Poughkeepsie, New York
|City of Poughkeepsie|
Poughkeepsie during its annual balloon festival
|Etymology: U-puku-ipi-sing: "The reed-covered lodge by the little-water place"|
The Queen City of the Hudson, PK:207
Location of Poughkeepsie, New York
|• Type||Mayor–council government|
|• Mayor||Robert Rolison (R)|
|• Common Council|
|• City||5.7 sq mi (15 km2)|
|• Land||5.1 sq mi (13 km2)|
|• Water||0.6 sq mi (2 km2)|
|• Urban||327.1 sq mi (847 km2)|
|Elevation||180 ft (50 m)|
|380 ft (120 m)|
|Lowest elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||5,700/sq mi (2,200/km2)|
|• Urban density||1,294.7/sq mi (499.9/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||979392|
Poughkeepsie (/pəˈkɪpsi/ pə-KIP-see), officially the City of Poughkeepsie, separate from the Town of Poughkeepsie, is a city in the state of New York, United States, which is the county seat of Dutchess County. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 32,736. Poughkeepsie is in the Hudson Valley midway between New York City and Albany, and is part of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area (which belongs to the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area). The name derives from a word in the Wappinger language, 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[by whom?] as "The Queen City of the Hudson". It was settled in the 17th century by the Dutch and became New York's second capital shortly after the American Revolution. It was chartered as a city in 1854. Major bridges in the city include the Walkway over the Hudson, a former railroad bridge (originally called the Poughkeepsie Bridge) which re-opened as a public walkway on October 3, 2009; and the Mid-Hudson Bridge, a major thoroughfare built in 1930 that carries U.S. Route 44 (concurrent with State Route 55) over the Hudson. The city of Poughkeepsie lies in New York's 18th congressional district.
The site of Poughkeepsie was purchased from the Indians in 1686 by Robert Sanders, an Englishman, and Myndert Harmense Van Den Bogaerdt, a New Netherland-born Dutchman. The first settlers were the families of Barent Baltus Van Kleeck and Hendrick Jans van Oosterom. The settlement grew quickly, and the Reformed Church of Poughkeepsie was established by 1720. The community was set off from the town of Poughkeepsie when it became an incorporated village on 27 March 1799. The city of Poughkeepsie was chartered on 28 March 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the city and town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place and are commonly referred to collectively as "Poughkeepsie", with a 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.
Early on, Poughkeepsie was a major center for whale rendering, and during the 19th century, the industry flourished through shipping, millineries, paper mills, 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 Vanderbilt mansion, located several miles up the Hudson from Poughkeepsie in the town of Hyde Park, is registered as a National Historic Site; it is considered to be a sterling example of the mansions built by American industrialists during the late 19th century. The city is home to the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House (see below).
Geography and climate
The city is located on the western edge of Dutchess County, bordered by Lloyd across the Hudson River to the west and by the town of Poughkeepsie on the north, east and south. There are two crossings of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie: the Mid-Hudson Bridge for motor vehicles and pedestrians, and the pedestrian "Walkway over the Hudson".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km2). 5.1 square miles (13.3 km2) of it is land, and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2) of it (10.05%) is water.
- Academy Street Historic District
- Balding Avenue Historic District
- Dwight-Hooker Avenue Historic District
- Garfield Place Historic District
- Mill Street-North Clover Street Historic District
- Mount Carmel District
- Union Street Historic District
Poughkeepsie has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) with relatively hot summers and cold winters. It receives approximately 44.12 inches (1,121 mm) of precipitation per year, much of which is delivered in the late spring and early summer. Due to its inland location, Poughkeepsie can be very cold during the winter, with temperatures dropping below zero a few times per year. Poughkeepsie can also be hit by powerful nor'easters, but it usually receives significantly less snow or rain from these storms compared to locations towards the south and east.
|Climate data for Poughkeepsie, New York (Hudson Valley Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1931–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||70
|Average high °F (°C)||35.4
|Average low °F (°C)||15.7
|Record low °F (°C)||−30
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.08
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||11.6
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.9||9.1||10.7||10.8||12.5||12.2||10.3||10.2||9.3||9.1||9.7||10.5||125.3|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.7||3.1||1.8||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.6||2.9||13.5|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 32,736 people. The population density was 5,806.2 inhabitants per square mile (2,243.8/km²). There were 13,153 housing units at an average density of 2,556.6 per square mile (988.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.8% White, 35.7% Black or African American, 10.6% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 1.6% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 5.3% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races.
