Poughkeepsie, New York
Downtown Poughkeepsie from across the Hudson River
|Official name: City of Poughkeepsie|
|Name origin: U-puku-ipi-sing: "the reed-covered lodge by
the little-water place"
|Center||Mansion Square Park|
|- elevation||180 ft (55 m)|
|Highest point||College Hill[disambiguation needed]|
|- elevation||380 ft (116 m)|
|Lowest point||Hudson River|
|- elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|Area||5.7 sq mi (15 km2)|
|- land||5.1 sq mi (13 km2)|
|- water||0.6 sq mi (2 km2)|
|Density||5,806.2 / sq mi (2,242 / km2)|
|- Incorporation as village||1799|
|- Incorporation as city||1854|
|- location||City Hall|
|- elevation||160 ft (49 m)|
|Mayor||John C. Tkazyik (R)|
|- summer (DST)||Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0961058|
|Wikimedia Commons: Poughkeepsie, New York|
Poughkeepsie (pron.: //) is a city in the state of New York, United States, which serves as the county seat of Dutchess County. Poughkeepsie is located in the Hudson River Valley midway between New York City and Albany. 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 as "The Queen City of the Hudson." Poughkeepsie is the principal city of the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown metropolitan area, which includes all of Dutchess and Orange counties. It was originally 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 Poughkeepsie Bridge, a former railroad bridge now serving as a public walkway, 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 site of Poughkeepsie was purchased from Native Americans 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 in 1799. The City of Poughkeepsie was chartered in 1854. Outside of municipal designations, the City and Town of Poughkeepsie are generally viewed as a single place, and are commonly referred to as Poughkeepsie, with a current 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 also a major center for whale rendering, and during the 19th century industry flourished through shipping, hatteries, papermills, 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, 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 also home to the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state, the Bardavon 1869 Opera House (see below).
The City of Poughkeepsie is on the western edge of Dutchess County, bordered by the Hudson River on the west and by the Town of Poughkeepsie on the north, east and south. To cross the river there is the Mid Hudson Bridge.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.7 square miles (14.8 km²). 5.1 square miles (13.3 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.4 km²) of it (9.65%) is water.
Poughkeepsie has a humid continental climate (Koppen 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.
|Climate data for Poughkeepsie, New York|
|Record high °F (°C)||68
|Average high °F (°C)||34.0
|Average low °F (°C)||15.0
|Record low °F (°C)||−30
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.19
|Snowfall inches (cm)||11.1
|Source #1: Weather Channel''|
|Source #2: Weatherbase (snowfall)"|
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, 0.4% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 5.3% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.6% of the population.
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 income for a household 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.
Educational institutions 
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 serving approximately 145 students. It is the oldest college preparatory school in the New York State. 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.
Colleges and universities 
Rail commuter service to New York City is provided at the 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, and Maple Leaf. Additionally, Amtrak's New York-Chicago train, the Lake Shore Limited, the successor to the fabled 20th Century Limited, serves this station when coming eastbound from Chicago.
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 ended this use 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 commuter 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, with the three major metropolitan airports for New York City – John F. Kennedy International approximately 88 miles (142 km) south, Newark Liberty International approximately 105 miles (169 km) south, and LaGuardia Airport approximately 80 miles (129 km) south – and Albany International Airport approximately 75 miles (121 km) north.
Within Poughkeepsie there are two transit bus services:
- City of Poughkeepsie Transit, operated by the City, operates five mostly unidirectional loop routes throughout the city, town, and into Hyde Park.
- Dutchess County LOOP, operated by Dutchess County, 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, ShortLine, commuter runs to White Plains, and a shuttle to New Paltz.
Industry and media 
IBM has a large campus in Poughkeepsie, once referred to as IBM's "Main Plant," although this facility is actually in the Town of Poughkeepsie, and 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 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 Architecture 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), and WPKF-96.1 (rhythmic top 40) WVKR-91.3 (Vassar College Radio). AM radio stations in the area are WEOK-AM 1390 (Oldies), WGNY-1220 (50's & 60's music), WHVW-950 (50's and older blues and country), WKIP-1450 (talk radio) .
Local online resources: Hudson Valley Grapevine: Poughkeepsie News, Classifieds, Events, Schools, County information etc...
Emergency services 
Fire Department 
The city of Poughkeepsie is protected by the career firefighters of 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 control the potential for dangerous situations. The PFD 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 Town of Poughkeepsie. The PFD is capable of handling fires, rescues, extractions and natural disasters. Both BLS and ALS Emergency Medical Service calls are handled by Mobile Life EMS who provide the city with as many ambulances as needed to provide around the clock coverage. The PFD is a certified EMS first responder fire department.
