Poughkeepsie, New York: Wikis


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Downtown Poughkeepsie from across the Hudson River
Official name: City of Poughkeepsie
Name origin: U-puku-ipi-sing: "the reed-covered lodge by
the little-water place" in Iroquois
Country United States
State New York
County Dutchess
River Hudson
Center Mansion Square Park
 - elevation 180 ft (55 m)
 - coordinates 41°42′23″N 73°55′15″W / 41.70639°N 73.92083°W / 41.70639; -73.92083
Highest point College Hill
 - elevation 380 ft (116 m)
 - coordinates 41°42′43″N 73°54′55″W / 41.71194°N 73.91528°W / 41.71194; -73.91528
Lowest point Hudson River
 - elevation ft (0 m)
Area 5.7 sq mi (15 km2)
 - land 5.1 sq mi (13 km2)
 - water 0.6 sq mi (2 km2)
Population 29,871 (2000)
Density 5,806.2 /sq mi (2,242 /km2)
Settled 1659
 - Incorporation as village 1799
 - Incorporation as city 1854
Government Council-manager
 - location City Hall
 - elevation 160 ft (49 m)
 - coordinates 41°42′19″N 73°55′50″W / 41.70528°N 73.93056°W / 41.70528; -73.93056
Mayor John C. Tkazyik (R)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 12601-12604
Area code 845
FIPS code 36-59641
GNIS feature ID 0961058
Location of Poughkeepsie
within the state of New York
Location of New York in the United States
Wikimedia Commons: Poughkeepsie, New York
Website: www.cityofpoughkeepsie.com

Poughkeepsie (pronounced /pəˈkɪpsiː/) is a city in the state of New York, the United States, which serves as the county seat of Dutchess County. Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and Albany.[1] The name derives from a Native American word (roughly U-puku-ipi-sing), meaning "the reed covered lodge by the little-water place," referring to a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River, south of the present downtown area. Poughkeepsie is known as "The Queen City of the Hudson." During the late 1980s through the late 1990s, Poughkeepsie suffered from severe socioeconomic turmoil, serving as a symbol for urban decay in the Hudson Valley. Recent efforts at waterfront and Main Street revitalization poise Poughkeepsie for a potential upswing.[2][3]

Poughkeepsie is the largest principal city of the Poughkeepsie–NewburghMiddletown, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Dutchess and Orange counties. The two-county MSA had a population of 621,517 at the 2000 census.[4] A July 1, 2007 estimate placed the population at 669,915.[5] Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown is also a component of the larger New YorkNewarkBridgeport, NY–NJCTPA Combined Statistical Area.



The site of Poughkeepsie was first settled by a New Netherland Dutchman, Barent Baltus, before 1659. It was founded in 1687 by his son, Baltus Barent van Kleeck, who built the first house of record there in 1702. The community was set off from the Town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village in 1799. The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered in 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place, and are commonly referred to as Poughkeepsie, with a current combined population of approximately 75,000.

Spared from battle during the American Revolution, Poughkeepsie became the second capital of New York. In 1788 the Ratification Convention for New York State, which included Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and George Clinton, assembled at the courthouse on Market Street, debated and ratified the United States Constitution. With its ratification, New York entered the new union as the eleventh of the original thirteen colonies to join together as the United States of America. In 1799, a new seal was created for Poughkeepsie. It contains eleven honey bees, representing the State of New York as the eleventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, buzzing around a skep-style beehive, reflective of the industrious, hard-working nature of the people of the city.

Early on, Poughkeepsie was also a major center for whale rendering, and during the 1800s industry flourished through shipping, hatteries, papermills, and several breweries along the Hudson River, including some owned by Matthew Vassar, founder of Vassar College. Due to the area’s natural beauty and proximity to New York City, families such as the Astors, Rogers and Vanderbilts built palatial weekend homes nearby. The city is also home to the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House (see below).


