Welcome to The Rondout, Kingston’s Historic Waterfront

With an artsy, industrial and maritime vibe, downtown Kingston’s Waterfront (“the Rondout”) has seen a palpable renaissance in recent years and is a community of active residents and growing small businesses.

Historically, the neighborhood was rapidly transformed from farmland into a thriving maritime village after the opening in 1828 of the Delaware and Hudson Canal with its terminus at Rondout Creek.

Plentiful jobs on the canal, in boatyards and in allied industries such as brick and cement manufacturing drew a melting pot of immigrants whose imprint is still visible in the rich legacy of commercial buildings, cast-iron storefronts, homes and churches they built.

Urban Renewal of the mid 20th century (“Urban Removal” to locals from that time) destroyed many of the storefronts which housed independent businesses integral to the neighborhood’s character: ateliers, haberdasheries, taverns and other merchants serving the vibrant immigrant community. As a result, people banded together to protect what was left of the neighborhood, and the Rondout is now listed on the National, State and Local Registers of Historic Places.
(There’s an excellent documentary on the subject – Lost Rondout: A Story of Urban Removal – available here.)

Today, Downtown Kingston’s waterfront is a vibrant and constantly evolving neighborhood where diverse businesses are located and call home. Antique dealers, chefs, and artists and have moved in alongside existing waterfront restaurants and commercial retail establishments, creating a destination known for art, antiques, food, and culture.

Photos used with kind permission of Mickey Mathis, photographer.