Newburgh Again: The City Club 1976

Even at the time these photos were taken (1976), the Newburgh City Club, aka the Culbert House, has been a topic of discussion, as to wheher it should be restored or demolished.


Side view of the City Club



Front facade of the City Club



Front facade of the City Club



Side view of the City Club along side the new library



Side/rear view of the City Club along side the new library complex



The City Club on the left, the new library on the right, and the Dutch Reformed Church in the center


Newburgh Again: The North Plank Road Tavern- 1981

Bypassed by bulldozers, tavern restored

The Evening News – Dec 1, 1981

NEW LEASE ON LIFE – The North Plank Road Tavern bas been around more than 100 years and may see another century. The owners, Thomas and Lucie Costa, have applied for the building to be listed on the National Historic Register. Photo by Jean Yanarella

TOWN OF NEWBURGH – The North Plank Tavern is alive and well after more than 100 years. With a couple of enthusiastic owners and a recent decision by the Department of Transportation to spare it, the building’s future seems secure.

The structure was the most ambitious acquisition of Thomas and Lucie Costa. Although they bought a restored five area buildings before this one, the North Plank Road purchase has become their home and business.

The owners are attempting to have the tavern listed on The National Historic Register.

Its alleged historic value is partly responsible, for the Department of Transportation’s decision to take six private homes across the street for a road-widening project and spare the bar.

The process of getting on the National Registry may end in 1982 with the North Plank Road building receiving the official designation.

The ponderous process started in 1980, involved a large amount of research by the owners, Thomas Costa and his wife, Lucie Provencher Costa. The youngest member of the Costa beverage family, Costa is the son of county Legislator Joseph Costa, who runs the soda plant of the same name.

Thomas Costa studied mathematics and education in college and his wife, a native of Montreal, studied civil engineering. They’ve combined forces to make use of what they call an opportunity unique to Newburgh.

Newburgh is one of the best places, they say, to find a beautiful, historic building at a very low price that can be turned into an exquisite, livable structure.

The first building the couple restored was on Grand Street. After facing the horrible state the structure was in, the Costa said the rest of the houses they acquired and refurbished were easy.

The Costas say restoring old buildings is a help to the community. They pointed out that the Farmworkers Legal Services was going to move to Poughkeepsie until t he group approached the couple and asked about renting a Liberty Street house. Getting a good deal from the couple convinced the agency to stay in Newburgh, the Costas say.

The couple hopes to turn the latest acquisition into a restaurant. The tavern now offers a selection of beer and folk-oriented music on weekends. With a new stove, they hope by next summer to offer food with a French flavor.

The move to a restaurant has taken them since 1979 when they bought the building. Financing for a restaurant was difficult to find, they explain. The Newburgh Savings Bank was willing to help them.

Financial help was not all the couple needed. An incredible amount of physical labor was done to get the structure into shape in1979.

Its claim to a place on the National Historic Register apparently begins in the 1850swhen the tavern was said to be a hotel and meeting place. During Prohibition the establishment became a speakeasy. Gambling was most likely part of the building’s appeal. It was also rumored to have a bordello operating out of some rooms.

Politicians and gangsters frequented the spot. Within its walls, alcohol was diluted and bottled with counterfeit labels.

The Costas have benefited from the fact that the previous owner, Anthony Nixon, never threw anything out. The results are displayed in the walls of the tavern, including hand-embroidered hankies on black felt and decades old business cards.

Newspapers, one proclaiming “Beer is back” (March 23, 1933) also decorate the walls. These were not saved as precious souvenirs, said Costa, but were used as padding under linoleum. The couple can tell by the dates on the newspapers when the work was done.

The ornate wooden bar back originally stood at the United States Hotel on Front Street. It is believed to be 150 years old. It was brought into the tavern around 1910.

All in all, the Costas say they have found a link with history, a home, and a livelihood, “Newburgh is working,” said Costa. “It’s been good to us.”