The City of Poughkeepsie is on the western edge of Dutchess County, bordered by the Hudson River on the west and by the Town of Poughkeepsie on the north, east and south. To cross the river there is the Mid Hudson Bridge.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.8 km² (5.7 sq mi). 13.3 km² (5.1 sq mi) of it is land and 1.4 km² (0.6 sq mi) of it (9.65%) is water.


Poughkeepsie receives approximately 44.12 inches (1,121 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which is delivered in the late spring and early summer.

Climate data for Poughkeepsie, New York
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 68
Average high °F (°C) 34.0
Average low °F (°C) 15.0
Record low °F (°C) -30
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.19
Source: Weather Channel[6]


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 29,871 people, and 12,014 households, in the city. The population density was 2,243.8/km² (5,806.2/sq mi). There were 13,153 housing units at an average density of 988.0/km² (2,556.6/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 52.8% White, 35.7% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 5.3% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.6% of the population.

There were 12,014 households out of which 28.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.8% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.4% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,389, and the median income for a family was $35,779. Males had a median income of $31,956 versus $25,711 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,759. About 18.4% of families and 22.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.3% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.


The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The city council consists of 8 wards with each ward electing one member.

Educational institutions

The area is home to several colleges: Marist, Vassar (one of the Seven Sisters), The Culinary Institute of America, and Dutchess Community, all of which are in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

A branch of Adelphi University is also located in the city.

The Poughkeepsie City School District is the public K-12 school system serving approximately 5,000 students.

Spackenkill Union Free School District has two elementary schools - Hagan Elementary School and Nassau Elementary School, one middle school - Orville A. Todd Middle School, and one high school, Spackenkill High School.


Local bus transit in the city of Poughkeepsie.

Poughkeepsie sits at the junction of the north-south US 9 and east-west US 44 and NY 55 highways.

Commuter service to New York City is available by train, served by the MTA's Metro-North Railroad, the city being the northern terminus of Metro-North's Hudson Line. However, the station adjunct to the Poughkeepsie Bridge is no longer in working condition. Amtrak also services the Poughkeepsie station, along the Hudson River south to New York City's Pennsylvania Station and north along the river to Albany-Rensselaer station and points further north and west; Amtrak trains serving Poughkeepsie are the Adirondack, Empire Service, and Maple Leaf. Additionally, Amtrak's premiere New York-Chicago train, the fabled Lake Shore Limited, the successor to the even more fabled 20th Century Limited, serves this station when coming eastbound from Chicago.

The Mid-Hudson Bridge, opened in 1930, carries US 44 and NY 55 across the Hudson River from Poughkeepsie to Highland. The Poughkeepsie Bridge opened in 1888 to carry railroad traffic across the Hudson, but ended this use when a 1974 fire damaged its decking. A local group (Walkway Over The Hudson) raised the funds to convert the bridge into a unique linear park connecting rail trails on both side of the Hudson River. The walkway opened on October 3, 2009, coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's first exploration of the river named for him.[3] The bridge is now open for pedestrian and bicycle use and is a State Historic Park.

The Dutchess County Airport in nearby Wappinger services local commuter flights and general aviation. The nearest major airport to Poughkeepsie is Stewart International Airport about 25 miles (40 km) south in Newburgh, with the three major metropolitan airports for New York City - John F. Kennedy International approximately 88 miles (142 km) south, Newark Liberty International approximately 105 miles (169 km) south, and LaGuardia Airport approximately 80 miles (129 km) south - and Albany International Airport approximately 75 miles (121 km) north.

Main Mall Row, one of many Registered Historic Places in the city.

Within Poughkeepsie there are two transit bus services:

Both services have a quasi-hub at the intersection of Main and Market streets, adjacent to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center and at the west end of the former pedestrian-only Main Mall; the Mall was removed in 2001, with those blocks being restored back to traffic and to the name Main Street. Other buses serving this area include Adirondack Trailways, ShortLine, commuter runs to White Plains, and a shuttle to New Paltz.

