KINGSTON, N.Y. – A photography center, once a mainstay in Woodstock, is about to embark on renovations to a former Midtown cigar factory to turn it into its headquarters.
The Center for Photography at Woodstock has purchased the 40,000 square-foot building at 25 Dederick St. for $2.4 million, according to Thomas Collins, managing director of SVN Deegan-Collins Commercial Realty which represented the seller.
The Center for Photography, which had been located in Woodstock for 45 years and moved to Kingston in 2021, is one of the “nation’s leading venues for the presentation, teaching, and critical discussion of photography in contemporary culture,” according to a press release. The center will use the space in Kingston to stage exhibitions, conduct workshops, screen films, present lectures, and hold community gatherings.
“We are thrilled that this venerable arts institution has found a permanent home in Midtown,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble in a statement. “CPW will be another incomparable asset to our Midtown Arts District, and we look forward to seeing new life breathed into this historic factory building.”
In the new building, the center aims to create a model for “a community-based, artist-oriented photography and visual art organization,” the release said.
“Once renovated, the majestic space at 25 Dederick Street will establish a significant cultural hub in an economically distressed area targeted for revitalization in Kingston’s 2022 Arts & Culture Master Plan.”
The building is located close to Kingston City Hall and the Kingston High School, and is one block away from the Empire State Trail and the recently redesigned Broadway-Grand Street intersection.
The organization’s goal is to move staff in by the fall of 2023 and open for visitors in 2024.
“We are thrilled to have acquired the former cigar factory at 25 Dederick Street as the future home of the Center for Photography at Woodstock,” said Brain Wallis, executive director of the center. “As a community-based, artist-oriented center the location in the Mid-Town Arts District is ideal. We intend to refurbish the historic structure with exhibition galleries, photo production labs, collection storage facilities, community rooms, a library, a bookstore, and a film theater. We hope to welcome visitors beginning in Spring 2024.”
Center founder and current Board Chairman Howard Greenberg said the purchase was a major step for the organization.
“It’s hard to imagine, forty-five years after we climbed the rickety staircase to our rented attic on Tinker Street in Woodstock, and put on our first small exhibitions of photographs by Paul Strand and Walker Evans, that CPW would be able to undertake such a significant acquisition as the Dederick Street building and begin to create a major cultural center in Kingston, I am immensely proud to be a part of it!”
The Dederick Street building, which dates to 1907, originally housed the G.W. Van Slyke & Horton Cigar Co., which at one time employed 800 people in its rolling department alone, according to the group Friends of Historic Kingston.
Later owners of the building included Federal Veterans Blinds and Canfield Supply. N&S Supply, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning distributor, purchased Canfield Supply in 1999, and it bought the Dederick Street building a year later.
Founded in 1977, the Center for Photography at Woodstock is a not-for-profit arts organization supporting artists working in photography and related media.
In early 2022, the center relocated to 474 Broadway in Kingston, where the exhibition “Race, Love, and Labor (an excerpt)” curated by Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, is now on view.
The center has also organized the exhibition, “Parallel Lives; Photography, Identity, and Belonging,” curated by Maya Benton, on view at a special pop-up gallery within the former IBM headquarters at Tech City, 101 Enterprise Drive, in the town of Ulster.