Irish Cultural Center location inappropriate
Dear Editor: I am a former owner of 42 Abeel St. and the Company Hill Gallery, in the Rondout section of Kingston, N.Y.. For many years I painted the charming streets and buildings of the Rondout. When I bought 42 Abeel St. in 1981, I was enchanted by the beautiful view of Rondout Creek as well as the delightful neighborhood. My partner and I created a gallery space in the front room, displayed our paintings of the Rondout and had art shows of local artists. We also lived in the house.
I recently visited 42 Abeel St. and saw the beautiful apartments that Deanna Baum created in my old home and gallery. I was graciously greeted, but was dismayed to hear about the proposed Irish Cultural Center that would come right up to the edge of the historic Company Hill Path and obscure the beautiful views from the apartments. The vacant residential lot that I had known would be filled with the proposed project. The building would have a blank, windowless wall abutting 42 Abeel St. That vacant lot where two homes formerly stood, offers a calming rest for the eye, a place to look that doesn’t have a building.
I am concerned about the impact that the proposed center would have on the neighborhood. The architecture of said building is not in keeping with the feel and tone of the Rondout. The proposed plan would bring unwanted traffic and noise to the Rondout. The current ambiance of the Rondout includes little shops, galleries, and restaurants. The neighborhood is not equipped to deal with the influx of traffic to the new center. If built, the whole character of the Rondout would be changed, not for the better.
I also think it is unfair to grant commercial zoning rights to the proposed center. Abeel Street is zoned only for residences, churches, schools, and home occupations.
The Irish Center is a good idea, but the current location is inappropriate.
Aesthetics and quality of life are important in our changing world. The historic Rondout is a neighborhood that needs to retain its charming quality and quiet elegance. Linda Novick Artist, Author, Art instructor Kripalu Yoga Instructor Lenox, Mass.