Kingston, N.Y. - Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack invite the public to visit and enjoy the Matthewis Persen House. The Persen House will offer extended hours and free public tours during its fourth summer season.
Since last season, Ulster County has forged ahead with developing the Persen House as a county-wide Cultural Heritage Center. The Ulster County Executive’s Office in conjunction with the Ulster County Clerk’s Office applied for and was awarded a Museum Assessment Program technical assistance grant from the American Association of Museums. With this grant, an experienced peer reviewer from the American Association of Museums will work directly with County staff from both offices to transition this small gem of a museum into a full fledged Cultural Heritage Center. In this capacity, the Persen House will exhibit collections related to the Persen House property as well as provide all heritage organizations in the County with space to present their exhibitions, thus creating a focal point for a coordinated system of heritage sites and organizations throughout the county.
"The Persen House holds a special place in the hearts of Ulster County residents and visitors," said County Executive Mike Hein. "As we move forward with creating a Cultural Heritage Center, the Persen House will become an even more vital component of our community."
County Clerk, Nina Postupack, is excited to begin the next step in the creation of a permanent Cultural Heritage Center at the Persen House. "Last year, our vision of exploring our cultural heritage became a reality by making available the Persen House for public tours. In addition to the tours, this year our staff will have the opportunity to work with the American Association of Museums to create a permanent collaborative cultural heritage site for all of Ulster County."
In 2010, approximately 2,300 people visited the Persen House and at least 10 organizations volunteered as guest docents.
The Persen House, located at the corner of Crown and John Streets in uptown Kingston’s historic stockade district will be open from Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend and Saturdays thereafter until mid-
November. Saturday tours are planned to be provided by historical society and museum volunteers from throughout the county.
The Persen House, named after its longest resident Matthewis Persen (1739-1819) and owned by Ulster County since 1914, has undergone extensive restoration since emergency repairs in 1999 revealed its historical significance. A Historic Structure Report discovered that it was built in five phases from 1661 to 1922. The house has witnessed the entire history of Kingston and even pre-dates the formation of Ulster County.
For further information about this and other outreach programs of the Ulster County Clerk please call County Clerk Nina Postupack at 340-3040 or visit the Ulster County Alive website at www.ulstercountyalive.com. Organizations interested in hosting tours of the facility during the upcoming season should call the Ulster County Records Center at 340-3415 or visit the Ulster County Archives online at ulstercountyny.gov/archives.