Town of Red Hook
St. Margaret's Home
Red Hook's Newest Historic Landmark

St. Margaret’s

Paul Fredricks, Chair
Michael Brown
Kathy Douris

Jim Ross –
Town Board Liaison

Ad hoc advisors include members of the Town Recreation Commission, the Town Tree Committee, the Town Trails Committee, the Town Historian, and interested members of the
Red Hook community


Article In Poughkeepsie Journal July 9, 2014

Tree Dedication Ceremony Photos

St. Margaret's Brochure

St. Margaret's
Tree Dedication

Summer 2016 Events & Activities

Altimater associates' is comprised of fine composers include Eric Genuis and Kevin Becker; music virtuosos Leonid an Sofya Polishchuk, and Michael G. Ronstadt; plus well known authors, artists, and performers!

They specialize in music concerts and educational programs for all ages, life and business coaching seminars, parish missions and community events. Altimater is a resource for motivation and inspiration!

Schedule in detail...

Tatiana Rhinevault, Fine Art (May 1st -May 31st)
Carl Grieco, Sculpture (Outdoors throughtout the season)
David Robison, Classical Piano Concert (Perhaps at the Grand Opening.)
Leonid & Sofya Maryanova, Children's Music History Workshop (TBA)
Carney Rhinevault, Author / Historian (TBA)
Linda Rose D'Avanzo, Story Time for Grown-Ups (weekly, TBA)
Chess Match (TBA)

Artists' Collective of Hyde Park Exhibit (June through July 4th)
Jim Pospisil, Original Folk & Blues Concert / Community Picnic (Saturday 7 PM, June 18th, day before Father's Day)
Tony Musso, Author / Historian (TBA)
Linda D'Avanzo, Starving Artist's workshops (TBA)

Ronstadt Generations, Southwestern Folk & Mariachi Style Music Concert/ Community Picnic (Saturday 7 PM, July 3rd)
RHCAN Artz Dayz: The weekends of July 15th and 22: including a themed exhibit of area artists, possible events from Oblong Books and the Red Hook Library, musicians and performers. Small stipends are available to arts workers.
Frank Murasso, in Concert with David Robison & Friends, Original Works (TBA)

RHCAN presents The Artist Project: A touring group from Connecticut presenting a collaboration of art, music, poetry and Dance: August 3
Art Exhibit (TBA)
Songwriters' / Composers' Workshops, by Local Professional Performing Artists. (TBA)

International Art Exhibit (?)
Fall Festival (?)

A Short History of St. Margaret’s
The story of St. Margaret’s properly begins with its founder and benefactress, Margaret Armstrong Astor. Raised for at least part of her childhood on the banks of the Hudson River, Margaret Armstrong was the daughter of Alida Livingston, whose ancestors had acquired vast tracts of Hudson Valley land in 1688, and General John Armstrong, who built Rokeby on a piece of that land. Another piece of that Livingston land would become the site for St. Margaret’s.

In 1818, Margaret Armstrong married the fabulously wealthy William Backhouse Astor. Aware of reform movements in large American cities and in an effort to do a “good work”, Mrs. Astor persuaded her husband in 1851 to buy a parcel of land from her brother and to establish in 1852 and 1853 the “St. Margaret’s Orphan Asylum”. Offering food and lodging to girls who either had no home or whose parents could not provide for them, St. Margaret’s also had on staff teachers who trained the girls in the “domestic arts”, such as cooking, sewing, ironing, etc. When the girls reached the age of sixteen, they were able to take positions in one of the large homes in the area or to marry.

Mrs. Astor funded St. Margaret’s until her death, and her descendants continued to support it for generations. When a combination of factors forced the institution to close in the 1930’s, the building became successively a welfare home, a private residence and finally a transitional living center, until that use too was terminated in the 1990’s.
St. Margaret’s was built in the “Tuscan Villa” or Italianate style, with large French windows and first floor ceilings that rise nearly twelve feet. The fluted columns are cast iron, and the exterior window and door trim is brownstone. The walls are fourteen and a half inches thick. The architect who designed the building has not yet been identified, although it seems likely that he was well known at the time and that he had been commissioned by the Astors or members of their extended family for previous projects.

An important building both historically and architecturally, St. Margaret’s was languishing until 2006 when Martin’s Foods, the parent company of Hannaford’s Supermarket, generously donated it together with nearly two acres of land to the Town of Red Hook. Within two years, the building was listed on both the State and the National Registers of Historic Places.


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