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Hudson River Historic District

Staatsburg, New York
County of Dutchess.
East side Hudson River between Germantown and Staatsburg
National Register Number: 90002219
Resource type: District.
Property type: Historic District: Architectural. The threat level was Watch in
Congressional District: NY-22 Certified Local Government: NO
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Current use/information: Historic District.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 14, 1990):
This 30-square-mile cultural landscape on the eastern shore of the Hudson River is composed of several villages that are traditional rural communities. With its singular origins as a Dutch colony, its peculiar semi-feudal system of colonial government, its remarkable diverse ethnic populations and its rigid class structure, the region holds a unique position in the settlement and social history of our Nation. The origins of permanent settlement begin about 1688 and continue to the present time. The district is also notable for the preservation of its aristocratic estates and gilded age mansions. These remarkable county seats, together with the sedate Dutch homesteads, rustic German tenant farms, and industrious Yankee towns, create a rich landscape.

This 30-square-mile district, along with an additional 95 surrounding miles in the Hudson River Valley, were listed on the National Trust's most endangered historic places for the year 2000, because of development that is threatening to devastate the character of the area's towns and setting. A minimum of seven power plants are now proposed for the valley, one of which would mar the viewshed from Olana, the Landmark home of 19th century artist Frederick Church. In addition, a big-box retail development in the town of Hyde Park is proposed for a site directly across from the Franklin D. Roosevelt home and library.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
A revision of the state's power-plant siting law to require consideration of alternative locations is imperative, as is the development of a comprehensive viewshed-protection plan.

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