Industry and media

IBM has a large campus in Poughkeepsie, once referred to as IBM's "Main Plant," although this facility is actually in the Town of Poughkeepsie, and much of the workforce has been moved elsewhere in the company (2008). The site once built the IBM Stretch Computer as well as later IBM mainframes. The RS/6000 SP2 family of computers, which came to fame after one of them won a chess match against world chess master Garry Kasparov, were also manufactured by IBM Poughkeepsie. In October 2008 IBM's Poughkeepsie facility was named "Assembly Plant of the Year 2008" by the editors of Assembly Magazine.[7]

Until 1972 Poughkeepsie was home to the Smith Brothers cough drop factory. The Smith Brothers' grave site is in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.

The Poughkeepsie Journal is the third-oldest active newspaper in the United States.[citation needed]

FM radio stations in the area are WRRV-96.9 (alternative rock) WPDH-101.5 (album-oriented rock), WRWD-FM-107.3 (country), WSPK-104.7 (top 40), WHUD-100.7 (adult contemporary), and WPKF-96.1 (rhythmic top 40). AM radio stations in the area are WGNY-1220 (50's & 60's music), WHVW-950 (50's and older blues and country).

Emergency services


The Poughkeepsie Fire Department is the fire department that covers the City of Poughkeepsie. By keeping buildings up to code, controlling illegal occupancies, monitoring the safety of living areas and issuing licenses and permits, the department works to control the potential for dangerous situations. The fire district operates three fire stations spread out throughout the city, as their district covers the entire city, while the Arlington Fire District and Fairview Fire District covers the Town of Poughkeepsie. The department is capable of handling fires, rescues, extrications and natural disasters. The PFD operates a varied fire apparatus fleet; however it is not a transport service, but rather a First Responder service. Both BLS and ALS EMS calls are handled by Transcare EMS who provide the city with as many ambulances as needed to provide 24/7 ambulance service.


Police protection to the city is provided by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. When someone calls 911 in the city, it is routed to the city 911 headquarters. From there they notify police units in the city, and locate the closest available unit.


Poughkeepsie is home to the Hudson Valley Bears, who are one of four founding members of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL). They play their home games at the McCann Ice Arena in the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.

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 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 Hudson Valley Highlanders of the North American Football League play their home games at Dietz Stadium in nearby Kingston.

Poughkeepsie also hosted a founding member of the North Eastern Hockey League (NEHL) with the formation of the Poughkeepsie Panthers in 2003. However, due to financial problems the team only played for one season, and became the Connecticut Cougars the following year. The North Eastern Hockey League folded due financial problems in January, 2008.

One of Poughkeepsie's most notable sports events was the annual regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA), which was held on the Hudson River from 1895 to 1949. Tens of thousands of spectators attended the regattas, which were longer than present-day races, with varsity eights rowing a 4-mile race. Spectators watched from the hills and bluffs overlooking the river and from chartered boats and trains that followed the races along the entire length of the course. When the IRA moved the regatta to other venues, the Mid-Hudson Rowing Association was formed to preserve rowing in the area. It successfully lobbied to preserve the regatta's facilities and for area high schools to use them for school rowing programs. Currently (2009), area colleges, high schools and rowing clubs are active in expanded facilities.[citation needed] As part of the 400th Anniversary of the hUdson celebration, a recreation of the regatta was held with Marist College Crew as its host. The events included a fireworks display, a large dinner and the unveiling of the restored historic Cornell Boathouse, now property of Marist Crew. The race was the historically accurate 4 miles long and was competed in by Marist, Vassar, Army, Penn, and Cornell. This was also the first time any womens crew was allowed to participate in the historic IRA Poughkeepsie Regatta.

Entertainment and the arts

Poughkeepsie has a number of notable institutions for arts and entertainment. The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, located near Main and Market Streets, is a theater which has an array of music, drama, dance and film events. It is also the home of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center, located down the street from the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, hosts concerts, professional wrestling, trade shows, and has an ice rink next door for hockey events. The Civic Center is also home to the Hudson Valley Bears.