Newburgh Again: The Newburgh Daily News Building


Illustrated and Descriptive Newburgh (1906):

ONE OF THE SIGHTS OF THE CITY.-Among the possessions of which Newburgh boasts and to which Newburghers point with pride is the extensive and modernly equipped plant of The Newburgh Daily News, housed in its own handsome building at 40-42 Grand street. The building and equipment represent an investment exceeding $100,000. Like the paper itself, which is one of the most widely circulated, ably edited, typographically, artistic and largest issued outside of the first and second class cities, The News Building in appointment, extent and perfection of equipment is unusual in a city of Newburgh’s size, being unequalled by any newspaper establishment outside of the half dozen leading cities of the state. The News Building is one of the show places of Newburgh, one of the “Sights of the town” to which visitors are invariably introduced. And a visit is well worth the while. The most advanced ideas in newspaper making and the conduct of allied trades are exemplified in the marvelous mechanical contrivances employed in the various departments throughout the establishment. From the big new Goss Stereotype Perfecting press, with capacity of 300 complete papers a minute (the only machine of the kind in this section of the State) on the ground floor, to the almost human linotype machines, on which the newspaper is “set,” on the top floor, the visitor will find something novel to attract and hold his attention at every step. An idea of the extent to which the paper circulates may be gained from the fact that nearly a ton of white print paper is consumed every issue.

Newburgh Again: The Post Office

Illustrated and Descriptive Newburgh (1906):

The Post Office is one of the most important in the state; its total receipts for the year 1902 were $65,480. 92; for 1903 they were $65,949.29; for 1904, $67,659.45; for 1905, $73,232.79, and the receipts for the last five months of 1906 were $32,273.20, and for the same five months of 1905 they were $28,247.84 showing an increase for this year thus far of $4,025.36. The total receipts for this year will in all probability exceed $80,000.00. The building cost with the site, $100,000.

Newburgh Again: Newburgh City Club (Culbert House)

Newburgh City Club (Culbert House)
Newburgh, NY

As described by the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance: The Newburgh City Club, originally the Culbert House, was designed by Vaux and A.J. Downing in 1851 – 52 during their all too brief working relationship. The house was designed for a prominent Newburgh doctor, William A.M. Culbert (design #22 entitled “Suburban House With Curved Roof” in Vaux’s book, Villas and Cottages), and was expanded after the Newburgh City Club acquired it in 1904. The building was restored in 1975 – 76 only to have its interior gutted by a suspicious fire in 1981. The City Club still sits today in front of the south end of the Newburgh Free Library. The exquisite concave roof is completely gone, as are the majority of the building’s exterior design elements, yet its basic structure appears to be sound and restorable. It is part of CVPA’s mission to see that this contributing building to Newburgh’s Montgomery – Grand – Liberty Streets Historic District is fully restored and an adaptive reuse found that will benefit the Newburgh community and its struggling economy. 

 From Villas and Cottages:
This house, which now belongs to a gentleman residing in Newburgh, was planned for another party in the first instance, and was partly executed with the idea that it was to be very simply and economically finished. It was commenced without any intention of constructing the dormer-windows, the projecting hoods, or the covered balcony over the lower bay, all of which, as may be seen on reference to the sketch, help materially to give individuality and completeness to the design. The main outline of the plan is a simple parallelogram, without any break in the walls, and the study may, therefore, be interesting to those who like a generally picturesque effect in a house, but who wish to avoid irregularities in the internal arrange
ment, or uneconomical projections in carrying up the brick-work. During the progress of the work the building changed hands, and came into the possession of its second owner, Mr. D. Moore, and in accordance with his instructions the design was improved in many important points. The additions already referred to were made, another bay-window was introduced, the roof to the veranda, also, was curved, and finished with a balustrade.
[graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small]The plan may be thus described: An inclosed wooden porch, shown to a larger scale at page 72, leads into the principal hall, which is paved with red, black, and buff encaustic tiles in a simple but effective star pattern. This hall communicates with the library, which is a handsomely-finished room, containing two book-cases recessed in the walls on one side, and a third arranged between the windows on the other side. The architrave mouldings of the doors, windows, and book-cases being boldly relieved, and so arranged that they may group together in several different combinations. The drawing-room extends the whole length of the house. The southern part was originally proposed for a bedroom, but when the property came into Mr. Moore’s possession it was connected with the parlor by an ornamental wooden arch, without folding doors. From this drawing-room the windows open on to a wide, spacious veranda, commanding an extensive view of the Hudson. In the staircase hall is a garden entrance, and a door to a small private room or office. The dining-room is in the basement, but the ground falls off so rapidly that the side of the room which looks out on to the ornamental garden, and the river beyond, is entirely out of ground, and communicates with a brick piazza supporting the veranda above. It has not, however, been thought necessary to give a separate plan of this floor, which contains kitchen and other offices, cellar, vaults, and furnace-room. Conveniently situated underneath the pavement of side-entrance is an outhouse and necessary, approached from the basement through a vinecovered veranda passage, and arranged on a similar plan to that already described in the opening chapter, and in the description of Mr. “Warren’s house. Mr. Moore’s house was, however, the first in which this plan was tried, and it was while endeavoring to overcome the difficulties suggested by his needs that the idea occurred to me. The filling up and grading about the house was thus made more satisfactory, and the outbuildings were entirely concealed from view, which could not, in any reasonable time, have been done by trees or evergreens on account of the continuous fall in the ground, which made it necessary that the principal rooms and veranda should look down on to the lawns and garden ground surrounding the house.
The chamber plan will be found to contain four bedrooms, with a linen-room, bath-room, and watercloset, all easy of access, but planned with a special regard to privacy. An open and airy stairway to the attic leads into a roomy, well-lighted upper hall, communicating with four large bedrooms and a storeroom. Above this again is a well-ventilated garret four or five feet high, that affords convenient stowage for trunks, and furnishes a complete shield from the heat and cold. The attic rooms in this house are as convenient, and almost as agreeable, as the principal bedchambers below them ; and as they naturally command a more extensive view than can be obtained from the rest of the house, they have this one great advantage over the other rooms. A reference to the plan of roofs will show how, by the arrangement of the flat on the top, the whole composition is simply treated, so as to offer as little resting-place as possible.

