Kingston Home Port and Education Center

Almost two years ago, The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) and The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. began having discussions regarding a collaboration between the two organizations that would ultimately impact the Kingston waterfront in a very positive way. It was almost as simple as: “We have a boat and you have a dock,” but really involved a realization that both organizations had a similar philosophy regarding education, history and the environment. 

The board of directors of both organizations felt that the first place to start was to construct a wooden boat center that could be used in the winter months by the sloop Clearwater, and in the summer months by The HRMM. We realized that the proposed alliance could promote increased visitation to the museum and the Rondout and encourage joint educational programs, shared fundraising opportunities (such as grants), and some reduction of overhead expenses.

To that end, both organizations worked together to draw up plans for a 64 foot X 36 foot timber frame structure that will serve as a winter home port for the sloop Clearwater and as an educational center for programming. Fundraising has been a joint effort by Clearwater and The HRMM, with support coming from a combination of individual donations, in kind gifts, and two New York State grants. It was (and is) a true 50/50 proposition that has required mutual trust and good communication.

The project is divided into three phases:

The first phase involves the driving of piles and the construction of the foundation. The foundation will have 3’ knee walls to remediate against periodic flooding. Eugene DiLorenzo from Highland won the bid and work on the foundation began in late June.

The second phase involves the construction of the actual timberframe. Bab Barlow of Wassaic, with help from millwright Jim Kricker,  has already begun the process of preparing the timbers for the September 15th barn raising. The timbers are iroko and red oak, and were collected and donated by volunteers.

The third phase will involve the construction of the roof, siding, utilities, flooring and overall systems of this barn. The project is scheduled to be completed in early November, in time for the sloop Clearwater to dock and begin its winter maintenance.

Even though Clearwater and HRMM will have “ownership” of the barn at different times of the year, we anticipate many opportunities for joint projects such a youth boat building, fund raising events, and educational programs.

We are well along in the fund raising process; however, there remains plenty of opportunity for gift giving. Any additional funding donated by our readers would be much needed and greatly appreciated.

Enjoy this bi-weekly blog.

John C Weeks, Chair, Building Committee and Board member of HRMM
Allan Shope, Project Architect, and Board chair, Clearwater


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