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 household income 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 Poughkeepsie City School District is the public K-12 school system serving approximately 5,000 students.
The Oakwood Friends School is a co-ed 6–12 boarding school outside the city limits, serving approximately 145 students. It is the oldest college preparatory school in New York State. Poughkeepsie Day School, also outside the city, is a progressive co-ed pre-K-through-12 day school serving 300 students founded in 1934 by local families and members of the Vassar College faculty. Other private schools in the area include Tabernacle Christian Academy
Spackenkill Union Free School District, comprising generally the southern part of the town of Poughkeepsie, consists of Hagan Elementary School, Nassau Elementary School, Orville A. Todd Middle School and Spackenkill High School.
Nearby colleges and universities
The Culinary Institute of America's main campus is located in the suburb of Hyde Park, north of the City of Poughkeepsie. Dutchess Community College, Marist College, and Vassar College are all located in the surrounding Town of Poughkeepsie.
Rail commuter service to New York City is provided at the Poughkeepsie Metro-North station by the MTA's Metro-North Railroad. Poughkeepsie is the northern terminus of Metro-North's Hudson Line. Amtrak also serves the 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, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, and Lake Shore Limited.
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 all usage of the bridge came to an end 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 sides 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. The bridge is now open for pedestrian and bicycle use and is a state historic park.
The Dutchess County Airport in nearby Wappinger services general aviation, although it once had scheduled air carrier service by Colonial Airlines in the 1950s and regional airline service by Command Airways and others in the 1960s–1980s. The nearest major airport to Poughkeepsie is Stewart International Airport about 25 miles (40 km) south in Newburgh. Other nearby airports include Westchester County Airport approximately 58.1 miles (93 km) south, Albany International Airport approximately 85 miles (137 km) north and the three major metropolitan airports for New York City: John F. Kennedy International Airport approximately 88 miles (142 km) south, Newark Liberty International Airport approximately 88 miles (142 km) south, and LaGuardia Airport approximately 80 miles (130 km) south.
Bus transit service is provided by Dutchess County Public Transit, operated by Dutchess County, which travels throughout Dutchess County and also serves as the main link to the Route 9 corridor including Poughkeepsie Galleria and South Hills Mall.
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, Short Line, commuter runs to White Plains, and a shuttle to New Paltz.
The city is protected by the career firefighters in the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department. By keeping buildings up to code, controlling illegal occupancies, monitoring the safety of living areas and issuing licenses and permits, the department works to limit the potential for dangerous situations and the occurrences of fire hazards. The Poughkeepsie Fire Department operates out of three fire stations, located throughout the city, and operates and maintains a fire apparatus fleet of four engines, including one reserve engine; two trucks; one rescue vehicle, cross-staffed as needed; and one fireboat. The Arlington Fire District, Fairview Fire District, and New Hamburg Fire Department cover the surrounding town of Poughkeepsie. The Fire Department is capable of handling fires, rescues, extractions and natural disasters. It is a certified Emergency Medical Services first responder fire department and first responder to calls with Mobile Life Support Services.
Police protection to the city is provided by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. The police department has over 125 employees, including 96 sworn police officers and 34 civilians, of which 13 are emergency dispatchers. The Police Department also operate a Citizen Observer Alert Network to keep citizens informed about local crime, emergency situations, and other important information. The Dutchess County Sheriff Station is based in Poughkeepsie and is adjacent to the Dutchess County Jail, which houses around 275–300 inmates maximum capacity at any time.
Poughkeepsie is home to Vassar Brothers Medical Center, a 365-bed hospital situated next to U.S. Route 9 on Reade Place. The hospital has an advanced birthing center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Vassar Brother Medical Center is owned and operated by HealthQuest, a local nonprofit collection of hospitals and healthcare providers.
