In the possessive world of property, intention does not constitute ownership. Brian Wallis, executive director of the soon-to-be-renamed Center for Photography at Woodstock, said it was premature to report on the purchase of a Dederick Street building, since it hasn’t happened yet; CPW expects to close on the spacious former cigar factory in midtown Kingston in early February. The only reason the sale has been in the news, Wallis explained, was that a public hearing was required as part of the organization’s pursuit of a Restore NY grant for two million dollars. Applications for Restore NY grants are due January 27, after which a competitive state process will decide the winners.
The four-story 1907 industrial building at 25 Dederick Street was owned by Van Slyke & Horton (think Philip Schuyler cigars), an Albany cigar-maker that also operated factories in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. Its most recent owner was N&S Supply, now relocated to 120 Wood Road just off Sawkill Road in the Town of Ulster.
Cigar rollers worked from dawn to dusk under natural light. The 40,000-square-foot building boasts open-floor plans, twelve-foot ceilings, and numerous windows on all four sides.
“Once renovated, this majestic space will be used for exhibition galleries, digital media lab, classrooms, community meeting rooms, staff offices, a film screening theater, and a state-of-the-art regional art collection storage vault,” according to a brochure distributed at the impressively curated CPW exhibit that opened last Saturday at iPark87. The brochure was titled “A Place of Rebirth: The Center for Photography in Kingston,” perhaps a hint about the forthcoming name change.
CPW has been operating for the last year at 474 Broadway, a few blocks from the Dederick Street location.
“The intended uses will create a significant cultural hub in an area specifically targeted for urban revitalization in the Kingston Arts and Culture Master Plan,” the brochure noted.