Foundation Offers to Buy Upper Landing Site, Create Waterfront Park
March 6, 2012
Plans Presented at March 5th Common Council Meeting
POUGHKEEPSIE—Dyson Foundation representatives appeared before the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council on Monday night to present plans to purchase the historic but unutilized Upper Landing property so that the Foundation can create a new public waterfront park near the entrance of the planned Walkway Waterfront Elevator.
City leaders stated that they may bring the sale resolution to a vote at the next scheduled Council meeting on March 19th. Mayor John C. Tkazyik said, “The Dyson Foundation’s project on the revitalization of Upper Landing is a true gift to the City of Poughkeepsie by creating a historic waterfront park and continues to build upon the foundation set by Walkway Over the Hudson.”
Dyson Foundation representatives also plan to make a similar presentation before the city’s Waterfront Advisory Commission (WAC) prior to the vote.
The Dyson Foundation offered to purchase the 2.7-acre parcel from the City for $675,000 and to begin work immediately to preserve and improve the historically significant waterfront property, rendering it suitable for use as a public park.
In addition to its cultural and historic importance, the Foundation believes the Upper Landing property is significant to the future development of the city’s northern waterfront, particularly given the pending construction—expected to be completed in 2013—of a 21-story waterfront elevator to transport visitors from Poughkeepsie’s waterfront to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park.
“The Foundation hopes to be a catalyst for the creation of a public waterfront experience that will serve as a centerpiece for the City of Poughkeepsie’s historic preservation, public recreation, and economic revitalization,” said Diana Gurieva, Executive Vice President of the Dyson Foundation. “We also look forward to working with the public and many interested stakeholders in finding appropriate uses for the historic Hoffman and Reynolds houses, which are located on the property.”
Upon purchasing the property from the city, the Foundation proposes to immediately begin the first phase of its improvement plan, including a series of landscape improvements and aesthetic enhancements designed to make the grounds suitable for public use and enjoyment in time for the Walkway Waterfront Elevator’s planned opening in the spring of 2013. In addition to the purchase price, the Foundation estimates it will spend more than $1 million on the first phase of its improvement plan.
The second phase of the Upper Landing improvement project will involve a public examination and determination of the most appropriate uses for the Hoffman House and the Reynolds House, two historically significant buildings which date to the late 18th Century settling of the community. The Hoffman House and the Reynolds House are each currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ms. Gurieva said all proposed improvements to the Upper Landing property will be conducted with the utmost sensitivity to the property’s distinct historical significance and that the Foundation will commit the property to uses involving public access and to public benefit.
The Dyson Foundation is a private, family-directed charitable grantmaking foundation established in 1957. Headquartered in Millbrook, New York, the Foundation awards grants throughout the six counties of the Mid-Hudson Valley. During the past 10 years, the Dyson Foundation has awarded 289 grants totaling nearly $23.4 million to nonprofit organizations based in the City of Poughkeepsie.