Putnam County News and Recorder

Cold Spring, NY



River Architects was hired to design the new offices of the 144 year old Putnam County News and Recorder when it relocated from its cramped headquarters. A few mismatched bricks of the cream colored brick facade was the only indicator that something was missing from the former meeting hall of the historic "Old Homestead" social club. No documents were known to exist, and there was no living memory of what was removed or why.

James spent hours combing through photographs and records on file at the Putnam Historical Museum, and finally came across postcards taken of the "Old Homestead", first of board members at a social gathering, then a blurry image that indisputably showed a portico supported by grand columns, and then finally of a World War I parade where the portico was decorated in bunting, and an official and Red Cross nurses were gathered on top to preside over a military parade. These documents proved crucial in determining the original design and materials of construction, as well as the social and civic engagement that the portico represented.

River Architects designed the office configuration and rear addition that houses the executive office and new elevator linking the two floors for the new owners of the PCNR. The reconstruction of the portico required the review and approval by the Historic District Review Board and a variance by the Zoning Board, both easily attained given the documentation that James had provided. The rear addition and elevator, as well as the change of use and resultant parking needs required extensive Planning and Zoning Board reviews.