More than 170 artists, business people, funders, and others interested in Kingston revitalization, gathered at Cornell Street Studios on April 1 to celebrate the start of re-construction on the United States Lace Curtain Mill. RUPCO will turn the century-old, 55,000 sq. ft. “Lace Factory” into 55 affordable apartments, many with lofted ceilings and high windows, to create living and working space for artists engaged in a wide variety of media and disciplines.

Billed as a “paint can opening” instead of a ground breaking ceremony, the event will celebrated the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our community that lead to the City of Kingston being named as one of the ten best places for artists to live and work. According to RUPCO CEO Kevin O’Connor, “the project presents an opportunity to preserve an historic structure, remove blight from mid-town, provide needed housing and promote creative placemaking. Restoring the Lace factory helps mid-town Kingston in its quest to be a destination – a place where people want to be. Ultimately it helps to lift all boats.”

Lace Factory scenes today

Lace Factory scenes today

RUPCO has most recently completed Woodstock Commons, an innovative & award winning campus of 53 homes for seniors, families and artists in Woodstock, NY. The Lace Factory will include amenities such as a collective gallery, studio and workshop spaces marketable to the arts community within a structure worthy of historic preservation. The project will employ green and sustainable building technologies to reduce carbon footprints through energy efficiency.

“This project is wonderfully aligned with the BEAT mission and vision introduced by Mayor Shane Gallo,” said O’Connor. “It’s an assist to his vision to focus on business, education, art and technology as the core economic & community development strategy. This will be a shining example of what can happen when the tri-sector engagement of government, business and the non-profit sectors work together and share vital interests.”

O’Connor went on to add that “leadership coming from groups like ASK and O+ Festival, business owners like Richard Frumess, Jim and Anne Bailey and Renee Darmstadt and so many others – are making a huge difference in this community. There is no doubt that attracting, supporting and retaining a creative class spurs business, supports the tax base and weaves a stronger and more diverse social fabric,” said O’Connor.

Tours of the Lace Factory at 169 Cornell St. were offered starting at 9:30 the morning of April 1. The formal celebration hosted at Cornell Street Studios at 168 Cornell St. featured a lunch catered by Stone Soup of Broadway in Kingston. Kingston Architect Scott Dutton, who has already restored and converted one Kingston factory, showcased photos of the existing structure and plans for the renovation work. Artist berets and paint brushes were a featured part of the ceremony. More news and photos will appear in next month’s newsletter. Many can be accessed now on RUPCO’s Facebook page.

Before and After

Before and After

RUPCO is the region’s leading provider and advocate of quality, affordable housing and community development programs aimed to provide opportunity and revitalize communities. The agency creates stronger and safer communities for all through the development, improvement, preservation and addition of housing and business opportunities throughout the region. More information on RUPCO and its programs is available at www.rupco.org. Reservations for attendance at the “Paint Can Opening” can be made by calling 331-2140 x263 or e-mailing [email protected]

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