Ir­ish Cul­tural Cen­ter lo­ca­tion in­ap­pro­pri­ate

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION -

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.

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