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A New Look at the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory

Produced by Andrea Suarez-Navarro and Lukas Kranjc

Hudson River Housing’s latest project has just opened to the public, as they celebrate the grand redevelopment of the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory.

Renovations have long been underway, but recently residents in the Middle Main area of Poughkeepsie gathered for the factory’s official grand reopening.

Those in attendance included the county executive, mayor of Poughkeepsie and local residents.

Trying to combat homelessness in the Dutchess County area, the nonprofit Hudson River Housing took on this neighborhood redevelopment project as a way to revitalize the area.

Known as Middle Main, the mission was to create a change and bring people together while rebuilding upon community assets. This ongoing plan to reopen the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory has turned into a successful project with the help of residents, company investors and community leaders, according to those behind it.

Built in 1874, this historic three-story brick building originally was an underwear factory. Essential to the economic prosperity of Poughkeepsie at the time, the factory hired local residents to manufacture and produce undergarments, shipping them throughout the nation and as far away as Australia.

Although run-down and abandoned since the company moved out, the building continued to stand firm. Capitalizing on the enriching history of this ancient building, Hudson River Housing thought it would be an essential reconstruction when looking into its Middle Main initiative.

This new community hub spot features private apartments for 15 residents, The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen, a communal kitchen to rent out for classes or private events, art studios, North River Roasters, a coffee shop for locals to come by and sit, and  youth arts programs through Spark Media Project and Mill Street Loft.

A partner of Hudson River Housing, Spark Media Project, is a program that provides workshops and classes to the youth to engage them in media production and the arts. Hoping to expand their horizons, Spark Media leaders also saw the importance of capitalizing on the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory.

Looking forward as Hudson River Housing turns the building over to the community, the hope is that the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory will become a household name.

 

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