Middletown, Orange County, New York

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Middletown, New York
Skyline from the east
Skyline from the east
Location in Orange County and the state of New York.
Location in Orange County and the state of New York.
Location of New York in the United States
Location of New York in the United States
Coordinates: 41°27′N 74°25′W / 41.450°N 74.417°W / 41.450; -74.417Coordinates: 41°27′N 74°25′W / 41.450°N 74.417°W / 41.450; -74.417
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
Incorporation as villageMay 15, 1848
Incorporation as cityOctober 9, 1888
 • TypeMayor–council
 • MayorJoseph M. DeStefano (D)
  • At-Large Member:
  • J. Miguel Rodrigues (D)
  • Ward 1:
  • Thomas J. Burr (R)
  • Joseph G. Masi (R)
  • Ward 2:
  • Kevin Witt (D)
  • Gerald Kleiner (D)
  • Ward 3:
  • Katie Ramkissoon (D)
  • Paul Johnson (D)
  • Ward 4:
  • Joel Sierra(D)
  • C. Lee Gerow (R)
 • Total5.34 sq mi (13.84 km2)
 • Land5.32 sq mi (13.77 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
520 ft (160 m)
Highest elevation
(North boundary along Kennedy Terrace)
740 ft (230 m)
Lowest elevation
(Unnamed tributary of Monhagen Brook along south boundary)
460 ft (140 m)
 • Total28,086
 • Estimate 
 • Density5,301.67/sq mi (2,046.90/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)845 Exchanges:326,333,341,342,343,344,346,645
FIPS code36-47042
Wikimedia CommonsMiddletown, New York
WebsiteCity of Middletown, New York

Middletown is a city in Orange County, New York, United States. It lies in New York's Hudson Valley region, near the Wallkill River and the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. Middletown is situated between Port Jervis and Newburgh, New York. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 28,086, reflecting an increase of 2,698 from the 25,388 counted in the 2000 Census. The zip code is 10940. Middletown falls within the PoughkeepsieNewburghMiddletown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which belongs to the larger New YorkNewarkBridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area.[3]

Middletown was incorporated as a city in 1888. It grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a stop on several lower New York State railroads, attracting several small manufacturing businesses. The surrounding area is partly devoted to small dairy farms. Mediacom Communications Corp, the Galleria at Crystal Run, SUNY Orange, Walmart, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Times Herald-Record are major employers in Middletown.


East Main Street in 1909
The Erie Railroad's Middletown Station in 1971, now Thrall Library

Early history[edit]

John Green purchased land from the DeLancey patent and probably settled the area around 1744. Due to its location between other settlements, residents adopted the name of Middletown, changing it later to South Middletown to avoid confusion with a nearby location. Eventually they dropped the word "south," using the current name when the community became a village in 1848. The village was incorporated as a city in 1888.

The First Congregational Church of Middletown, established in 1785, has the highest spire downtown. Construction of its first building was a sign of Middletown becoming established as a village.[4] Its current church building was constructed in 1872.

Growth of Middletown[edit]

Middletown grew through the 19th century, stimulated by construction of the Erie Railroad and the New York, Ontario and Western Railway[5] (among others). The city was industrialized, developing factories for various industries, such as shoes, lawnmower blades, and furniture. These did well through the World War II era.

Due to industrial restructuring most of these businesses had closed by the 1960s. In 1968, Middletown annexed the adjacent Village of Amchir.[6] In the 1970s the economy of Middletown and surrounding communities suffered additional blows due to the closing of a large Ford Motor Company plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, and the downsizing of IBM operations in the area.

Responding to higher housing costs in New York City, from the 1970s, New York City police officers, firefighters and other workers began to move to the area, as local housing offered better value. These long-distance commuters helped to bolster the economy of the area. After 1986, however, New York City required its municipal employees to reside in the city,[7] and Middletown lost this source of residential development. The only railroad left in town is the Middletown and New Jersey Railway, a freight line. The population has continued to grow into the 21st century, while the economy has shifted largely to service and retail, with a regional medical center a major employer in the area.

Modern Middletown[edit]

The downtown business district of Middletown suffered from suburbanization that drew off retail businesses. The "Miracle Mile" shopping strip and Lloyd's Supermarket were developed in the late 1960s and two later shopping malls, all located at the eastern edge of town along Route 211, near Route 17 and Interstate 84. The Orange Plaza mall drew several of the downtown shops into it by the mid-1970s, weakening downtown. To the East across Route 17, the Galleria at Crystal Run opened in the early 1990s. A Super Wal-Mart replaced the Orange Plaza mall in 2001. Some of the buildings downtown are abandoned or underused. But there has long been an active downtown bar and restaurant scene.

The downtown area has several historic churches. The Middletown City Hall and City Court are located on James Street.[8] Prosperous neighborhoods include Presidential Heights. Highland Avenue is lined with large Victorian houses, some of the largest of which are now used as nursing homes. Other neighborhoods show the effects of loss of jobs and decline in the economy. The surrounding countryside was devoted partly to small dairy farms, but family farming has waned since the 1980s.

