It’s Not Closed Until It’s Closed, Says Growing Photography Organization

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Hudson Valley One Editor Geddy Sveikauskas attends the opening of ‘Parallel Lives: Photography, Identity, and Belonging’ at i Park87 in Kingston. The exhibit will be on display until February 5, 2023. (Photo by Sue Pilla)

In the possessive world of property, intention does not constitute property. Brian Wallis, executive director of the soon-to-be-renamed Center for Photography in Woodstock, said it was premature to report on the purchase of a Dederick Street building because it hasn’t happened yet. CPW plans to close the spacious former cigar factory in downtown Kingston in early February. The only reason the sale made headlines, Wallis explained, was that a public hearing was needed as part of the the organization’s pursuit of a Restore NY grant for two million dollars. Applications for Restore NY grants are due January 27, after which a competitive state process will decide the winners.

The four-story 1907 industrial building at 25 Dederick Street was owned by Van Slyke & Horton (think Philip Schuyler Cigars), an Albany cigar maker that also operated factories in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. Its most recent owner was N&S Supply, now relocated to 120 Wood Road just off Sawkill Road in the city of Ulster.

Cigar rollers worked from dawn to dusk in natural light. The 40,000 square foot building features open floor plans, twelve foot ceilings and numerous windows on all four sides.

“Once renovated, this stately space will be used for exhibit galleries, the digital media lab, classrooms, community meeting rooms, staff offices, a movie screening room and a safe. storage of the state-of-the-art regional art collection,” according to a brochure distributed at the impressive CPW exhibition held last Saturday at iPark87. The brochure was titled “A Place of Rebirth: The Center for Photography in Kingston,” perhaps a hint of the upcoming name change.

CPW has been operating since last year at 474 Broadway, a few blocks from the Dederick Street location.

“The intended uses will create a significant cultural center in an area specifically targeted for urban revitalization in Kingston’s Arts and Culture Master Plan,” the brochure states.

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