As part of Black History Month Kingston, RUPCO hosted historic interpreter Deborah Zulle of Saugerties and her performance of Sojourner Truth’s famous “Ain’t I A Woman?” speech at the Old Dutch Church, Wall Street, Kingston, NY. Sojourner is one of Kingston’s most famous women, and most famous person of color, and vocal advocate for the rights of women, blacks, and slaves. WEith the support of a NeighborWorks Pride in Place grant, RUPCO brought this history moment to life to share. Below are three videos from the February 24, 2018 event:
- A recap of the February 24 event with audience perspective and commentary (above)
- Sojourner Truth’s powerful speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” performed by historic actor Deborah Zulle (below)
- An impromptu interview of Sojourner by historic actor David Kent, aka local fictional reporter Jimmy Nolsen (bottom)
According to WIkipedia, Sojourner Truth was born Isabella (Belle) Baumfree; c. 1797 – November 26, 1883) was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, in 1828 she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. Read more about Sojourner and her impact on the civil rights movement here.
RUPCO Builds Community with Offer of Barmann Park Donation
Nomination approved for City of Kingston’s first civic construction built in 1864; joins official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation
Kingston made History again on February 2, as State and National Registers of Historic Places officially added the City’s first civic building built in the mid-19th century to its lists of sties worthy of preservation. RUPCO submitted an application for historic designation of The Almshouse — 300 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston — at the request of both City and County agencies last year. The State Historic Preservation Office notified all parties last week that The Almshouse achieved that designation. Both state and national registers list buildings, structures, districts, objects, and sites significant in the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture of New York and the nation.
“The Kingston City Almshouse was on the agenda for consideration by the NYS Board for Historic Preservation on December 7, 2017,” explains Guy Kempe, Vice President of Community Development at RUPCO. “The nomination was recommended and advanced to the National Park Service for consideration. Both the State Historic Preservation Officer and National Park Service Keeper of the Register approved the Almshouse nomination to both Historic Registers. Our request is a win for historic preservation in a city and region known for its historic value. Thanks to all who contributed to the first step towards preservation of this historic structure for future generations.”
“Friends of Historic Kingston applauds this New York State and national recognition of the significance of this landmark building,” adds John Braunlein, President of the Board of Directors for the local historic preservation society, Friends of Historic Kingston. “The preservation of our historic buildings shape the future of our community. Our local architecture and honored historical traditions strengthen the vitality of our lives. We strongly believe that the Kingston City Alms House is an intrinsic part of our caring traditions and can continue to serve the citizens of our community.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources. The Almshouse appointment was published on the weekly list of actions taken on properties, 1/26/2018 through 2/2/2018. Both the State and National Registers use the same eligibility criteria.
“The dual historic designation also allows us to bring state and federal monies to Kingston and Ulster County through historic tax credits,” adds Kevin O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer at RUPCO. “This funding will stimulate the local economy and create jobs, as we rehab the existing historic structure into 34 desperately needed, senior-living apartments with supportive services. This is a win for seniors, but more importantly, it’s a win for our community. We’re putting this property on the tax rolls for the first time ever since 1874, when it opened. It’s a win for our local businesses, as we’ll spend this outside funding in Ulster County during construction. It’s a win for regional tourism, as visitors have yet another iconic site to view at Landmark Place. And it’s a win for architectural aficionados as we preserve the vision of J.A. Wood.”
RUPCO has successfully worked under the guidance of the Department of the Interior on several occasions, having met the high water mark of historic preservation standards at the award-winning Lace Mill, The Kirkland, The Stuyvesant and Petit House. “RUPCO was founded as a rural preservation company and we excel at recapturing historic, underutilized buildings and repurposing them for contemporary use that benefits our community,” adds O’Connor. “Our mission is create homes, support people, and improve communities. Landmark Place meets those mandates.”
RUPCO is advancing on its site plan review work with the Planning Board on February 20. The nonprofit plans to officially close on the property in March and place the property on the tax rolls for the first time ever. In line with the building’s historic purposes, RUPCO is repurposing the Kingston City Almshouse at 300 Flatbush Avenue, to create a senior-living campus called Landmark Place. The historic building will contain 34 apartments for seniors 55 and older needing assistance via supportive housing programs. A new residential building designed by local architect Scott Dutton will offer 32 one-bedroom apartments for seniors 55 and over, including a minimum of seven apartments dedicated to the frail elderly. “This will mark the first affordable housing for seniors in Kingston since 2001 when Brigham Center on O’Neill Street was built. It also answers Governor Cuomo’s call for permanent supportive housing to serve our vulnerable populations including frail and disabled seniors, veterans and other homeless individuals,” adds O’Connor. “Landmark Place fulfills this community’s need and is line with Kingston’s founding values of caring for and protecting our most vulnerable residents.”
