Open Space Institute protects viewshed of Washington's Headquarters, nation's first historic site

NEW YORK, NY - February 5, 2003 - Today the Open Space Institute helped protect a critical parcel of land that adjoins George Washington's Headquarters, the nation's first historic site. 

Washington's Headquarters is located in the Town of Newburgh, Orange County. 
Through its land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, OSI purchased 1.6 acres just south of the headquarters, in its immediate viewshed. The purchase was made possible by the Lila Acheson & Dewitt Wallace Endowment Fund for the Hudson Highlands. Up until today, the property was owned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Attorneys representing OSI and IBEW closed on the transaction this morning at OSI's offices in Manhattan. 

According to OSI President, Joe Martens, the small parcel represents the first addition to the historic site in more than a century. “We were thrilled when the opportunity presented itself. Washington chose this spot for its spectacular views up and down the Hudson and this parcel is critical to that viewshed,” said Martens. 

Martens noted that OSI has placed high priority on historic properties since the organization was founded more than twenty-five years ago. “Its often the case that our open space priorities overlap with Revolutionary War history, in large part because the Hudson River was the stage on which the war was played out,” said Martens. 

According to Tom Hughes, Historic Site Manager at Washington's Headquarters, OSI's protection of the Headquarters' viewshed bodes well for the museum's future. “The purchase of this property by OSI not only protects an important historic resource, it also significantly helps Washington's Headquarters plan for its future enhancements and expansion,” said Hughes. 

The property acquired by OSI this morning is located just two blocks above the Hudson River's edge, directly south of the Headquarters. There is a single story commercial structure on the site, which would allow for expansion of the House Museum, built in 1910. Washington used a neighboring site, the Jonathan Hasbrouk House, built in 1750, as a command post from 1782-1783. 

The Open Space Institute is a nonprofit organization that protects significant recreational, environmental, agricultural, and historic landscapes in New York State. Since its inception more than 25 years ago, OSI's work has expanded or created more than 30 parks and preserves and permanently protected over 70,000 acres from the Palisades to the Adirondacks.

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