Thursday, May 08, 2008


One of the nine maintained parks in the City of Kingston is the Cornell Park on Wurts Street in the Rondout area. A charming plot of land in the middle of the rejuvenated residential district is a patch of green that has been all but forgotten.

Cornell Park once adjoined the mansion of the local robber baron Thomas Cornell, who owned steamships, railroads and shipyards during the late 19th century. The mansion, located on the level lot above the park, was raised around 1948.

Today, a well groomed park, it doesn’t get the use it should. But this may change.

The Park’s lower portion has a natural slope that’s perfect for an amphitheater and has been the site of the newly formed Folk Festival, put together by my friends Larry Zalinsky and BC Gee of the Mezzanine Coffee Shop on Broadway.

By accident, I encountered a Kingston resident walking out with a map of Cornell Park from the planning office, I didn't get his name, but I found there are preliminary plans for a performance structure at the lower corner. Fantastic!

A band shell of some kind would alter the use level in a drastic way. A good way.

Last October 31st, a group of Kingston residents, mostly from Ward Nine, celebrated the Celtic Holiday of Halloween in the park. With a bon-fire roaring, a good time was had by all, safely. In the United States, the Celtic holiday of Beltane, usually the first week of May was merged with Mothers Day. Perhaps we could kick off the spring with an event at the same park?

The picture you see to th left is of the minor safety hazard I filled in last Monday. Shovel in hand, I managed to reverse the groundhog damage to the cement stairs. The Recreation Department is beginning their season, so I’m expecting to see the crew out there any day.

Now if only I could get the district lines changed during the 2010 census to include this gem of a park for Ward Nine.

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