RUPCO Proposes Artist Live/Work Space in Kingston Would rejuvenate Lace Curtain Mill in Midtown Area
Creative placemaking is an approach used to vivify local economies through arts and culture. The Lace Curtain Mill factory re-purposing for artist housing will help to revitalize the surrounding community.
In April, Rural Ulster Preservation Company (RUPCO) (http://www.rupco.org/
"The Lace Factory" would be placed on the National Historic Register and would meet the standards for the NYS Energy Star for Homes program. The area of the building that is currently occupied by the boiler room will be developed as community/gallery space while the open area between the towers will be developed as common passive recreational space.
Blending History with Sustainability
RUPCO was represented at the planning board meeting by Charles Snyder, Director of Real Estate Development. Snyder provided photographs of the existing structure and an artist's concept of the finished apartment building. Noting that RUPCO views the development as an opportunity to remove blight, provide housing and foster job creation, he predicted it would be another major catalyst for the rejuvenation of the mid-town Kingston neighborhood. He told the planning board that RUPCO "intended that the restoration include amenities that are marketable to the arts community, remain historically correct externally and employ all possible green and sustainable building technologies.
The Importance of Arts and Culture
RUPCO CEO Kevin O'Connor, said in a prepared statement that "virtually no one today disputes the idea that when you attract artists to a community, you create a vibrancy that really speeds rejuvenation of neighborhoods and communities. Ever since the ground-breaking work of economist and social scientist Richard Florida in the Rise of the Creative Class there has been a new recognition of the important of creative people in the economy."
O'Connor sited articles in publications from the New York Times and Bloomberg Businessweek to Crain's New York Business and Community Partnership for Arts and Culture among others which have highlighted the importance of the artistic and creative community up and down the Hudson River and which have named Kingston as one of the top ten places in the United States for artists to live and work. "We're just building on the obvious here," said O'Connor "and we are excited about working with the creative community to design a beautiful and functional space out of this eyesore."
While RUPCO has secured site control and begun the process of talking with architects, the agency does not expect to have a formal planning board submission before May. "That said," Snyder added, "we would love to be under construction by early next year."
Strengthening the Community through Affordable Housing
The RUPCO mission is to create homes, support people and improve communities and the agency's vision calls for strong vibrant communities with opportunity and a home for everyone. "This initiative,"
The agency pays property taxes to every locality where affordable housing is constructed and currently last year paid more than $169,000 in property taxes in the City of Kingston. More information on RUPCO and its programs is available at www.rupco.org or by calling the agency at 845-331-2140.