Commonly referred to as Uptown Kingston, the Stockade District is the remnant of a mid-17th century Dutch settlement. One year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it was here that the State of New York was established, and Kingston selected as its first capital. George Clinton took office as New York’s first governor and John Jay opened the first term of the New York Supreme Court.
It is considered the Stockade District because an actual stockade — or barrier — once surrounded the high plain area.
The intersection of Crown and John Streets is the only intersection in America with preserved Colonial-era Dutch stone buildings on all four corners.
Later in 1777, the same year New York had been established, the British took the city by surprise and burned it. While some of the buildings were spared and still stand today, an estimated 326 buildings in the area were destroyed.
The city was rebuilt and a few years later, George Washington visited, commending early Dutch Colonial Governor Peter Stuyvesant for his foresight in building a protective barrier.
It was in 1783, as the Revolutionary War was drawing toward its close and British defeat, that New York proposed Kingston as the its capital.
Over the next century, the area continued to grow and spread to other areas, including the Rondout, located at Rondout Creek.
It wasn’t long after Kingston’s rebuilding that people concerned themselves with its preservation, and so among its historic preservation efforts the local Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) chapter paid for one of these restoration efforts and moved their headquarters here, where they remain today.
Today, Kingston has a vibrant Main Street with several antique shops, restaurants, yoga studios, and favorites like the Stockade Tavern and the very cool Outdated café.
Its commercial streets are known for their portico style which runs the entire length of the streets.
The Stockade District is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in New York.
And yet, it seamlessly has a new and coolness too.