Middletown is the main business address for the newspaper Times Herald-Record and its owner, Local Media Group.[9] Mediacom Communications Corp, a cable and other pay TV company, is headquartered outside the city in the Town of Wallkill. It is also a manufacturing location for Bell Flavors & Fragrances.[10]

Places of interest[edit]

The First Congregational Church, built in 1872, has the tallest spire downtown

The downtown area, particularly North Street and East/West Main Street, has a variety of ethnic eateries and various small shops. Several churches are located in the neighborhood. The city also has movie theaters, the historic Paramount Theatre, a local arts council, bowling alleys, WALL and WOSR radio stations and Thrall Library downtown.

Civic organizations include Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA chapters, as well as Lions Club, Elks Club, Kiwanis, Rotary Club and other service clubs. The Rotary Club runs an annual Horse Show at Fancher Davidge Park each fall. Middletown is also the site of the Orange County Fair each summer and the Orange County Fair Speedway. Highland Lakes State Park is the nearest state park. Good choices for hiking, biking, and country drives are nearby.

Shopping in the area includes the Galleria at Crystal Run, a mall just east of Middletown, and a long retail strip along Route 211 on the east side of town.

Middletown's Hillside Cemetery was designed by British architect and landscape designer Calvert Vaux, who worked with Frederick Law Olmsted to design New York City's Central Park. The J. W. Chorley Elementary School, designed by American architect Paul Rudolph, was built in the 1960s and demolished in 2013.[11]

Health care[edit]

Health care services are provided at Garnet Health Medical Center (formerly Orange Regional Medical Center), a hospital located in the Town of Walkill.[12] ORMC was completed in 2011, merging the faculties of the former Horton Medical Center and Arden Hill Hospital. It is a major employer in the region.[13][14]


Perspective map of Middleton from 1887 with list of landmarks by L.R. Burleigh

Middletown is located at 41°27′N 74°25′W / 41.450°N 74.417°W / 41.450; -74.417 (41.4458, -74.4221)[15] in Orange County. The city is nearly surrounded by the Town of Wallkill, except for its southernmost section, which is in the Town of Wawayanda.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.3 km2). 5.1 square miles (13.3 km2) of it is land and 0.19% is water. The city is drained by Monhagen Brook and the Wallkill River.


Middletown can be reached from New York City by bus and is located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and NY 17 (the future Interstate 86). State routes 17M and 211 run right through the city, and US 6 parallels I-84 to the south.

The Middletown-Town of Wallkill station on Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis line is located nearby, in the Town of Wallkill, and provides rail service to Port Jervis, other communities in Orange and Rockland Counties and Bergen County, New Jersey, Hoboken and New York City via a transfer at Secaucus, New Jersey.

Randall Airport is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the center of Middletown. (ID: 06N)

Middletown offers a bus service, Middletown Transit, with four routes that connect at the bus station, located on Railroad Avenue, where passengers can connect to Coach USA and Short Line bus service.[16] There is also a "Main Line" bus connecting to surrounding Orange County villages[17] and another route connecting to areas such as Newburgh and Woodbury.[18]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)28,189[2]0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

As of the 2010 census, the population of Middletown is 28,086. The ethnic makeup is 39.7% Hispanic, 36.6% white (exclusive of Hispanics), 21.0% African-American, 1.9% Asian, and 0.8% Native American.[20]

1896 photo of Arthur Fanshon and E. P. Nickinson, about age 6, in a production of The Mikado in Middletown

As of the census of 2000,[21] there were 25,388 people, 9,466 households, and 5,963 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,939.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,907.1/km2). There were 10,124 housing units at an average density of 1,969.7 per square mile (760.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 68.68% White, 15.13% African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.33% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.11% of the population. 34.0% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the 2000 census, the city's population was spread out, with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $39,570, and the median income for a family was $47,760. Males had a median income of $35,990 versus $28,429 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,947. About 13.5% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


Middletown is governed by a mayor and a city council known as the common council. It consists of 9 members: an alderman-at-large, who acts as president of the council, and eight members elected from wards. Each of the city's four wards elects two members.[22] The mayor and the president of the common council are each elected at-large for four-year terms. The other council members have two-year terms. Terms of office begin on January 1.

