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—  City  —
Kingston is located in New York
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 41°52′00″N 74°0′03″W / 41.8666667°N 74.00083°W / 41.8666667; -74.00083Coordinates: 41°52′00″N 74°0′03″W / 41.8666667°N 74.00083°W / 41.8666667; -74.00083
Country United States
State New York
County Ulster
 - Mayor James Sottile (D)
Elevation 476 ft (145 m)
Population (2000)
 - City 23,456
 - Metro 177,749
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 12401-12402
Area code(s) 845
FIPS code 36-39738
GNIS feature ID 0979119

Kingston is a city in Ulster County, New York, United States. It is 91 miles (146 km) north of New York City and 59 miles (90 km) south of Albany along the Hudson River. The population was 23,456 at the 2000 census. Kingston is the core city of the Kingston, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area and is part of the larger New YorkNewarkBridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. The city of Kingston is on the eastern border of Ulster County, and is the county seat.



The city of Kingston was first called Esopus after a local Indian tribe, then Wiltwyck. Settled in 1651, it was one of the three large settlements in New Netherland, the other two being Beverwyck now Albany, New York, and New Amsterdam, now New York City. In 1777, Kingston became the first capital of New York. Shortly after the Battle of Saratoga, the city was burned by British troops moving up the Hudson River from New York City, disembarking at the mouth of the Rondout Creek on the formation the Dutch had named Ponck Hockie.[1] Contrary to popular belief there wasn't a large conflict between the townsfolk and the British invaders. This is because the denizens of Kingston knew of the oncoming fleet. The city had been evacuated by the time the British arrived, and the settlers had moved to Hurley, New York, which the British did not attack.

Parts of the historic Rondout neighborhood still have historic architecture.

The area was a major granary for the colonies at the time, so the British burned large amounts of wheat and all but one or two of the buildings. There is some debate over exactly how much of a fight was put up against the British; one third of the local militia regiment was still to the north at Saratoga, and one third was to the south manning several forts (which were captured days before by the British). This would have left approximately 150 militiamen to defend the city against approximately 2,000 British regulars. In 1797, the capital was reestablished at Albany.


Bluestone and cement

The town of Rondout, New York, now a part of Kingston, became an important freight hub for the transportation of coal from Pennsylvania to New York City through the D & H canal. This hub was later used to transport other goods,[2] including bluestone. Kingston shaped and shipped most of the bluestone made to create the sidewalks of New York City. Cement deposits were found throughout the valley, and in 1844 quarrying began in the "Ponchockie" section of Rondout. The Newark Lime and Cement Company shipped cement throughout the United States, a thriving business until the invention of the cheaper, quicker drying Portland Cement. Large warehouses of ice sat beside the Hudson river from which the ice was cut during the winter and preserved all year to be used in early refrigeration.[3] Large brick making factories were also located close to this shipping hub.[4][5] Rondout’s central location as a shipping hub ended with the advent of railroads which ran through Rondout and Kingston but could transport their loads through the town without stopping.



Roofed sidewalks in the Stockade District uptown
Downtown Kingston NY, called The Rondout
recently restored steeple in Downtown Kingston, New York
Kingston, New York with the Rondout Creek feeding into the Hudson River in the foreground and the Ashokan Reservoir in the distance

Kingston has at least three distinct neighborhoods. The uptown area, the Stockade District, was the first capital of New York State. The downtown area, once the village of Rondout, now the Rondout-West Strand Historic District, borders the Rondout Creek. The creek empties into the Hudson through a large, protected tidal area which was the terminus of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, built to haul coal from Pennsylvania to New York City.[7]

Downtown, called "the Rondout" because it was formerly Rondout, New York, is an artist community labeled by Business Week online as one of "America's best places for artists."[8] It is home to a large number of art galleries.

While the Uptown area is noted for its "antique" feeling, the overhangs attached to buildings along Wall and North Front streets were added to historic buildings in the late 1970s and are not authentically part of the 19th century Victorian architecture. A controversy is currently unfolding over whether to restore or remove the overhangs, locally known as the Pike Plan. More notably in Uptown is the Stockade district, where many 17th century stone buildings remain. Most notable of these is the Senate House, which was built in the 1670s and was used as the state capital during the revolution. Many of these old buildings were burned by the British in 1777 and restored later.

Kingston holds many festivals in the Rondout neighborhood, including the Kingston Jazz Festival and the Artists Soapbox Derby. Meanwhile the uptown historic district celebrates and re-creates the Burning of the town by the British every other year, without actually damaging any of its historic buildings.

The city is noted for its many restaurants, some run by graduates of the nearby Culinary Institute of America.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22.4 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (19.0 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), or 15.03%, is water.

The city is on the west bank of the Hudson River. Neighboring towns include Hurley, Saugerties, Rhinebeck, and Red Hook.

the Rondout, south of uptown Kingston


As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 23,456 people, 9,871 households, and 5,498 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,189.5 persons per square mile (1,232.2/km2). There were 10,637 housing units at an average density of 1,446.4 houses per square mile (558.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.38% White, 12.77% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 1.90% from other races, and 3.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.46% of the population.

There were 9,871 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.3% were non-families. 36.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,594, and the median income for a family was $41,806. Males had a median income of $31,634 versus $25,364 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,662, with 12.4% of families and 15.8% of the population below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


The government of Kingston consists of a mayor and city council known as the Common Council. The Common Council consists of 10 members, nine of which are elected from wards while one is elected at large. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote.


Commuter service is available by bus to New York City daily. Passenger railroad service to Kingston itself has been discontinued for several decades. However, about 10 miles (20 km) away is the Rhinecliff-Kingston Amtrak station. CSX Transportation operates freight rail service through Kingston on the River Line Subdivision. There is also a small rail yard of about 7 tracks in Kingston.

