Kingston Travel ItineraryKingston Travel Itinerary


Kingston Urban Cultural Park/ Heritage Area Logo

New York State's innovative Urban Cultural Park Program/ Heritage Area helps showcase the engaging, fascinating, and unique histories of communities throughout the state. Established in 1982 as joint venture between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and 22 historically significant communities, the UCP Program incorporates 16 Urban Cultural Parks in communities ranging in size from sprawling New York City to charming small-town Sackets Harbor. The UCP area in each designated community includes the historic urban core: traditional parks, public buildings, old mills and churches, and historic neighborhoods.

More than mere collections of restored buildings and green spaces, each UCP/HA follows a central theme, such as "Natural Environment," "Labor History" or "Transportation," through which its special attributes are interpreted and promoted. As a result, the community itself is the park, dedicated to the preservation of its unique cultural heritage through programs such as ethnic festivals, waterfront walks, lively theater, provocative exhibits, and neighborhood walking tours.

Rondout/ West Strand Historic District in 1979 and 1998

Kingston's designation as one of New York State's 16 Urban Cultural Park/ Heritage Areas has yielded innumerable benefits to the city. Once designation took place, the UCP's economic development and revitalization programs have resulted in an improved economic base and significantly increased levels of tourism. With more activity in the area, people soon began expressing interest in Kingston as a place to live and do business. Movement back into Kingston's formerly deserted urban areas resulted in the occupancy of formerly vacant units, the rehabilitation and restoration of existing historic buildings, and even new residential construction. The gradual re-emergence of Kingston's urban core as a viable place to visit, live and do business soon increased property values, which has in turn created even greater interest in Kingston.

The Urban Cultural Park has delivered more than just economic benefits, however. Culturally, the community has also benefitted from the Kingston UCP/HA. Using the area's local history as a framework, the Kingston UCP/HA has created a series of outreach history and educational programs. Kingston UCP/HA staffers have collaborated with elementary, high school, and college students to create local history exhibits. Many of the towns most successful celebrations and festivals were established by the Kingston UCP/HA. Occurring throughout the year, the Kingston UCP/HA helps organize Stockade Day, Artober--A Celebration of Art, and World War II Commemorative Weekend. The well-known "Reenactment of the Burning of Kingston," the Tall Tales Festivals, and holiday tree-lighting celebrations, are all annual events developed through the program, as are Band Concerts on the Waterfront, the city's trolley and walking tours of historic districts.

Reenactment of the Burning of Kingston, 1998
Photograph by Bud Walker
The first of the 16 designated Urban Cultural Parks to open a visitor center, Kingston's Urban Cultural Park/ Heritage Area works closely with local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure Kingston's continued successful efforts in combining economic development with good preservation practices. With its use of the visitor center, interpretive signage, exhibits, attractive traditional green spaces and ambitious events aimed at educating the general public about Kingston's history, the Kingston Urban Cultural Park Program is a truly successful project--delivering both cultural and economic benefits to the city.


For more information about the Kingston Urban Cultural Park/ Heritage Area, please call 1-800-331-1518. For more information about the New York State Urban Cultural Park Program, call 1-518-474-0456.


Itinerary Home | List of Sites | Main Map | Learn More | Begin Tour


Comments or Questions