Middletown, New York
From top, left to right: Skyline of Middletown; O&W Station; Gilman Center
Official seal of Middletown, New York
Location of Middletown, New York
Map
Interactive map of Middletown
Coordinates: 41°27′N 74°25′W / 41.450°N 74.417°W / 41.450; -74.417
Country United States
State New York
CountyOrange
Incorporation as villageMay 15, 1848; 175 years ago (1848-05-15)
Incorporation as cityOctober 9, 1888; 135 years ago (1888-10-09)[1]
Government
 • TypeMayor–council
 • MayorJoseph M. DeStefano (D)
 • Council members
  • At-Large Member:
  • J. Miguel Rodrigues (D)
  • Ward 1:
  • Kevin Witt (D)
  • Joe Masi (D)
  • Ward 2:
  • Andrew Green (D)
  • Jerry Kleiner (D)
  • Ward 3:
  • Katie Wray (D)
  • Paul Johnson (D)
  • Ward 4:
  • Jude Jean-Francois(D)
  • Sparrow Tobin (D)
Area
 • Total5.33 sq mi (13.81 km2)
 • Land5.31 sq mi (13.74 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
Elevation
520 ft (160 m)
Highest elevation
(North boundary along Kennedy Terrace)
740 ft (230 m)
Lowest elevation
(Unnamed tributary of Monhagen Brook along south boundary)
460 ft (140 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total30,345
 • Density5,719.00/sq mi (2,208.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
10940
Area codes845
FIPS code36-47042
Wikimedia CommonsMiddletown, New York
Websitewww.middletown-ny.com

Middletown is the largest city in Orange County, New York, United States. It lies in New York's Hudson Valley region, near the Wallkill River and the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. Middletown is situated between Port Jervis and Newburgh, New York. At the 2020 United States census, the city's population was 30,345, reflecting an increase of 2,259 from the 28,086 counted in the 2010 census. The zip code is 10940. Middletown falls within the Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown Metropolitan Statistical Area, which belongs to the larger New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area.[3]

Middletown was incorporated as a city in 1888. It grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a stop on several lower New York State railroads, attracting several small manufacturing businesses. SUNY Orange, Times-Herald Record, U.S. Postal Service, County of Orange, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Orange & Rockland Utilities, and the City of Middletown are major employers in Middletown. Many residents also work at the Galleria at Crystal Run, Walmart, Media Communications Corp, and Garnet Health in the nearby Town of Wallkill.

History

East Main Street in 1909
The Erie Railroad's Middletown Station in 1971, now Thrall Library

Early history

John Green purchased land from the DeLancey patent and probably settled the area around 1744. Due to its location between other settlements, residents adopted the name of Middletown, changing it later to South Middletown to avoid confusion with a nearby location. Eventually they dropped the word "south", using the current name when the community became a village in 1848. The village was incorporated as a city in 1888.

The First Congregational Church of Middletown, established in 1785, has the highest spire downtown. Construction of its first building was a sign of Middletown becoming established as a village.[4] Its current church building was constructed in 1872.

Growth

Middletown grew through the 19th century, stimulated by construction of the Erie Railroad and the New York, Ontario and Western Railway[5] (among others). The city was industrialized, developing factories for various industries, such as shoes, lawnmower blades, and furniture. These did well through the World War II era.

The Webb Horton mansion and adjoining 18 acres were donated to establish Orange County Community College in 1950.[6]

Due to industrial restructuring, most of the old manufacturing businesses had closed by the 1960s. In 1968, Middletown annexed the adjacent Village of Amchir.[7] In the 1970s, the economy of Middletown and surrounding communities suffered additional blows due to the closing of a large Ford Motor Company plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, and the downsizing of IBM operations in the area.

Responding to higher housing costs in New York City, from the 1970s, New York City police officers, firefighters and other workers began to move to the area, as local housing offered better value. These commuters, who drove two hours each way, helped to bolster the economy of the area. After 1986, however, New York City required its municipal employees to reside in the city,[8] and Middletown lost this source of residential development. The only railroad left in town is the Middletown and New Jersey Railway, a freight line. The population has continued to grow into the 21st century, while the economy has shifted largely to service and retail, with a regional medical center a major employer in the area.

Modern Middletown

The downtown business district of Middletown suffered from suburbanization that drew off retail businesses. The "Miracle Mile" shopping strip and Lloyd's Supermarket were developed in the late 1960s and two later shopping malls, all located in nearby Town of Wallkill along Route 211, near the intersection of Route 17 and Interstate 84. The Orange Plaza mall in the Town of Wallkill drew several of the downtown shops into it by the mid-1970s, weakening the City of Middletown's downtown. Also in the Town of Wallkill, the Galleria at Crystal Run opened in the early 1990s, and in 2001 a Wal-Mart Supercenter replaced the Orange Plaza mall. Some of the buildings downtown are abandoned or underused, but there has long been an active downtown with small business, professional offices, bars and restaurants.