New York State Route 199 has the nearest bridge traversing the Hudson River, 5.48 miles (8.82 km) to the north. U.S. Highway 9W runs north-south through the city. The New York State Thruway, also known at this section as Interstate 87, runs through the western part of the city.

The area is served by Kingston-Ulster airport (2ON), located at the western base of the Kingston-Rhinecliff bridge. The nearest major airports to Kingston are Stewart International Airport about 38 miles (40 km) south in Newburgh, and Albany International Airport approximately 65 miles (121 km) north.[10] The three major metropolitan airports for New York City - John F. Kennedy International approximately 109 miles (142 km) south, Newark Liberty International approximately 104 miles (169 km) south, and LaGuardia Airport approximately 98 miles (129 km) south.

Kingston CitiBus provides service within the city and to Port Ewen.

City bus service is provided by the city-owned CitiBus system, while service to points elsewhere in Ulster County is provided by Ulster County Area Transit (UCAT).

On the first Saturday of every month an “art bus” is available for a fare of $1. The bus, usually a CitiBus tourist trolley, takes passengers on a guided tour of the art galleries of Kingston. Kingston's art galleries all have openings on the first Saturday of the month.

Kingston historically was an important transportation center for the region. The Hudson River, Rondout Creek and Delaware and Hudson Canal were important commercial waterways. At one time, Kingston was served by four railroad companies and two trolley lines. Kingston was designated as a New York State Heritage Area with a transportation theme and the Hudson River Maritime Museum and Trolley Museum of New York are located on the waterfront.


Kingston is home to the Hudson Valley Highlanders of the North American Football League. They play their home games at Dietz Stadium.

The Hudson Valley Renegades are a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays. The team is a member of the New York - Penn League, and play at Dutchess Stadium in nearby Fishkill.

The Hudson Valley Bears are one of four founding members of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL). They play their home games at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in nearby Poughkeepsie.

The Hudson Valley Hawks is a team in the newly formed National Professional Basketball League. The team's home court is at Beacon High School, in nearby Beacon.

The Kingston Tigers are the city high school's mascot. The John A. Coleman Catholic Statesman play in nearby Town of Ulster.



  • Newspapers
  • Television: Time Warner Cable Channel 23
  • Radio
    • Kingston-based: WGHQ (920 AM), WKNY (1490 AM), WKXP (94.3 FM)
    • Outside Kingston: WFGB (89.7 FM), WBPM (92.9 FM, Saugerties), WKZE-FM (98.1, Salisbury CT/Rhinebeck), WDST (100.1 FM, Woodstock).
  • Magazines: The Kingston-based Chronogram publishes a thick glossy, colorful magazine dedicated to the art, culture and spirit of the Hudson Valley.
  • Television
    • Kingston Area Public Access 23

Health & medical

  • Kingston Hospital
  • Benedictine Hospital

People, past and present

Actors, musicians and others in the entertainment industry

  • Peter Bogdanovich (b. 1939) a film director, writer and actor, was born in town.
  • Robert Craft (b. 1923), an award-winning conductor who has led many of the major orchestras in the United States, and a collaborator with Igor Stravinsky, was born in the city.
  • Adam Snyder (b. 1966), musician, resident, former member of Mercury Rev released 2007 album "Thi Town Will Get Its Due"
  • Joseph Kesselring (1902-1967), a writer and playwright best known for his play Arsenic and Old Lace, died in the city.
  • Elissa Landi (1904–1948), an Italian born actress was popular in Hollywood films of the 1920s and 1930s, died of cancer in the city.
  • Trudy Wiggins (1935–2006), an actress best known for roles in television daytime drama, later produced and appeared in her own talk show on WTZA-TV in the city.
  • Josh Eppard (b. 1979) original drummer for rock band 3, original drummer for rock band Coheed and Cambria, hip hop artist Weerd Science and musical composer born in Kingston, NY.
  • Michael Todd (b. 1980) bassist for progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria.
  • Paul Austin Kelly (b. 1960) Opera tenor/jazz singer/children's music performer and impresario
  • Pauline Oliveros, composer and musician
  • Danny Taylor, drummer for pioneering electronic duo Silver Apples lived in Kingston until his death in 2005.
  • Larry Grenadier (b. 1966), Jazz bassist. Originally from San Francisco, CA. Moved to Kingston in 2002.
  • Rebecca Martin (b. 1969), Singer/Songwriter and community activist. Started garden movement in the city of Kingston in 2007. Originally from the State of Maine, and resident of Kingston since 2002.

Politics, political activism, government service

Alton B. Parker, 1904 Democratic nominee for President
  • George Clinton (1739–1812), fourth vice president of the United States and first elected governor of New York State, is buried in the city at the Old Dutch Church.
  • Charles DeWitt (1727-1787), a miller and statesman from Kingston, served as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
  • Abraham Bruyn Hasbrouck (1791–1879), a U.S. Congressman and the sixth President of Rutgers College (now Rutgers University), was born and died in the city.
  • Alton B. Parker (1852–1926), Democratic presidential nominee in 1904, practiced law in the city and was the first president of the Ulster County Bar Association. He not only lost the election, he didn't even carry Ulster County.
  • Sojourner Truth (c. 17971883), former slave and early abolitionist, tried to gain her freedom in Ulster County Court in the city.
  • John Van Buren (1799-1855), US Congressman
  • - a citizen organized effort created to build community and to connect citizens to their elected alderman through education, local issues, and projects.
  • The Kingston Land Trust - dedicated to preserving open space in the city of Kingston and home of the Kingston Victory Garden movement.


Self portrait, John Vanderlyn, 1800


External links


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