94 North Front Street, Stockade District, Kingston, Ulster County
The Hoffman House was built in the mid-17th century (prior to 1679, although the exact date of construction is unknown) and is considered to be an excellent example of early American Dutch rubble architecture. The Hoffman House was situated in the northwest corner of Kingston’s historic Stockade District and thus served as a lookout and fortification, first against Indian attacks and later the British Army. Some of these early architectural traits can still be seen, such as the attic steps that lead to the building roof and musket holes in the upper floors. The building was damaged during the American Revolution when the British Army attacked and burned the city of Kingston on October 16, 1777, but was quickly restored. The house is named for the Hoffman family, who owned the house from 1707 until 1908. The most prominent member of the family to reside in the house was Anthony Hoffman (1711-1784), who lived in the house during the 1770s and was a large estate owner, Trustee of Kingston, a Judge in Dutchess County, a member of the Provincial Congress and a signer of the 1775 Articles of Confederation.
In 1908, the house was sold to the Salvation Army, and over the following decades was used as a storage facility before eventually falling into a state of disrepair. The house was purchased in 1973 by the Kingston Urban Renewal Agency, who restored the building exterior. It was then purchased in 1975 by Pat and Ginny Bradley, who wonderfully restored the building interior over the course of two years. Many of its historic features, such as floorboards, mantels and door handles, can still be seen. Since 1977, the Hoffman House Tavern has served as a popular restaurant and gathering place featuring classic continental dishes. Visit their website at www.hoffmanhousetavern.com for more information.
The vintage postcard depicts both the Hoffman House and the De Wall Tavern in the Stockade District of Kingston, NY. The Hoffman House is the larger, main subject. The postcard was published by A. C. Bosselman & Co. located in New York. The postcard was never mailed, but as per the Library of Congress digital collections the postcard is from circa the 1890s. The second photograph was taken in 1973 by Jack Boucher as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey. My photograph was taken in the fall of 2017.