The downtown area has several historic churches. The Middletown City Hall and City Court are located on James Street.[9] Prosperous neighborhoods include Presidential Heights. Highland Avenue is lined with large Victorian houses, some of the largest of which are now used as nursing homes. Other neighborhoods show the effects of loss of jobs and decline in the economy. The surrounding countryside was devoted partly to small dairy farms, but family farming has waned since the 1980s.

Middletown is the main business address for the newspaper Times Herald-Record and its owner, Local Media Group.[10] Mediacom Communications Corp, a cable and other pay TV company, is headquartered outside the city in the Town of Wallkill. It is also a manufacturing location for Bell Flavors & Fragrances.[11]

Places of interest

The First Congregational Church, built in 1872, has the tallest spire downtown

The downtown area, particularly North and Main streets, has a variety of ethnic eateries and various small boutiques and thrift shops. Several churches are located in the neighborhood. The city has the single-screen, 1,100-seat Paramount Theatre, which also offers stage shows and concerts, a local arts council, a bowling alley, WALL and WOSR radio stations, Thrall Library and the Van Duzer Historical Society museum downtown.[citation needed]

Civic organizations include Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA chapters, as well as Lions Club, Elks Club, Kiwanis and Rotary Club. The Rotary Club runs a Horse Show at Fancher Davidge Park each fall. Middletown is the site of the Orange County Fair each summer and the Orange County Fair Speedway. Highland Lakes State Park is the nearest state park. Good choices for hiking, biking and country drives are nearby.

Shopping in the area includes the Galleria at Crystal Run, a mall just east of Middletown, and a long retail strip along Route 211 on the east side of town.

Middletown's Hillside Cemetery was designed by the British architect and landscape designer Calvert Vaux, who worked with Frederick Law Olmsted to design Central Park in New York City. The J. W. Chorley Elementary School, designed by the American architect Paul Rudolph, was built in the 1960s and demolished in 2013.[12]

Health care

Health care services are provided at Garnet Health Medical Center (formerly Orange Regional Medical Center), a hospital located in the town of Walkill.[13] ORMC was completed in 2011, merging the faculties of the former Horton Medical Center and Arden Hill Hospital. It is a major employer in the region.[14]

Geography

Perspective map of Middletown from 1887 with list of landmarks by L.R. Burleigh

Middletown is located at 41°27′N 74°25′W / 41.450°N 74.417°W / 41.450; -74.417 (41.4458, -74.4221)[15] in Orange County. The city is nearly surrounded by the town of Wallkill, except for its southernmost section, which is in the town of Wawayanda.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.3 km2), of which 5.1 square miles (13.3 km2) is land and 0.19% is water. The city is drained by Monhagen Brook and the Wallkill River.

Climate

Climate data for Middletown, Orange County, New York, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1893–2011
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 66
(19)
73
(23)
85
(29)
92
(33)
95
(35)
97
(36)
102
(39)
97
(36)
100
(38)
88
(31)
78
(26)
71
(22)
102
(39)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 54.5
(12.5)
56.6
(13.7)
67.6
(19.8)
81.0
(27.2)
85.6
(29.8)
89.4
(31.9)
92.2
(33.4)
90.4
(32.4)
86.1
(30.1)
77.8
(25.4)
68.8
(20.4)
56.5
(13.6)
93.7
(34.3)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 34.1
(1.2)
37.4
(3.0)
46.8
(8.2)
59.6
(15.3)
70.2
(21.2)
78.0
(25.6)
82.4
(28.0)
80.6
(27.0)
73.4
(23.0)
62.3
(16.8)
50.0
(10.0)
38.7
(3.7)
59.5
(15.3)
Daily mean °F (°C) 26.0
(−3.3)
27.7
(−2.4)
36.2
(2.3)
48.5
(9.2)
59.3
(15.2)
67.6
(19.8)
72.3
(22.4)
70.5
(21.4)
63.4
(17.4)
52.5
(11.4)
41.4
(5.2)
31.4
(−0.3)
49.7
(9.9)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 17.8
(−7.9)
18.0
(−7.8)
25.6
(−3.6)
37.5
(3.1)
48.4
(9.1)
57.3
(14.1)
62.2
(16.8)
60.4
(15.8)
53.3
(11.8)
42.6
(5.9)
32.8
(0.4)
24.1
(−4.4)
40.0
(4.4)
Mean minimum °F (°C) −0.4
(−18.0)
2.2
(−16.6)
9.1
(−12.7)
25.3
(−3.7)
26.5
(−3.1)
45.9
(7.7)
52.5
(11.4)
50.2
(10.1)
40.3
(4.6)
29.6
(−1.3)
19.9
(−6.7)
7.7
(−13.5)
−3.0
(−19.4)
Record low °F (°C) −23
(−31)
−18
(−28)
−7
(−22)
13
(−11)
25
(−4)
38
(3)
38
(3)
41
(5)
27
(−3)
14
(−10)
10
(−12)
−21
(−29)
−23
(−31)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.59
(66)
2.09
(53)
3.02
(77)
4.03
(102)
3.80
(97)
4.62
(117)
4.19
(106)
4.49
(114)
4.27
(108)
4.55
(116)
3.21
(82)
3.54
(90)
44.40
(1,128)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.9 6.2 8.6 8.9 10.8 10.4 9.0 9.2 7.8 8.0 8.4 8.7 104.9
Source 1: NOAA[16]
Source 2: XMACIS2 (mean maxima/minima 1981–2010)[17]

Transportation

Middletown station is part of Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis Line

Middletown can be reached from New York City by bus and is located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and NY 17 (the future Interstate 86). State routes 17M and 211 run right through the city, and US 6 parallels I-84 to the south.

The Middletown-Town of Wallkill station on Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis line is located nearby, in the Town of Wallkill, and provides rail service to Port Jervis, other communities in Orange and Rockland Counties and Bergen County, New Jersey, Hoboken and New York City via a transfer at Secaucus, New Jersey.

Randall Airport is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the center of Middletown. (ID: 06N)

Middletown has a bus service, Middletown Transit, with four routes that connect at the bus station, located on Railroad Avenue, where passengers can connect to Coach USA and Short Line bus service.[18] There is also a "Main Line" bus connecting to surrounding Orange County villages[19] and another route connecting to areas such as Newburgh and Woodbury.[20]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
18706,049
18808,49440.4%
189011,97741.0%
190014,52221.2%
191015,3135.4%
192018,42020.3%
193021,27615.5%
194021,9083.0%
195022,5863.1%
196023,4753.9%
197022,607−3.7%
198021,454−5.1%
199024,16012.6%
200025,3885.1%
201028,08610.6%
202030,3458.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[21]

At the 2010 census, the population of Middletown was 28,086. The ethnic make-up was 39.7% Hispanic, 36.6% white (exclusive of Hispanics), 21.0% African-American, 1.9% Asian and 0.8% Native American.[22]

1896 photo of Arthur Fanshon and E. P. Nickinson, about age 6, in a production of The Mikado in Middletown

At the 2000 census,[23] there were 25,388 people, 9,466 households and 5,963 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,939.5 per square mile (1,907.2/km2). There were 10,124 housing units at an average density of 1,969.7 per square mile (760.5/km2). The racial make-up of the city was 68.68% White, 15.13% African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.33% from other races and 4.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.11% of the population. 34.0% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.27.

27.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64 and 12.0% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males. The median household income was $39,570 and the median family income was $47,760. Males had a median income of $35,990 and females $28,429. The per capita income was $18,947. About 13.5% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Middletown is governed by a mayor and a city council known as the common council. It consists of nine members: an alderman-at-large, who acts as president of the council, and eight members elected from wards. Each of the city's four wards elects two members.[24] The mayor and the president of the common council are each elected at-large for four-year terms. The other council members have two-year terms. Terms of office begin on January 1.

A fire chief and three assistants are elected every three years by members of the city's engine companies. A corporation counsel, commissioners of public works and of assessment and taxation, a city clerk, registrar and a treasurer and any other officers required are appointed annually by the mayor and confirmed by the common council.[25]

Education

See also: Poughkeepsie–Newburgh–Middletown metropolitan area § Colleges and universities

Twin Towers Middle School
Morrison Hall (SUNY Orange, Middletown campus)

Middletown has three elementary schools covering grade levels from kindergarten to fifth grade. Both Truman Moon Elementary School and John W. Chorley Elementary School have made way for Presidential Park Elementary School, the district's newest school, built in 2014. William A. Carter Elementary and Maple Hill Elementary are the district's two other elementary schools. In 2005, the Middletown School District implemented a full day kindergarten program at the request of the Middletown voters. Two middle schools in the district, Twin Towers Middle School and Monhagen Middle School, collect the students from the elementary schools. