NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) — Visitors will once again be able to climb to the top of a 19th-century stone tower that was built in New York’s Hudson Valley to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the American Revolution.
A grand reopening of the 53-foot-high Tower of Victory is set for Saturday, capping a three-year restoration project to fix damage that kept its upper floor viewing platform closed for decades.
The limestone tower initially opened in 1887, commissioned in 1883 by Abraham Lincoln’s first son, Robert Todd Lincoln, then the U.S. secretary of war. But the tower’s roof was damaged by a 1950 hurricane, and eventual exposure to the elements caused structural damage. The $1.6 million restoration shored up the structure and replaced the roof.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which operates the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, said more work needs to be done, including landscaping and repairing bronze statues mounted on the tower. But visitors will once again be able to enjoy the tower’s views from the heights overlooking the Hudson River’s west bank.
“I hope that this restoration will rekindle the public’s gratitude for the sacrifices of the Revolutionary generation,” said Denise VanBuren, who helped raise funds for the project as a leader on the local, state and national levels of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Newburgh was selected for the Tower of Victory because that’s where George Washington kept his headquarters for the last 16 months of the war as the Continental Army prevented the British from advancing north from New York City. The fieldstone farmhouse where Washington lived from 1782 to 1783 still stands on the property, which was declared a state historic site in 1850.