And There Sits the Orange County Government Center - Daily Hudson Valley News

And There Sits the Orange County Government Center

Jan 13th, 2015 | By | Category: Lifestyle

As a professional stager, I suggest cost effective changes before a home goes on the market. Fixing something that is broken always makes the list.

As a design student, I featured Paul Rudolph’s Orange County Government building in a report on architectural styles. It seems out of place for Goshen but sometime ago it was approved and, love or hate it, it is ours.

The government building has been sitting vacant for 3 years now. It’s broken. It is not getting fixed. It would cost 75 million for the county to get it up and running again in an estimated 3 years. I’m not holding my breath on this ‘tentative’ plan.

Manhattan architect Gene Kaufman’s proposal is to create a center where art will be created in a collection of studios. It is more like a manufacturing facility and it is likely, most of the art created there will be exported to purchasers outside the county.

The plan does not rely on local people coming to the arts center or buying art created there. The intended tenants are mid-career and late-career artists with well-established styles, prices, dealers, galleries and clients. Like many manufacturers, they’re looking to Orange County for inexpensive real estate, an educated workforce, access to transportation and a pleasant way of life.

The arts center would be like the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, Lycian Stage Lighting, Costume Armor, Union Square Group and the other designers and manufacturers here in Orange County whose products are exported for the arts and entertainment industries.

In 2007, revenue from agriculture amounted to approximately $70 million. Revenue from the arts amounted to approximately $140 million. Everyone talks about promoting agriculture in the County. The arts are already generating twice as much, virtually unrecognized and unappreciated.

The arts and entertainment are this nation’s largest export. This arts center will bring that export activity to Goshen. The plan estimates 270 jobs in the center, or about 3 jobs for each of the 82 tenants. Seems a reasonable estimate.

Many will buy local and engage the services of personal assistants, packers and shippers, printers, writers, photographers, publicists, web designers, travel agents, insurance companies, bookkeepers, accountants, attorneys and more.

The arts center would provide an opportunity for local schools for education, internships, class trips and employment. Since the building will go back on the tax rolls, the Goshen Central School District will receive more taxes.

Building a second, new government building on the Erie Street site is an integral part of the plan, which provides two buildings to the Village of Goshen. A new arts maker space housing 80 new businesses, together with a new government building, will mean far more traffic and local business for Goshen then restoring the original one.

The plan has a lower price tag than any alternative. If this opportunity with Kaufman passes, 10 years from now, when the building is sitting vacant and in worse condition, then what? It is broken. It is time to fix it. What an amazing opportunity for Goshen.


Have a decorating question? Send it to Claudia.

Claudia Jacobs DesignsClaudia Jacobs is a decorator, professional stager, columnist, mom, friend & not in that order. Living life with joy & owner of Claudia Jacobs Designs in Goshen, NY. Voted 2011 RESA Professional Stager of the Year in the Northeast. Claudia can be seen each Tuesday on Hudson Valley Insider. Visit or call 845-294-8993. Send questions and photos to Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.


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