For New Paltz councilman Daniel Torres, updating the town seal has been a favorite project. Back in January, when he uncovered the original hand-drawn copy of the emblem, Torres knew he wanted to update it. “We had lost the original design of the town seal, and we found it at Canal Printing Press,” he explained. “It was the original hand-drawn one.”
Adopted in town supervisor Pete Savago’s administration in 1966, the seal is familiar to most people in the town. It features an old stone house representing Huguenot Street, plus an apple tree to represent New Paltz’s history as orchard land and the lamp of learning, reflecting the presence of SUNY New Paltz.
Not having the original version made it hard to upgrade or create high-resolution versions of the image. Illustrator Matthew Maley volunteered his time to colorize the seal for free. “He could have easily asked for money,” Torres noted.
Maley colored the seal from the original black-and-white image on Adobe Illustrator. He saw his participation as a way of giving back. “It’s the least I could do, when I see so many people contributing so much of their own time improving New Paltz,” the artist said.
New councilman Torres has proven a bit of a history buff. He’s prepared himself for certain topics, like the change to the police commission, by researching their history at Elting Memorial Library. “I’ve always had a fondness for our local history,” he explained. “Redoing the seal, to me, was a tribute to the people who came before me and to show pride in our community.”
Torres admires the unique blend of history in the community, where Huguenot forebearers mix with a countercultural population which came to New Paltz in the 1960s and have persisted to the present day.
Town officials briefly dropped the classic seal in the 1990s, but returned to it shortly afterward.
During their February 20 meeting, board members voted 4-0 to readopt the town seal.