Construction on Cupola at West Point Foundry

Trails will stay open during project

Beginning in June, construction will commence on a second phase of work to stabilize and interpret remains of the 19th-century ironworks within Scenic Hudson’s West Point Foundry Preserve. The centerpiece of the project will be the stabilization of the bell tower fronting the foundry’s 1865 Office Building and the restoration and reinstallation of the ornate, six-sided cupola that once capped the three-story structure.

Additional work will include stabilization of several historic walls and the installation of a new graphic panel interpreting Battery Pond, which provided a constant supply of water to power foundry machinery that manufactured some of America’s first locomotives, steam engines, pipes for New York City’s water system and Parrott guns, cannons credited with winning the Civil War. The grand, brick Italianate Office Building — the only freestanding foundry structure in the preserve — was constructed to reflect the facility’s substantial wartime profits, the equivalent of $40 million in today’s dollars.

Only a small portion of the preserve immediately around the Office Building will be closed during construction, which should be completed by the end of 2015. Popular trails will remain open throughout the project. However, visitors are urged to be cautious of construction vehicles that may need to access the property.

The project will cost $750,000, with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation providing $375,000 through a grant from the Environmental Protection Fund and Scenic Hudson providing the remainder. Meyer Contracting Corp. of Pleasant Valley, Dutchess County, met the state grant requirements of lowest and best qualified bidder and was chosen through a competitive process. The same firm undertook the first phase of stabilization and interpretation at the preserve, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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