Irish Cultural Center good for Rondout area
Dear Editor: As a resident and business owner in Kingston, I would like to express my overwhelming support and bring up several points regarding the Irish Cultural Center’s proposed building.
• The people who form the Irish Cultural Center are many of the same people who organize the “Hooley on the Hudson” and the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Both of these celebratory events bring the largest crowds to the Rondout area that I have witnessed. The revenue and attention these crowds bring to the local businesses is substantial. With both events, shuttle buses are employed to deal with substantial out-of-the-area parking.
• While the principal focus of the center is Irish culture, it also would educate about the history of Rondout and the immigrants who worked on and for the canal companies that make up a large part of Rondout’s history. Its presence would add another dimension to the area.
• The old synagogue, which also has been a restaurant, would indicate the use of buildings on Abeel Street are of a mixed nature. The argument of residential use only would seem to be in conflict with this.
• Because of its exposure to and access through Company Hill Path on the West Strand side, a good portion of the center’s traffic can be routed through this area and would help highlight the park and canal walks in that area.
I can think of no better steward of the concerns of the Rondout area than the Irish center.
Michael Cleary, Kingston