrote an extensive article on gang activity in Newburgh.
Stewart International Airport serves the city. Metro North Railroad, on the opposite east shore of the Hudson River, 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 the Metro North Railroad Port Jervis line from nearby Salisbury Mills-Cornwall to Hoboken Terminal and Secaucus Junction in New Jersey and connects to Penn Station in New York City. (The last Albany-Weehawken trains through Newburgh left in 1958 when the New York Central ended service on the West Shore Railroad.)
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 (Hudson) 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 (I-87) not far to the west.
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