The Chance, located at 6 Crannell Street in downtown Poughkeepsie, hosts live rock concerts with local as well as major artists.

The collections of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise over 15,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares.

G.A.S. (Gallery and Studio) is a visual art and performance space, located at 196 Main Street. G.A.S. presents contemporary art exhibitions, along with multi-media events, such as readings, films, and musical performances.

The city is mentioned in John LaChiusa musical The Wild Party as young character Nadine sings, "I always wanted to see the lights of Broadway" and talks of her distaste with the city of Poughkeepsie.

The Barrett Art Center at 55 Noxon Street offers exhibits, art classes, lectures and demonstrations focused on the visual arts. Twice yearly it presents nationally acclaimed shows, juried by curators of notable museums. It also operates Barrett Clay Works at 485 Main Street, with studio spaces for individual artists, and a street level space devoted to instruction in various methods of "working clay" for children through seniors.

Cafe Bocca, located at 14 Mount Carmel Place, is the newest business to open in Poughkeepsie's Mt. Carmel neighborhood. Cafe Bocca features weekly original music from area artists, art exhibits, and poetry events.

Locust Grove, the home of Samuel Morse and a National Historic Landmark, features representative paintings by Morse, as well as historically important examples of telegraph technology.

The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, 75 North Water Street, serves the city and region as an educational resource center, family destination and tourist attraction.

The Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center at 9 and 12 Vassar Street provides venues for both professional and amateur artists to showcase their talent in music, dance, and the visual arts.

Bananas is a comedy club that presents comedians such as Jim Norton, Rich Vos, Patrice O'Neal, and Nick DiPaolo. Jimmy Fallon started his career performing at the club.

Urban housing

  • Eastman Terrace
  • Tubman Terrace
  • Smith Street Projects
  • Delafield Projects
  • Beechwood Projects
  • Mill Street Projects
  • Hudson Harbor Projects


Notable natives and residents

Billy Name at Poughkeepsie Bridge, which he fought to preserve.


  1. ^ In the vernacular of the region sometimes the first syllable of the name is dropped, thus the nickname "Keepsie" (pronounced /ˈkɪpsiː/).[citation needed] {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}}}}
  2. ^ [1], Accessed 2010-02-22.
  3. ^ [2], Accessed 2010-02-22.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)" (CSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2007/CBSA-EST2007-01.csv. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  6. ^ Weather.com site for Poughkeepsie
  7. ^ http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/081023/0445853.html
  8. ^ "Tibor Kalman obituary". New York Times. 1999-05-05. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/05/arts/tibor-kalman-bad-boy-of-graphic-design-49-dies.html. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  9. ^ "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame award". Poughkeepsie Journal. 2009-09-23. http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20090923/ENT04/90923011/1038/ent. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 

Further reading

  • Flad, Harvey. 2005. A digital tour of Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie, NY : Vassar College.
  • Mano, Jo Margert and Linda Greenow. 2006. Mexico comes to Main Street: Mexican immigration and urban revitalization in Poughkeepsie, NY. Middle States Geographer 39: 76-83.

External links

Lindsay Nelson & John Viola <3

Simple English

Downtown Poughkeepsie from across the Hudson River
Official name: City of Poughkeepsie
Name origin: U-puku-ipi-sing: "the reed-covered lodge by
the little-water place" in Iroquois
Nickname: Queen City of the Hudson
Country United States
State New York
County Dutchess
Wikimedia Commons: Poughkeepsie, New York
Website: http://www.cityofpoughkeepsie.com

Poughkeepsie (pronounced /pəˈkɪpsiː/) is a city that is located in New York, which is in the United States. It is the county seat of Dutchess County, New York. The city sits along the Hudson River, between New York City and Albany.

The Poughkeepsie Bridge is located in this city.

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