Emergency medical services are provided by Mobile Life Support Services, which are contracted to provide full-time ambulance coverage to the city. They provide paramedic level service, including advanced life support and has ambulances stationed in the city on Pershing Avenue. Mobile Life also has a staff of specially trained paramedics that provide tactical Emergency Medical Services support to the city police during ESU/SWAT operations, as well as emergency responses for the Fire Department via their Special Operations Response Team. They also provide advanced life support ambulance service to other agencies and municipalities in Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties, and their headquarters building is located in New Windsor in Orange County.
IBM has a large campus in the adjacent town of Poughkeepsie. It was once referred to as IBM's "Main Plant", although much of the workforce has been moved elsewhere in the company (2008). The site once built the IBM 700/7000 series of computers as well as the IBM 7030 Stretch computer and 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. Poughkeepsie remains IBM's primary design and manufacturing center for its newest mainframes and high-end Power Systems servers, and it is also one of IBM's major software development centers for z/OS and for other products.
FM radio stations in the area are:
- WRRV-96.9 (alternative rock)
- WPDH-101.5 (album-oriented rock)
- WCZX-Mix 97.7 (adult contemporary)
- WKXP-94.3 The Wolf (country)
- WRWD-FM-107.3 (country)
- WSPK-104.7 (top 40)
- WHUD-100.7 (adult contemporary)
- WDST-100.1 (independent rock)
- WPKF-96.1 (rhythmic top 40)
- WVKR-91.3 (Vassar College Radio)
- WRNQ-92.1 (80's to current music)
AM radio stations in the area are:
- WEOK-1390 (oldies)
- WGNY-1220 (sports)
- WHVW-950 (50's and older blues and country)
- WKIP-1450 (talk radio)
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 the nearby town of Fishkill.
The Hudson Valley Hawks were a team in the National Professional Basketball League until 2009 when the league disbanded. The team's home court was at Beacon High School, located approximately 16 miles south in the city of Beacon.
Poughkeepsie hosted a founding member of the North Eastern Hockey League 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 league folded due financial problems in January 2008. Subsequently, the city was home to the Hudson Valley Bears, one of four founding members of the Eastern Professional Hockey League, for one season. Both teams played their home games at the McCann Ice Arena in the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.
One of Poughkeepsie's most notable sports events was the annual Poughkeepsie Regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, which was held on the Hudson River from 1895 to 1949. The top college teams would attend along with tens of thousands of spectators. Poughkeepsie was known as the rowing capital of the world. 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; which were longer than present-day races, with varsity eights rowing a 4-mile (6.4 km) race. When the rowing association 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 for use by area high schools and club rowing programs. As part of the 400th anniversary celebration of Henry Hudson's trip up the Hudson River 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. Historically accurate, the four mile long course started off Rogers Point in Hyde Park and ended about a mile south of the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge. Competitors included Marist, Vassar, Army, Penn, Navy, Syracuse, Columbia and Cornell. Notably this was the first time women's crew teams were allowed to participate in the historic Poughkeepsie Regatta.
Arts and entertainment
Poughkeepsie has a number of notable institutions for arts and entertainment. The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, located on Market Street just below Main Street, is a theater which has an array of music, drama, dance and film events and is 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 and trade shows and has an ice rink next door for ice hockey. From July 1984 to August 5, 1986, the Civic Center was the location for filming WWF Championship Wrestling.
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 21,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs.
The Barrett Art Center at 55 Noxon Street offers exhibits, classes, and lectures on the visual arts.
For shopping and movie theater entertainment, the Poughkeepsie Galleria is located in the town of Poughkeepsie, southeast of the hamlet of Crown Heights and north of Wappingers Falls. The mall, which opened in 1987, consists of two floors with 250 shops and restaurants. The Regal Cinemas theater has 16 screens. Current anchor stores within the mall include Macy's, J. C. Penney, Target, Best Buy, H&M, and Sears.
The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum is located at 75 North Water Street.
The Poughkeepsie Public Library has a central branch on Market Street, and a branch location on Boardman Road.
