The Lost Rondout is sitting in a Warehouse in Midtown

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Image courtesy of lostrondoutproject.com

Have you seen Stephen Blauweiss and Lynn Woods’ film “Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal” yet? It is a documentary relating the impact of Urban Renewal initiatives in Kingston. In the late 1960s, hundreds of buildings were torn down in Kingston’s downtown Rondout district in a federally funded urban renewal project. To preserve what was about to be lost, Gene Dauner took 900 photographs of downtown just before and during the destruction. Based on his photographs and other source material, along with interviews with people who were there, the film seeks to explore the vanished community as well as commemorate the historic buildings that were torn down.

You can learn more here: lostrondoutproject.com/

Not to change the subject, but how many of us have sat with a perfect cup of coffee at Monkey Joe’s and looked out across Broadway in Midtown at a big sign painted across an old tractor trailer. It says “Zaborski Emporium. For more info see www.stanthejunkman.com

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Once on Stan’s website you are greeted by this enticement: “If you have been hunting for just the right claw foot tub, pedestal sink, vintage light fixture, doorknob, porch column, fireplace facade, set of pocket doors or the hardware to hang it with, you have found the right place! Can’t find the right faucet, no problem. We have a large selection of vintage fixtures.”

Well, now where do you think all those incredible doors, windows, hardware and fixtures came from? Thankfully someone was there just ahead of the wrecking ball when the Rondout was being “removed”. Stan’s place is like a walk back in time. If you happen to be one of the inspired ones who are renovating a building in Kingston, you may find exactly the right items to bring back your piece of our historic city.

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There is over 40,000 square feet space jammed to the rafters. There is a huge selection (yes, it is daunting!). As the Emporium’s website suggests, “Wander spacious (yea right) aisles and enjoy a variety of items you’ll find hard to imagine, unless you know Stan. If you do know Stan, you’ll be happy to hear that he can often find things now.”

Be forewarned, Stan does not take charge cards – cash or checks only! But make sure you are prepared since you will likely find some treasures. And go in the warmer months of the year since the place is not heated. If you wait for the winter months Stan suggests you “wear warm clothes & bring mittens!”

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About Gregg Swanzey

Gregg Swanzey, a longtime advocate for the Hudson River and the Mid-Hudson Region, first moved to the Rondout neighborhood in Kingston with his family in 1986 fresh off several years as Captain of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Since then, he has crossed the Atlantic three times, served as Executive Director for a gubernatorially appointed Commission in Massachusetts, and traveled to far-flung places such as St. Petersburg, Russia; Reykjavik, Iceland; and the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. After four years in City Hall as Director of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships for the City of Kingston, he has recently come aboard as Executive Director for the Winnakee Land Trust based in Rhinebeck in Northern Dutchess County. On any given day you might see him out jogging on one of several rail trails that converge in Kingston, kayaking the Hudson over to Rhinecliff, biking Uptown to the Farmer’s Market, climbing to the top of Burger Hill in Winnakee's Drayton Grant Park, or hanging out at home in a classic 1920's Dutch Colonial overlooking the Hudson with his wife, Emma. His two daughters live and work in New York City but are regularly up the River for the weekend.

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