A fire chief and three assistants are elected every three years by members of the city's engine companies. A corporation counsel, commissioners of public works and of assessment and taxation, a city clerk, registrar and a treasurer and any other officers required are appointed annually by the mayor and confirmed by the common council.[23]


In the past 10 years, the Middletown public school system has shifted from maintaining numerous small neighborhood schools and combined more students into fewer magnet schools. Three elementary schools cover grade levels from kindergarten through fifth grade. Both Truman Moon Elementary School and John W. Chorley Elementary School have made way for Presidential Park Elementary School, the district's newest school, built in 2014. William A. Carter Elementary and Maple Hill Elementary are the district's two other elementary schools. In 2005, the Middletown School District implemented a full day kindergarten program at the request of the Middletown voters. Two middle schools in the district, Twin Towers Middle School and Monhagen Middle School collect the students from the elementary schools. Middletown High School is the only building for high school and includes grades nine through twelve. There is also a Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Middletown High School offers many programs in addition to the basic educational classes found in most schools. It has a large and active sports program including football, baseball, basketball, tennis, swimming, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, softball and various other athletic programs, as well as various other after school academic and social programs and activities. The High School also offers a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.[citation needed] Beginning in 1991, a media course at Middletown High School inspired students at the school to undertake journalistic projects, including filming a documentary regarding corruption and environmental issues at a local dump site.[24][25] The film received attention from local news stations[24] and comment from public officials.[25]

SUNY Orange, previously known as Orange County Community College, is located in Middletown. Its campus includes the historic Webb Horton House (pictured), more commonly known as Morrison Hall. It also has a campus in Newburgh, and three satellite campuses, but the majority of buildings and students are in Middletown. A total of more than 6100 students attend SUNY Orange. In addition to credit classes, there are a wide variety of classes for lifelong learning.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine opened a Middletown Campus, in 2014, located in the former Horton Hospital.[26][27]

Surrounding area[edit]

Nearby Goshen, viewed from its Historic Track, the oldest continuously operating harness racing track in the country

Communities and locations adjacent to Middletown[edit]

U.S. Census Map

The following communities and places are all located adjacent to, or within a few miles of Middletown:[28]

  • Crystal Run – A hamlet east of Middletown, near Interstate 84 at County Road 83.
  • Fair Oaks – A hamlet north of Middletown on NY Route 17M.
  • Howells – A hamlet northwest of Middletown.
  • Mechanicstown – A hamlet bordering Middletown to its southeast.
  • Michigan Corners – A hamlet east of Middletown on Route 211.
  • Phillipsburg – A hamlet southeast of Middletown on the Wallkill River and Route 17M.
  • Pilgrim Corners – A hamlet bordering Middletown to its west on Route 211.
  • Rockville – A hamlet north of Middletown.
  • Scotchtown – A hamlet northeast of Middletown, just across Route 17 on Route 101.
  • Van Burenville – A village to the north of Middletown near Mount Hope.
  • Town of Wallkill – The township that nearly surrounds Middletown, most of which is located to the north and east of Middletown.
  • Washington Heights – A hamlet bordering Middletown to its north.


WALL 1340 AM has been on-the-air since 1942.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget (14 September 2018). "OMB Bulletin No. 18-04" (PDF). Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  4. ^ Photo and description of the First Congregational Church
  5. ^ Yashinac, Rob (September 2006). "Ontario & Western Railway Station". Hudson Valley Ruins. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  6. ^ Amchir Residents Blast City Hall Neglect, Times Herald-Record, August 11, 1976, p. 23
  7. ^ New York City residency requirements Archived 2011-05-15 at the Wayback Machine, NYC.gov, accessed April 28, 2011
  8. ^ "Middletown City Court", New York State Unified Court System, accessed April 5, 2012
  9. ^ Local Media Group, accessed November 15, 2015
  10. ^ "Worldwide Locations", Bellff.com, accessed August 18, 2015
  11. ^ "Chorley School: Background & History". www.middletowncityschools.org.
  12. ^ "Garnet Health Medical Center", Garnet Health, accessed August 11, 2020
  13. ^ "Orange Regional Completes Move Into New Hospital", Orange Regional Medical Center, accessed June 8, 2012
  14. ^ "Orange Regional Medical Center: HBE Designs and Builds First Replacement Hospital in New York in 25 Years" Archived 2013-04-11 at archive.today, HBE Corporation, 2009, accessed June 8, 2012
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  16. ^ "Middletown Area", Transit Orange, accessed October 7, 2020
  17. ^ CoachUSA Mainline
  18. ^ CoachUSA Hudson Line
  19. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  22. ^ "The Mayor and the Common Council" Archived 2010-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, City of Middletown website, accessed April 26, 2012
  23. ^ Middletown City Charter, Title II, Election and Appointment of Officers, November 1, 2011, accessed April 26, 2012
  24. ^ a b Revkin, Andrew C. (November 16, 1995). "High School Class Exposes Toxic Dump;Students Use TV Course for an Investigative Environmental Project". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Manaugh, Geoff (February 1, 2020). "'It was like a movie': the high school students who uncovered a toxic waste scandal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  26. ^ "Our Facilities" Archived 2015-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Touro College, accessed November 10, 2014
  27. ^ "Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrates opening of new Middletown campus", Daily Freeman, September 1, 2014; and "Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Announces Lease Space Available Adjacent to New Touro Medical College", Rand Realty, September 11, 2014
  28. ^ Map of Middletown and surroundings, google.maps, accessed 29 December 2009

External links[edit]