- George Appo, pickpocket and con artist: operated in a green goods scam in Poughkeepsie for a short period in the 19th century
- George G. Barnard, state judge impeached by the Court for the Trial of Impeachments for events during the Erie War
- Chris Bell, film director and producer
- Joseph Bertolozzi, composer, musician, and creator of Bridge Music and Tower Music projects
- Josh Billings, pen name of Henry Wheeler Shaw, humorist of mid-to-late 19th century
- Jane Bolin, the first black woman to serve as a judge in the United States
- Rob Chianelli, drummer for We Are the In Crowd
- Shawn Christensen, Oscar-winning screenwriter, film director, singer-songwriter, actor and painter
- Richard Connell, author
- Philip Schuyler Crooke (1810–1881), was a U.S. Representative
- Andrew Jackson Davis (1826–1920), known variously as the "Poughkeepsie Seer" or "The Seer of Poughkeepsie"
- Cathy Davis, boxer
- Amanda Minnie Douglas (1831–1916), writer
- Bill Duke, actor and film director
- Martin Faust, actor
- Kendall Francois, serial killer
- Carolyn Garcia, a/k/a "Mountain Girl," Merry Prankster, wife of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia
- Benjamin A. Gilman, former U.S. congressman
- Alex Goot, YouTube musician
- Mela Hudson, actress, producer
- Jonathan Idema, self-proclaimed counter-terrorism expert and covert operations specialist, partially served sentence in Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Afghanistan before being pardoned by Hamid Karzai
- Tibor Kalman, graphic designer, emigrated from Hungary to Poughkeepsie as a child
- Hevad Khan, poker player
- Terry Lickona, founder of PBS show Austin City Limits
- G. Gordon Liddy, key figure in Watergate scandal
- Keith Lockhart, conductor of Boston Pops Orchestra
- Terry MacAlmon, Christian musician
- Jocko Maggiacomo, race car driver
- Lee Miller, fashion model, photographer and World War II correspondent
- Sergio Rossetti Morosini, artist, conservator
- Sterling Morrison, guitarist for the 1960s rock band The Velvet Underground
- Anna Morton, Second Lady of the United States from 1889 to 1893
- Billy Name, photographer, filmmaker, artist and Andy Warhol collaborator
- Homer Augustus Nelson, lawyer, Representative, Secretary of State of New York and colonel in Union Army
- Michelle Nijhuis, science journalist
- Mark Parker, president and CEO of Nike, Inc.
- Edmund Platt, former U.S. Representative
- Dave Price, CBS News reporter
- William Radford (1814–1870), former U.S. Representative
- Barbara Rhoades, film and television actress
- Richard Rinaldi, NBA guard
- Robert Sheckley, author, nominated for Hugo and Nebula awards
- Charles Spencer, professional football offensive tackle
- Monty Stickles, AFL and NFL football player
- Debi Thomas, figure skater, 1986 world champion and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist
- Matthew Vassar, founded Vassar College in 1861
- Andre Williams, NFL running back, 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist
- Ed Wood, film director
Scientists & inventors
- William Henry Brewer, chemist, geologist and botanist
- William Wallace Smith 2nd, chemist: first cough drops produced and advertised in the United States
- Alfred Mosher Butts, architect and inventor of board game Scrabble
- Calvin D. MacCracken, inventor
- Samuel Slocum, inventor
- Harold J. Morowitz, biophysicist
- Sara Josephine Baker, physician, inventor infant formula
- John A. Northrop, physicist, deputy director Science and Technology, of the Defense Atomic Support Agency
Major League Baseball players born in Poughkeepsie
- Frank Bahret
- Bill Daley
- Buttons Briggs
- Elmer Steele
- Mickey McDermott
- Fred Lasher
- Tommy Boggs
- Ricky Horton
- Frank Cimorelli
- Jeff Pierce
Bands from Poughkeepsie
- Genghis Tron (grindcore metal)
- Matchbook Romance (emo punk)
- Pound (rock)
- Shai Hulud (hardcore metal)
- That's Outrageous! (metalcore)
- We Are the In Crowd (pop punk)
- Against the Current (pop rock)
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- Flad, Harvey. 2005. A digital tour of Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie, NY: Vassar College.
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- 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.
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