Tucked away in the Mid-Hudson Valley’s Ulster County is one of New York’s oldest communities – Uptown Kingston. Also known as the Stockade District, a nod to the protective fence that the early Dutch and Walloon settlers built around their settlement, uptown Kingston is a charming, walkable neighborhood of stunning houses dating from the early 1700s to the turn of the 20th century.
A special house tour on Sunday, June 22nd, highlights this “best kept secret” and features some of the neighborhood’s most stunning homes.
Treasures rarely seen by the public abound. One example is the colonial-era home of Hendricus Sleight (pictured at left aboe). This massive stone house that sits prominently at the point of two intersecting streets in the neighborhood’s Stockade District. Long the home of the Wiltwyck Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the home is rarely open to the public, but will be for the day.
Just a few blocks away is another stunner, this one flanked by massive Doric columns. This 1848 home, which will be featured in a book by Rizzoli to be published later this year, is impeccably decorated inside and out to highlight its Greek Revival details as well as its mid-twentieth restoration by noted Kingston antiquarian and decorator Fred J. Johnston.
Mr. Johnston’s home is also on the tour. Today a house museum and home to the Friends of Historic Kingston, this Federal home is showcase of period architecture and of one man’s love of early American’s furnishings and décor.
In all, the Uptown Kingston House Tour features seven houses and two churches. Rounding out the tour is a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception in the historic Kirkland Hotel building.
The tour is designed to be walkable, with all homes within a few blocks of one another. Individuals may also opt to drive from house to house if they choose. Kingston is Exit 19 on the New York State Thruway. Kingston is also accessible via Adirondack Trailways, which stops in uptown Kingston.
The tour will begin at the offices of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), which is located at 51 Maiden Lane. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 on the day of and may be purchased at www.casaulster.org or by calling 845.339.7543. Proceeds benefit CASA and their work with children in foster care.