Whitney Bayers, Aura Maria Jaramillo, Victoria Pardo, Ryan Zeek, Sunny Zhang, Zhiyue Zhang
The statement of purpose set forth by the studio establishes the City of Newburgh as an attractor. In the context of the studio project, the term “attractor” refers to a place where people are proud to live and desire to visit, whether it be from nearby towns, the greater region, or internationally. An attractor does not have one focus, but rather is a destination for history, culture, food, and the arts - all facets of Newburgh’s diversity.
Enhancing the diversity of Newburgh through the lens of historic preservation is the foundation upon which the final proposal is ultimately based. The goal throughout the course of the project was to critically examine whether and how preservation could be used to bolster existing historic resources and catalyze revitalization in the city’s built environment as a whole.
Newburgh has a long relationship with historic preservation, positioning it as a perfect candidate for renewed preservation interventions outlined in the studio proposal. Washington’s Headquarters, located in the heart of Newburgh, is the first publicly-owned and preserved historic site in the United States, and outside of New York City, Newburgh is home to the largest contiguous National Register Historic District in New York State. While deferred maintenance and high rates of vacancy have grown as the city’s economy has declined, Newburgh is rebuilding: restoring vacant properties and bringing its varied residential and commercial spaces back to life. This reinvestment in the city is shown through new events, and comes from a wide variety of communities, all sharing the common goal of progress for Newburgh.