Catskills, Then and Now: Amelia Westbrook House

May 09, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Stockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

 

The Amelia Westbrook House was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store. He had “apparently had two nearly identical houses built for speculation in the 1830s on his lot on East Front Street (now Clinton Avenue). He then divided the lot down the middle and sold the two houses separately.” (Historic American Buildings Survey, 1972) The one-and-a-half-story, rectangular house was built in the Greek Revival architectural style.

 

After changing hands many times, the house was purchased by Frederick Westbrook, a Kingston lawyer. Frederick’s daughter, Amelia Westbrook, inherited the house and was its longest occupant from 1880-1938. After years of deterioration, the Friends of Historic Kingston, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Kingston, purchased and restored the house in 1997. The house was then sold to a private owner in 1999.

 

The Amelia Westbrook House is included on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Clinton Avenue Historic District (which would later become part of the larger Kingston Stockade Historic District). The Amelia Westbrook House was also surveyed in 1972 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.

 

The early photograph was taken by Jack Boucher in 1973 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Although the house was restored by the Friends of Historic Kingston in 1997 it fell into disrepair again, as seen in the middle photograph, which I took in the fall of 2013. By the fall of 2017 the house was again looking great, with its historic curbside charm.

 

 

References:

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Smith, J. S., New York Council On The Arts, S., Kingston Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, S. & Badger, W. C., Boucher, J. E., photographer, McCown, S., ed. (1933) Clinton Avenue Historic District, South Smith House, 290 Clinton Avenue, Kingston, Ulster County, NY. Kingston New York Ulster County, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ny0816/.

 

1973

The Amelia Westbrook House located within the Stockade District of historic Kingston was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store.Amelia Westbrook HouseStockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

The Amelia Westbrook House was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store. He had “apparently had two nearly identical houses built for speculation in the 1830s on his lot on East Front Street (now Clinton Avenue). He then divided the lot down the middle and sold the two houses separately.” (Historic American Buildings Survey, 1972) The one-story house was built in the Greek Revival architectural style.

After changing hands many times, the house was purchased by Frederick Westbrook, a Kingston lawyer. Frederick’s daughter, Amelia Westbrook, inherited the house and was its longest occupant from 1880-1938. After years of deterioration, the Friends of Historic Kingston, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Kingston, purchased and restored the house in 1997. The house was then sold to a private owner in 1999.

The Amelia Westbrook House is included on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Clinton Avenue Historic District (which would later become part of the larger Kingston Stockade Historic District). The Amelia Westbrook House was also surveyed in 1972 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.

The early photograph was taken by Jack Boucher in 1973 as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Historic American Buildings Survey, C., Smith, J. S., New York Council On The Arts, S., Kingston Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, S. & Badger, W. C., Boucher, J. E., photographer, McCown, S., ed. (1933) Clinton Avenue Historic District, South Smith House, 290 Clinton Avenue, Kingston, Ulster County, NY. Kingston New York Ulster County, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ny0816/.

 

2013

The Amelia Westbrook House located within the Stockade District of historic Kingston was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store.Amelia Westbrook HouseStockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

The Amelia Westbrook House was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store. The house was then purchased by Frederick Westbrook, a Kingston lawyer. Frederick’s daughter, Amelia Westbrook, inherited the house and was its longest occupant from 1880-1938. After years of deterioration, the Friends of Historic Kingston, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Kingston, purchased and restored the house in 1997. The house was then sold to a private owner in 1999. Unfortunately, it appears, and was confirmed in conversations with long time neighbors, that the house has again been long unoccupied and is quickly falling into disrepair. Although simple in nature, the Amelia Westbrook House has a certain curbside charm that will hopefully restored again to its former glory.

 

2017

The Amelia Westbrook House located within the Stockade District of historic Kingston was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store.Amelia Westbrook HouseStockade District, Kingston, Ulster County

The Amelia Westbrook House was built circa 1831 by Joseph Smith, owner of a nearby general store. The house was then purchased by Frederick Westbrook, a Kingston lawyer. Frederick’s daughter, Amelia Westbrook, inherited the house and was its longest occupant from 1880-1938. After years of deterioration, the Friends of Historic Kingston, a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Kingston, purchased and restored the house in 1997. The house was then sold to a private owner in 1999. Unfortunately, it appears, and was confirmed in conversations with long time neighbors, that the house has again been long unoccupied and is quickly falling into disrepair. Although simple in nature, the Amelia Westbrook House has a certain curbside charm that will hopefully restored again to its former glory.

Update: The exterior of the Amelia Westbrook House has been restored since my last visit.

 

 


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