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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cold Spring in Putnam County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The 1865 Office Building

 
 
The 1865 Office Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
1. The 1865 Office Building Marker
Inscription.
This magnificent building is the only freestanding structure remaining at the preserve from the foundry years, rising alone from the forest cover. Yet as the photo below shows, West Point Foundry was a massive complex of industrial shops, railways and offices that filled the entire ravine. Built in 1865 – at the height of the foundry’s production – this symmetrical Victorian structure with its Renaissance architectural details replaced a smaller, one-story structure adjacent to the foundry’s machine shop that had served as its offices since the 1820s.

Ironically, the foundry’s prosperity, which allowed the office building to be constructed, began a long decline almost the moment it was built. With the Civil War at an end, government orders for ordinance dried up, yet West Point Foundry’s management was reluctant to transition operations away from munitions production. That, and increasing national demand for steel, signaled the beginning of the end of the foundry’s most productive years.

However, that decline also helped preserve the office building in the remarkable condition you see it in today. The structure would be in far worse shape had it been continually occupied and expanded over decades, like other buildings in the complex. Extensive work has been done to stabilize the building to preserve it for
The Tracks of Time Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
2. The Tracks of Time Marker
This marker is on the north side of the kiosk.
future use, but it is currently closed to the public.

All images, except where noted, from the collection of the Putnam History Museum.

( North Side Marker : )
The Tracks of Time

Almost from the beginning, rail transport played an important role at West Point Foundry. Though situated to afford easy access to the Hudson River’s shipping lanes, from an early date the foundry had direct railway sidings running between facilities and its riverside docks, with horses and oxen initially providing the power to haul heavily laden carts along the tracks. It wasn’t until 1870 that the first steam-powered engine began working at the ironworks. Brought from the Ninth Avenue elevated railroad in New York City, where it had been damaged in an accident, it was repaired at the foundry for use in the complex. These circa-1890 photos give some sense of the system of rails and exchanges at use in the foundry. The remains of tracks and track beds can be seen throughout the preserve. The recreated rail turntable evokes the complex network of transport that heavy industry began to utilize in the 19th century.
 
Location. 41° 24.937′ N, 73° 56.857′ W. Marker is in Cold Spring, New York, in Putnam County. Marker can be reached from Kemble Avenue, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map
The 1865 Office Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
3. The 1865 Office Building Marker
. Marker is located along the yellow trail in the West Point Foundry Preserve. Marker is at or near this postal address: 68 Kemble Avenue, Cold Spring NY 10516, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. West Point Foundry Archaeological Site (within shouting distance of this marker); From Forest to Factory to Forest (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The West Point Foundry (about 400 feet away); Boring Mill Overlook (about 400 feet away); Foundry Brook (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Boring Mill Overlook (about 500 feet away); Jewel of the Hudson (about 500 feet away); History of West Point Foundry (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cold Spring.
 
Also see . . .  West Point Foundry Preserve. Scenic Hudson website. (Submitted on January 16, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
The Tracks of Time Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
4. The Tracks of Time Marker
Marker in the West Point Foundry Preserve image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
5. Marker in the West Point Foundry Preserve
The Office Building can be seen behind the marker.
The 1865 Office Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
6. The 1865 Office Building Marker
The trail behind the marker occupies the course of the railroad that served the foundry.
Railroad Turntable image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
7. Railroad Turntable
This recreated rail turntable is located just north of the 1865 Office Building marker.
Photo from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
8. Photo from Marker
This photograph shows the abundance of structures at the foundry complex at the height of its prosperity.
Photo of Foundry Workers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
9. Photo of Foundry Workers
West Point Foundry Preserve Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
10. West Point Foundry Preserve Plaque
The 1865 Office Building image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
11. The 1865 Office Building
The 1865 Office Building image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, January 16, 2014
12. The 1865 Office Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 16, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 317 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 16, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   7. submitted on January 17, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on January 16, 2014, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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