Newburgh Again: General Anthony Wayne statue at Washington’s Headquarters


Henry Kirke Bush-Brown
  Henry Kirke Bush-Brown (1857–1935) was a distinguished sculptor raised in Newburgh (and the adopted nephew of renowned sculptor Henry Kirke Brown, another Newburgh resident). 
For the Hudson-Fulton celebration in 1909, he created an equestrian statue of General Anthony Wayne, an American Revolution general, which was dedicated in a grand fashion.
 Eugenia Boisseau recalls the Newburgh 1909 celebrations 50 years later by saying:
 “In Newburgh that afternoon the equestrian statue of Gen. Anthony Wayne, which still stands on the east lawn of Washington’s Headquarters, was dedicated. 1500 persons attended the ceremonies with the sculptor, Henry K. Bush-Brown of Balmville, giving an address. The presiding officer was Mayor McClung. Howard Thornton, President of Washington’s Headquarters Board of Trustees, formally accepted the statue. Music was provided by Alsdorf’s Orchestra. The Rev. Alfred J. Wilson, pastor of the Unitarian Church of Our Father, delivered the invocation, and the Rev. John Huske, rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church, gave the benediction.”
Although Eugenia Boisseau’s recount states the was still standing on the east lawn in 1959, A. J. Schenkman states in his book, Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, “that the statue was never bronzed, so by 1910, the sculpture deteriorated due to exposure to the elements without protection.”

Crawford House (1959)

As reprinted from the Newburgh, New York 250th Celebration (July 5 thru July 12, 1959)  program book:

Headquarters of
July 6-12 {1959}     —     2:00-5:00 P.M.
The Public Is Invited     —     Tea Will Be Served
There will be  a temporary exhibit of historic materials, paintings, china and furniture, as well as those things which are in this beautiful and historic house permanently. A small but charming garden is another feature.
MISS ANNE WELLS                           MRS. FREDERICK R. SMALL
MRS. J. TOWNSEND CASSEDY                  MR. OLIVER SHIPP       
MR. and MRS. C. D. ROBINSON               MRS. CLARK SMITH       
On March 9, 1830, David Crawford was leased Lot 39 on the Glebe map for a period of 900 years. On it, he built his handsome home. This was 120 years from the settling of Newburgh by the Palatines, midway of the city’s history. Newburgh was then a village of 6,000.
The Ionic columns, the Palladian windows, front and back, and the second floor balcony under the overhanging top floor at the front are reminiscent of all gracious Georgian period homes.
The house has an interior exquisitely executed. Over-windows, doors and cornices are deeply carved. The Dolphin of the newell post is possibly the work of a Massachusetts ship figurehead carver. The doors between the two parlors repeat the carving and column motif of the Greek Revival so loved by the architects of the Georgian Period.
MR. OLIVER SHIPP, 1st Vice Pres.        MISS LUCY ALDRIDGE,  3rd Vice Pres. 
MR. CLARENCE STETSER 2nd Vice Pres.     MR. GERALD C. STOWE, 4th Vice Pres. 
MRS. M. SEYMOUR PURDY, Rec Sec’y        MISS IRENE WEGLE, Corres. Sec’y    
CRAWFORD HOUSE                           189 MONTGOMERY STREET, NEWBURGH, N.Y.