In Brief – More than 500 acres of industrial lands and mines once used to produce “Rosendale Cement” has been acquired by Scenic Hudson, which plans to turn the area into a public park.
Scenic Hudson revealed the acquisition Monday, which stretches from the Hutton Brickyards north to the community of East Kingston in the Town of Ulster. It includes more than a mile of Hudson Riverfront, 260 acres of forest, and 37 acres of wetlands, according to Scenic Hudson.
The yet-to-be-named park would include 1.3 miles of the Empire State Trail, an ADA-accessible walking and cycling path spanning the state set to be completed in 2020.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said the planned park will be “another jewel among Ulster County’s riverfront parks.”
The approximately .8 miles of acquired land was once home to the Hudson River Cement Works, one of the centers of the Hudson Valley cement industry during its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The land still includes clay mines, as well as large silos and processing facilities where the clay was mixed with lime extracted from mines south of the city.
The mixture created Rosendale Cement, a world-renowned material used to build the base of the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the wings of the United States Capitol.
The facility has been abandoned for decades and has fallen into picturesque disrepair.
The remaining buildings “will be further studied to determine potential risks as well as opportunities for public use and historic interpretation,” according to Scenic Hudson.
Scenic Hudson plans to seek preliminary input from the local community about plans for the property’s use in the coming months. The area remains closed to the public for the time being.
Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said the acquisition of the property “will bring tremendous recreational, ecological, scientific and economic benefits” to the region.
“This acquisition represents Scenic Hudson’s most ambitious undertaking in its history,” according to Sullivan.
The area will be one of Scenic Hudson’s largest parks, which include more than 40 preserves throughout the Hudson Valley.