Rich in history and located in the Kingston Stockade Historic District, this stately Italianate also features some inspirational interior decor, thanks to its transformation by designers for the second annual Kingston Design Showhouse in 2019.
The showhouse was hosted by Kingston Design Connection, a network for Hudson Valley area creatives, founded by designer Maryline Damour after she moved from Brooklyn to Kingston. For the 2019 showhouse, 17 designers and more than 180 artists and tradespeople tackled the interiors.
The house dates to circa 1872 and, according to research compiled in the 1970s for the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), the likely original owners were Sylvester H. and Margaret E. Newcomb. The brick Italianate has a low stoop, arched lintels, tall parlor-level windows and a deep bracketed cornice with frieze-band windows.
The house has had a number of addresses over the years, requiring a bit of research detective work. When constructed it would have sat on East Front Street, renamed Clinton Avenue in 1874. Historic maps, directories and newspapers seem to indicate it was known as 34 or 36 Clinton Avenue until the 1890s, when it was renumbered to 304 Clinton Avenue, the address under which it was documented by HABS in the 1970s.
The Newcomb family doesn’t seem to have owned the house for long: Deed research shows that they sold it in 1875 to Mary J. Aluwick (sometimes recorded as Almrick or Alnwick), who owned the property till the 1890s. By at least 1880, the single-family home had been turned into a boarding house. The census record from 1900 shows owner Bessie Cusack living at 304 Clinton Avenue with extended family, a servant and 11 boarders.
In the late 1920s, the house became the Brass Kettle Inn, which served afternoon tea, chicken waffle dinners on Sundays and was available for party rental. The upstairs floors were used for rental apartments and, for a period in the 1930s, a children’s dance school operated out of the lower level.
The current owners have had the property, now a three-family dwelling, since 2006. The listing suggests that the house could be converted back to a single-family or turned into a seven-unit apartment building.
Right now, it has nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms. There’s no floor plan and the listing photos show just a handful of rooms — and none of the bathrooms — but the video tour of the showhouse and the before and after photos on the Kingston Design Connection Instagram give a sense of the space. The showhouse also got a write-up in House Beautiful, which noted the designers kept in mind that the house would function as part family home and part Airbnb apartments after the event. Any custom details added to the interior, like built-in cabinetry, wallpaper and murals, stayed after the public showings were completed.
It’s a bit difficult to discern surviving historic details in the images, but there do appear to be moldings, hardwood floors, two marble mantels and pocket doors.
The design touches include an entryway with an original newel post and walls adorned with a mural by artist Ruby Palmer using Hudson Valley motifs. There’s a dining room with a custom Flavor Paper wallpaper on the ceiling. A sitting room by Foley & Cox has a Moroccan-themed custom tile mantel.
There’s at least one full kitchen, and some of the bedroom rentals have kitchenettes. The full kitchen was redone by Mercer Interiors with cabinets with cane fronts, marble counters and backsplash, an Aga stove and a new wood floor.
There aren’t any photos of the yard but the house has a driveway and parking in the rear.
The property is listed for $975,000 with Kathleen Griffin of Coldwell Banker Village Green Realty.
If you were hoping to check out the work of more area designers, there are still plans for a 2020 Kingston Design Showhouse in October. According to the website, the new house was selected right before shutdown.
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