Police Department 
Police protection to the city is provided by the City of Poughkeepsie Police Department. When someone calls 9-1-1 in the city, it is routed to the city 911 headquarters. From there they notify police units in the city, and locate the closest available unit. The Dutchess County Sheriff Station is based in Poughkeepsie NY with the Dutchess County Jail being next to it which houses around 275–300 inmates maximum capacity at any time.
Poughkeepsie is home to the Hudson Valley Bears, who are one of four founding members of the Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL). They play their home games at the McCann Ice Arena in the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.
Poughkeepsie also hosted a founding member of the North Eastern Hockey League (NEHL) 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 North Eastern Hockey League folded due financial problems in January 2008.
One of Poughkeepsie's most notable sports events was the annual regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA), which was held on the Hudson River from 1895 to 1949. Tens of thousands of spectators attended the regattas, which were longer than present-day races, with varsity eights rowing a 4-mile race. 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. When the IRA 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 and for area high schools to use them for school rowing programs. Currently (2009), area colleges, high schools and rowing clubs are active in expanded facilities. As part of the 400th Anniversary of the Hudson celebration, 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. The race was the historically accurate 4 miles long and was competed in by Marist, Vassar, Army, Penn, Navy and Cornell. This was also the first time any women's crew was allowed to participate in the historic IRA Poughkeepsie Regatta.
Entertainment and the arts 
Poughkeepsie has a number of notable institutions for arts and entertainment. The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, located near Main and Market Streets, is a theater which has an array of music, drama, dance and film events. It is also 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, trade shows, and has an ice rink next door for hockey events. From July 1984 to August 5, 1986 the Civic Center was the location for filming WWF Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation's nationally and internationally broadcast weekly television program of the time. The Civic Center is also home to the Hudson Valley Bears.
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 15,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares.
The Barrett Art Center at 55 Noxon Street offers exhibits, art classes, lectures and demonstrations focused on the visual arts. Twice yearly it presents nationally acclaimed shows, juried by curators of notable museums. It also operates Barrett Clay Works at 485 Main Street, with studio spaces for individual artists, and a street level space devoted to instruction in various methods of "working clay" for children through seniors.
Cafe Bocca, located at 14 Mount Carmel Place, is the newest business to open in Poughkeepsie's Mt. Carmel neighborhood. Cafe Bocca features weekly original music from area artists, art exhibits, and poetry events.
For shopping and movie theater entertainment, the Poughkeepsie Galleria serves as the biggest mall in New York's Hudson Valley Region. The mall, which opened in 1987, consists of two floors with 250 shops and restaurants to enjoy. The Regal Cinema theater has 16-screens, all equipped with the newest stadium seating for your movie enjoyment. Current anchor stores within the mall include:
The Mid-Hudson Children's Museum, 75 North Water Street, serves the city and region as an educational resource center, family destination and tourist attraction.
Joseph Bertolozzi's Bridge Music is a sound-art installation on the Mid-Hudson Bridge, allowing listeners to hear it played like a musical instrument. A recording of the results, the 2009 CD "Bridge Music" (on the Delos label DE1045), entered the Billboard Classical Crossover Music Chart at #18, and has been released globally. The Bridge Music Listening Stations (which play selections from the CD) are located on the pedestrian sidewalk of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, at each of the bridge's towers. They are open dawn to dusk from April 1 through October 31. Additionally, Park Radios on 95.3FM play the same music year-round, 24/7 in Waryas Park, Poughkeepsie and Johnson-Iorio Park, Highland.
In 2011 Empire Cruise Lines began the operation of the first dinner and tour boat to call Poughkeepsie homeport in nearly two generations. The M/V Mystère is a 60 foot double decked tour boat which departs from Waryas Park, 29 North Water Street, in the City Of Poughkeepsie
Urban housing 
- Eastman Terrace
- Tubman Terrace
- Smith Street Projects
- Delafield Projects
- Beechwood Projects
- Mill Street Projects
- Hudson Harbor Projects
- MLK projects *Charles Street Projects * Boulevard Knolls Projects
Notable people 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
- Richard Rinaldi, NBA player
- Alfred Mosher Butts, architect and inventor of Scrabble.
- Dr. Sara Josephine Baker, physician and public health worker.
- Andre Barnett, fitness model and 2012 presidential candidate
- Joseph Bertolozzi, composer, musician, and creator of the Bridge Music project, was born in Poughkeepsie.
- Josh Billings, pen name of Henry Wheeler Shaw, American humorist of the mid-to-late 19th century.
- Bill Duke, actor and film director, was born in Poughkeepsie and attended Dutchess Community College.
- Martin Faust (1886–1943), actor.
- Kendall Francois, serial killer, lived and operated in Poughkeepsie.
- Carolyn Garcia, a/k/a "Mountain Girl," Merry Prankster and former wife of Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia.
- Jonathan Idema, a self-proclaimed counter-terrorism expert and covert operations specialist who partially served a sentence in the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Afghanistan before being pardoned by Hamid Karzai, was born in the town.
