Poughkeepsie, NY- A historic Hudson River town with an incredible Walkway over the Hudson

As Poughkeepsie is a pretty old community with lots of development in the 1800s there are distinct neighborhoods and pockets. Figuring out exactly where the boundaries are is a bit undefined, a common problem with historic towns of this size. This review deals specifically with the Historic West End of Poughkeepsie. Its actually not an official neighborhood name but I use it to include the most historic parts of Poughkeepsie and the area west of Downtown. It includes the Union Street Historic District, which dates back to the late 1700s.

The Historic West End of Poughkeepsie is generally a walkable neighborhood with nice historic architecture, good park amenities and several small commercial nodes. It has great cultural amenities but limited neighborhood retail. Fortunately Downtown provides this and is walkable to most residents in the neighborhood. The district is also the main entrance to the Walkway over the Hudson, a spectacular pedestrian/bike bridge spanning the Hudson River. There are several places the neighborhood could improve including the need for walkable schools, more retail amenities, up to date ADA curb cuts, and better connectivity.
Click here to view my Poughkeepsie, NY album on Flickr


* Good density.
* Great public transit access and good access to jobs with the Historic West End being adjacent to Dwtn (where Poughkeepsie County offices are located) and Marist College is located just to the north.
* Good bike lanes in the neighborhood with a waterfront trail and the Walkway over the Hudson trail.
* Incomes are a bit on the low side but plenty of economic diversity here. Also a very racial diverse neighborhood and good generational diversity.
* Good for sale diversity ranging from around 75K-350K depending on size and condition.
* Rentals are a bit more expensive but good amount of product. 1-bedrooms rent in the low $1,000s and 2-bedrooms in the mid $1,000s. Several aff. hsg towers mixed in as well.
* Good park amenities including the Hudson walkway, Pulaski Park, Upper Landing Park and several other smaller parks.
* Cultural amenities include: a good array of restaurants, bars, and cafes clustered at several nodes, a couple community theaters, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, and convenient access to Downtown’s cultural amenities
* Solid Tree canopy.


* Connectivity is the not the greatest as the street grid is pretty erratic.
* Retail amenities are limited in the Historic West End. One generally needs to good Dwtn for this. The MidHudson Hospital is just north of the neighborhood.
* Some blight and crime is higher than the national average in Poughkeepsie.
* No schools in the Historic West End but a couple dwtn.
* Sidewalk infrastructure is good and consistent but up to date ADA curb cuts is rare. 

Hudson, OH great historic town and childhood home of abolitionist John Brown

My evaluation of Hudson is very nuanced guided by the walkable pre-WW II fabric of the town. This included Western Reserve Academy to the north, the new urbanist shopping center built around  First and Main Green to the west, Ravenna St to the south, and Oviatt St. to the east.

There is a lot of great history o this town. Hudson is named after its founder, David Hudson, who settled there from Connecticut in 1799, when it was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Western Reserve College and Preparatory School was founded in 1826 and but now exists as only a private high school (the college moved to Cleveland and is now Case Western Reserve).  John Brown grew up in Hudson in a very anti slavery town and congregation in the early 1800s creating the seeds of his more radical actions. Historically Hudson was a always a small town. In 1870 there were 868 residents and 1940 1,400. Suburbanization, however, lead to an explosion of residents and the town now has over 20K souls.

Hudson is one of the wealthiest enclaves in the Akron metro likely drawn by its quality schools, history, and historic main street. Several attractive historic residential streets also surround Main Street with homes from every decade of the 19th century. In 2004 an attractive new urbanist retail development (1st & main) was built as a nice extension of Main Street, 
Click here to view my Hudson album on my Flickr page


* Great historic architecture spanning many decades before WWII in the main street, residential streets, and Western Reserve Academy. Quality urban in-fill with a nice new-urbanist district west of the historic main street.
* Pretty easy drive to Downtown Akron (only 20 minutes). 45 minute drive to Dwtn Cleveland.
* Very high family households around 85%.
* Great tree canopy and street tree coverage on the main street.
* Grand public square park amenities, a nice trail park extending SE from dwtn, and some quality green spaces at Western Reserve Academy.
* Good cultural amenities including lots of bars, restaurants & cafes, several art galleries, a performing arts theater, and several historic homes.
* Lots of walkable retail including a nice array of boutiques, clothing stores, a supermarket, bookstore, post office, and library. Several other strip malls just west of the walkable core as well.
* Very low crime rates in Hudson. Some years there are no violent crimes. 
* Several well rated public schools located on the eastern edge of Hudson Dwtn. Western Reserve Academy located on the north edge was well.
* Quality sidewalk and ADA infrastructure. Up to date ADA curb ramps are common near Western Reserve, main street and the new urbanism shopping center, but limited in the historic residential areas. 


* Poor public transit access. Although there is some commuter buses to downtown Akron.
* Limited Bike infrastructure.
* Very high household medium income around $125K but some income diversity here. Also limited racial diversity as central Hudson is around 90% white.
* Most for-sale options are expensive ranging between 300K-1 Million. Some more modest product selling in the 200Ks.  Rental housing is limited.