Turning a vital piece of Poughkeepsie’s history — vacant for 20 years — into light-filled spaces for work, discovery, reflection, experimentation, and gathering
A center of Poughkeepsie’s industry & livelihood
For much of the 20th century, this complex of industrial buildings at the intersection of Parker Ave., Garden Street and Brookside Ave. had a huge impact on the city. From 1923-2002, it housed the Standard Gage Company, which manufactured precision measuring instruments. In 1943, President Roosevelt visited the plant to recognize the company’s role in developing essential machinery and armaments for the war effort.
Throughout its existence, the plant provided an economic base for generations of people living in the mixed commercial, industrial, and residential Northside neighborhood. For the last 20 years, the structures have largely been vacant.
A remarkable transformation
In 2020, Northside Junction, LLC, an affiliate of Scenic Hudson, acquired the 2.11-acre property and has begun transforming it into a green building and landscape that will use less energy and water, avoid waste, and help the community thrive. Scenic Hudson envisions rehabilitation of the structures, in particular historic restoration of both the interior and exterior to create workspace for its staff and create public space to meet community needs, potentially including: community gatherings, meetings, events, and educational activities. The architecture firm MASS Design Group, which has worked with Scenic Hudson on other revitalization efforts in downtown Poughkeepsie, is also a partner. Currently, the degraded site is undergoing remediation under New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.
A catalyst for learning & growing
58 Parker Ave. is located adjacent to Walkway Over the Hudson, Dutchess Rail Trail, Fall Kill Creek and the future Urban Trail. The vision is to make it a welcoming space for all Northside residents and visitors to learn, grow, play, and celebrate together. It can also support the city’s ongoing efforts to enhance economic opportunity and equality, putting the health and well-being of local residents and the environment at the forefront.
FAQs (frequently asked questions)
Thanks so much for your interest! We’d love to hear from you. We hope to make personal connections, build coalitions, and foster community. We know that 58 Parker Ave’s long-term success depends on active involvement by Northside residents and partners like you. To learn more or get involved, send us an email!
- Create a space for Scenic Hudson’s offices and programs.
- Increase safe pedestrian and bike access to adjacent parks, trails, and city streets.
- Create a space for play and access to nature for Northside families and youth, as well as for visitors to the area.
- Encourage economic vitality in the neighborhood via increased foot traffic and visitation.
- Provide shared resources, like an auditorium space and open landscape, for use by the community.
It is our hope that 58 Parker Ave will help transform vacant spaces and abandoned buildings into sustainable community resources that engage youth and cultivate skilled workers, locally-grown food, and more.
Youth programming is a key component of both the design process and future park activities. Potential partners include Nubian Directions, The Art Effect, the Boys & Girls Club of Poughkeepsie, and the Poughkeepsie City School District — to bring youth perspectives and ideas into the design and create community ownership over aspects of the project.
Scenic Hudson owns the property and is raising funds to complete the project. Their office will be in the buildings, but much of the land around as well as functions within the building will be a space designed for and open to the public.
We foresee attracting traffic to neighborhood businesses from people enjoying nearby trails as well as other organizations or commercial functions that could operate out of the space. 58 Parker Ave is collaborating with the Urban Trail project on street improvements that may include new crosswalks, landscaping, and measures to slow vehicles down and make streets safer for pedestrians and people on bicycles. New pedestrian and bike access routes will also make travel more convenient for residents, business owners, and visitors. In addition, this project will bring over 60 people to the Northside during the work week who will frequent local businesses.
Creative parking options for a variety of users are under consideration. The plan is to turn the property’s dirt lot into parking for Scenic Hudson on weekdays. It will be available for the community and Walkway Over the Hudson visitors nights and weekends.
Scenic Hudson’s presence at 58 Parker Ave five days a week should improve safety thanks to an increase in street activity and foot traffic. There will also be occasional programming and events, as well as community use of outdoor and indoor public space.