In the last six years, homeowners – with the help of our Green Jobs | Green New York Program — have saved energy, LOTS of energy, and lived in a more comfortable-safer home. Together, we figure we’ve conserved the equivalent of driving 40,644,873 miles in an average car – just by working with you, Mid-Hudson Valley residents! Thank you for your eagerness to lower your utility costs, save energy, and make a positive impact on our planet.
Under contract to NYSERDA since 2011, RUPCO has promoted energy efficiency and sustainability through the Green Jobs Green NY program (GJGNY) in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region. Unfortunately, as of November 27, 2017, our NYSERDA contract and the GJGNY program ends. We’re honored to have worked with homeowners, financial providers and the most professional NYSERSDA Home Performance, Building Performance Institute certified contractors in the Mid-Hudson Valley Region! We also want to give credit and thanks to NYSERDA for allowing us to serve the region. We hope that the RUPCO GJGNY team provided you with the professional level of service you expected. Because of you, our program was by far the most successful Community-based Organization in the state.
In the Beginning
Our first NYSERDA team training took place over six years ago — November 30, 2011 — in Albany. It was very clear that we had a lot of work to do. With a robust outreach plan, we began connecting with you: potential partners, homeowners in need, and contractors willing to take on the task of weatherization and energy efficiency.
By February 2012, we officially launched RUPCO’s GJGNY Outreach Program. Over 170 people received that announcement, that we were ready to get down to energy-saving business. Our first presentation was, rightly so, before the RUPCO staff of 33. During these first months, we generated 325 referrals and held or attended 6 meetings and 8 public events.
Fast-forward to today and here’s a snapshot of how we’ve worked together since then:
- Referred over 7600 people into the program
- Facilitated over 2650 energy audits
- Orchestrated over 670 retrofits, referred 355 to the EmPower program
- Answered your questions at 1,343 public meetings, events, and presentations
- Offered concrete answers that inspired you to participate
- Provided access to solutions, grants and expertise to get you started with energy conservation and production
Translating our combined impact into Kilowatt hours (Kwh) and Metric Megaton BTU (MMbtu) reductions, we can honestly say we’ve helped local residents save A LOT of money and energy.
- Total Kilowatt Hours saved = 4,818,737 Kwh
- Carbon Dioxide Equivalent = 3,733 tons (as of 12/9/16)
- Total Therms of natural gas saved = 2,538,637
- Natural Gas Carbon Dioxide Equivalent = 14,837 tons (as of 12/9/16)
Together we’ve saved 40-million+ car-driving miles of energy collectively – impressive!
Helping Shape Future Programs
Homeowners were just one part of the solution. Our RUPCO GJGNY team collaborated with various NYSERDA working groups and advisory councils. Together, we helped shape, create and design the next iteration of energy-efficiency community outreach – CEEP, Community Energy Engagement Program. Although the GJGNY Team was not awarded the new contract, and we’ll be stepping out of the sustainability arena for now, we know the Mid-Hudson Region is in good energy-saving hands. Sustainability and energy-efficiency remain prominent features of RUPCO’s strategic plan and long-term vision. We are committed to helping homeowners and renters keep housing costs affordable, particularly when it comes to energy use.
As we close down our website and Facebook Page this week, we invite you to Stay Engaged with Energy-efficiency by taking one of four actions:
- “Like” our parent Facebook page RUPCO
- Sign up for our newsletter (arrives once a month)
- Visit our website rupco.org periodically
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram
If you are a customer of NYSERDA or are interested in NYSERDA programs, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, or EmPower New York please contact NYSERDA directly at:
Matthew Houle [email protected]
518-862-1090 Ext: 3286 | 1-877-NYSMART | Fax: 518-862-1091
17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203-6399
We’re honored to have been a part of your energy journey and hope you will remain committed to the groundwork we’ve laid down together.
The GJGNY Team – Michael, Mike, Hugo, Nick, and Guy