Wynkoop renaissance?

Photo by David Gordon

The historic Wynkoop House, which was a tavern from the 1930s to the 1960s, may fill a similar role again.

The Saugerties Historic Preservation Commission and the historic house’s developer are working on a plan to renovate the existing building as a restaurant and construct a four-story, 75-room hotel on the property.

Partially hidden by trees, the stone house between Route 32 and the New York Thruway looks slightly sinister, but Wynkoop House is an excellent example of the old Dutch stone houses built in Ulster county in the 17th and 18th centuries.


New plans for the one and one-half story house and the property include the use of the historic building as a restaurant, and the construction of a motel in the 18th century style on the same property. The Wynkoop House, a traditional Dutch stone house, would be renovated to its historical appearance, while the motel would be designed to fit in with the historical style. Engineer Richard Praetorius is working with the Historic Preservation Commission on the property’s development.

The plan would bring the historic building, which now stands empty, back into the public domain, Historic Preservation chair Josh Randall said. He suggested that as the plans are finalized, the Planning Board and Historic Preservation Commission hold a joint public hearing on the renovation.

Wynkoop House is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built around 1740 and renovated and expanded several times over the years. The Saugerties Historic House Tour lists the building as having been constructed between 1740 and 1763.

The house close to Winston Farm was once part of the farm. It now stands on a site measuring just over two acres, Praetorius said, adding, “it’s a tight fit.”

Praetorius said he told the Historic Preservation Commission that the site plan issues they were discussing must be reviewed by the Planning Board. And, he suggested, because the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the board should consider it a “Type 1 action,” which requires a full environmental assessment form, rather than the short form or questionnaire a project of this scope might otherwise require.

Plans are very preliminary, Praetorius said. However, he noted the plans don’t show water, sewer, landscaping or lighting.


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