AJ Williams-Myers African Roots Center

                          Disaster Mansion

Disaster Mansion old photo

On a street that was once called Prospect, this house was built in 1869 by David Gill for his family. Gill, who was born in Ireland and arrived in Rondout from Quebec in 1848, was in the lumber business and a skilled carpenter who built houses up and down Prospect Street. In the book by William B. Rhoads, Kingston New York: The Architectural Guide, the three-story house is described as “a virtuoso performance with … Italianate paired brackets supporting the projecting eaves, as well as the turned balusters and pendants of the second-story porch.” Since that time, the house has been through a lot – rumored to have been a brothel, a home for children with disabilities and, most recently, converted into apartments. The current owners of the house dubbed it Disaster Mansion while noting “it’s not really a mansion, however, it is a disaster; and ‘old three-story house that was once pretty grand’ doesn’t run off the tongue or is quite as memorable as Disaster Mansion.” The owners have been working to restore the house to its former grandeur. There is still a long way to go. 
More info at: Disaster Mansion’s Website.

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