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How to cure a city of its self-esteem issues

Upper Landing Park, Poughkeepsie, NY, Environmental Graphic Design by Drake CreativeYou know someone like this: smarter and more attractive than they believe they are, a compelling personality you know could succeed if they could only shake the negative perceptions they have of themselves.

Poughkeepsie looks out on a glorious stretch of water, two architecturally beautiful bridges and an ancient mountain chain. It almost sounds like San Francisco, doesn't it? It also has 300 plus years of history that include a stretch as New York's capital, when this state ratified the US Constitution, beautiful little neighborhoods filled with pristine, historic houses, and a Main Street that, if revived, would rival any I've seen. Still, while Poughkeepsie often feels on the verge of a breakthrough, it's trapped in the process of dusting off its backside and trying again.

The Upper Landing, a small stretch of land along the Hudson River and just under the Walkway Over the Hudson, is a fascinating property for many reasons, one being it is a microcosm of Poughkeepsie's history. One of the earliest settlements in Dutchess County, the Upper Landing began as a mill site (begin in this case starts ten thousand or so years after the beginnings of Native American history there). It served as homestead, commercial dock, Revolutionary War depot and industrial hub. Throughout the 20th century, Central Hudson had power stations on the site (and still does).