Hutton Brick Co.

July 17th, 2012 by



An old Brick Factory lays in ruins on the Hudson river, awaiting an unknown future.



History:
The Hutton Brick Co. was founded in 1865 and operated until at least 1979. this large operation featured a small narrow-gauge railway which hauled carloads of clay from an open strip-mine site west of the factory, across the now closed Steep Rocks Road just east of the factory buildings. This track crossed the old NYC Hudson Cement branch at a diamond crossing.

Current:
The property today is completely abandoned. Steep Rocks Road is fenced off from vehicular access, though your free to walk through an opening and up the road into the old factory area off to the right. (to the left is where the mine was located - it has basically returned to nature).

Most of the buildings here have been gutted of equipment. Anything metal was looted long ago by scrappers. Curiously, a building towards the river was re-purposed as a restaurant, which later failed. Here is where local kids have set up skateboard and dirtbike ramps. Several were building a new obstacle coarse as we wandered through - not bothered at all by our presence.

Further back were the drying sheds, and large (brick, of course) ovens were the clay was heated and molded. Several of the old narrow gauge tracks are still embedded in the concrete here. these are some of the only traces of the railway here. There doesn't seem to be any record online as to what happened to the 2 old locomotives and the clay hauling cars, though I did find this photo of what looks like one outside an abandoned restaurant in Oneonta. (This restaurant is currently listed as for sale).

Future:
the future of this old historic site is very much in question today. Apparently it has been marked for redevelopment:
To the south, another 300+ unit development known as Sailor's Cove threatens the Hutton Company Brick works, one of only two intact brick yards along the Hudson River. In response, Scenic Hudson, local citizens and New York Times editorials have questioned the rationale for building so many units on such relatively small sites along the river, raising the larger question of "whose riverfront is it?" - only those who can afford the new condos or the community at large?
Source: http://www.hudsonvalleyruins.org/yasinsac/ulster/ekingston.html

I of course think it'd be more of a benefit to the community at large to turn a location like this into a museum of Hudson Valley industry. That of course would take a huge amount of time and effort. Apparently in the early 1990s there was a plan to do just this, though clearly it never happened. Despite this, Kingston is surprisingly a town that is able to muster some good volunteer activity. The CMRR is rebuilding what would today be considered a 'rail line to nowhere' - from Kingston westword into the mountains. The Trolley Museum of New York still operates a short trolley ride (and has some ex NYCTA cars on the property to boot). Restaurants have moved into many of the old buildings at the 'Roundout' area.

3 responses to “Hutton Brick Co.”

  1. HV-Rob says:

    Thanks for the link Joe. The Kingston Planning Board terminated its review of the Sailor’s Cove project due the the developer’s “lack of providing funds for consultants and an inadequate environmental review.” You can read up on this at the Kingston Freeman, where many old articles are archived and freely accessible. (Here’s one – http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/07/13/news/doc4c3cbae8e7af5238029736.txt)

    The Hudson Cement site on the other hand, may not be around much longer as the Landing project seems to have all of its approvals in place.

    That reminds me that I need to update my page there! Since I posted that, the Powell and Minnock sheds in Coeymans were razed, leaving the Hutton yard as the last largely-intact brickyard on the Hudson.

    That area is pretty cool. Skateboarders, photographers, ATVers, fishermen, and people just enjoying the river, all coexisting peacefully. There is no need to develop the site, it’s already a fully-functioning park!

    An industrial museum would be cool. I’d like to see concerts in the kiln sheds, the way the Sloss Furnaces have been reused in Birmingham, AL.

    Another note about those sheds – they were relocated from a closed-down yard in Haverstraw.

  2. oleg says:

    Hello,

    I will pay for 3 locations I need for my movie.

    1. Some office like but in reletavely good condition somewhere in manhattan or with manhattan view across the river

    2. One abandoned house victorian like [rich architecture] in rural area not far from New York

    3. Some old type od dinner looks like in 60s-70s not far from New York City

    Thanks.

    Oleg

  3. Control says:

    Best I can say is good luck – assuming you’re looking for all abandoned spots you can shoot in for free (beyond the scout fee). The NYC area had all of these things at one point, but real estate here is like gold. No one is leaving it sitting around unclaimed anymore…

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  • About The Author

    Bad Guy Joe

    Bad Guy Joe
    Bad Guy Joe knows more about the NYC underground than anyone else on or below the surface of this planet. He has spent nearly 30 years sneaking into NYC's more forbidden locations. When not underground, he's probably bitching about politicians or building something digital. 
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