- Tibor Kalman (1949–1999), graphic designer, emigrated from Hungary to Poughkeepsie as a child.
- Terry Lickona, founder of the PBS live-music show Austin City Limits.
- G. Gordon Liddy, a key figure in the Watergate Scandal, worked here as an assistant district attorney.
- Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops.
- Jocko Maggiacomo, race car driver.
- Mark Mahoney, 2009 Pulitizer Prize winner, journalism (editorial writing)
- Elizabeth (Lee) Miller, fashion model, photographer and World War II correspondent, was born in 1907 in Poughkeepsie and grew up there. Her father, Theodor Miller, was a prominent citizen of the city.
- Sterling Morrison, guitarist for the 1960s rock band The Velvet Underground, lived in Poughkeepsie.
- Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph and Morse code, lived in Poughkeepsie from 1847 until 1872 (see Locust Grove).
- Billy Name, photographer, filmmaker, artist and Andy Warhol collaborator, was born and lives in the city.
- Homer Augustus Nelson, lawyer, congressman, Secretary of State of New York and colonel in the Union Army, was from Poughkeepsie.
- Elfquest, creators/authors/artists Wendy and Richard Pini live in Poughkeepsie.
- Rock band Pound was from Poughkeepsie.
- CBS news reporter Dave Price is from Poughkeepsie.
- Brian Regan, American stand-up comedian.
- Barbara Rhoades, actress, was born and raised in Poughkeepsie.
- Charles Spencer, Florida Tuskers offensive tackle, was born in Poughkeepsie in 1982.
- Robert Sheckley, (July 16, 1928 – December 9, 2005) was a Hugo- and Nebula-nominated American author.
- Delilah Strong, adult film star.
- Director Edward D. Wood, Jr. was born and raised in Poughkeepsie.
- Eleven Major League Baseball players were born in Poughkeepsie: Frank Bahret (1858), Frank Beck (1860), Bill Daley (1868), Buttons Briggs (1875), Elmer Steele (1886), Mickey McDermott (1929), Fred Lasher (1941), Tommy Boggs (1955), Ricky Horton (1959), Frank Cimorelli (1968), Jeff Pierce (1969), and Dan Gallagher (1982).
- Joshua Gallagher a/k/a Joshua Sunforged, American artist, author and founder of Sunforged Media Group.
- Hardcore metal band Shai Hulud moved to Poughkeepsie from Southern Florida and is still based here.
- Emo punk band Matchbook Romance was from Poughkeepsie.
- Professional poker player Hevad Khan was born and raised in Poughkeepsie.
- Former Rise Records post-hardcore band That's Outrageous! is from Poughkeepsie.
- Pop Punk band We Are the In Crowd is from Poughkeepsie.
In popular culture 
- In a scene in The French Connection, Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman), as part of a "bad cop" routine based on a real New York City policeman, asks a drug dealer, "Did you ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?"
- On the comedy-drama Ally McBeal, lawyer John Cage, portrayed by series lead Peter MacNicol, would utter the city's name to break an attack of random stuttering.
- In the movie Sex and the City, Charlotte (Kristin Davis) states that she "Poughkeepsie'd in her pants."
- The movie The Poughkeepsie Tapes centers around a fictional killer based in Poughkeepsie.
- The Felice Brothers, an Americana band from New York, mention Poughkeepsie in their song "Rockefeller Drug Law Blues" and also released an EP titled "Poughkeepsie Princess."
- Something Corporate, an American band from California, mention Poughkeepsie in their song "Woke Up In A Car"
See also 
- List of newspapers in New York in the 18th-century: Poughkeepsie
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Poughkeepsie, New York
- Buff, Sheila (April 1, 2009). Insider's guide to the Hudson River Valley. Morris Book Publishing, LLC. p. 6. ISBN 978-0762744381.
- "Poughkeepsie". Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. 2012.
- Weather.com site for Poughkeepsie
- "Poughkeepsie" on Weatherbase.com
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Heller, Steven (1999-05-05). "Tibor Kalman obituary". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame award". Poughkeepsie Journal. 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-10-05.[dead link]
- Flad, Harvey. 2005. A digital tour of Poughkeepsie. Poughkeepsie, NY : Vassar College.
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Poughkeepsie, New York|
- WVKR Radio Station
- City of Poughkeepsie, NY
- Dining Directory
- General Directory
- Poughkeepsie City School District
- The Poughkeepsie Journal
- City of Poughkeepsie Professional Firefighters
- Poughkeepsie Public Library District
- History of the City of Poughkeepsie
- Holland Society of New York Year Book
- The Concise History of Dutchess County
- Marist College: A Brief History of the Poughkeepsie Regatta
- Macaroni Kid Poughkeepsie – Family Friendly Events Calendar
- Poughkeepsie travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Occupy Poughkeepsie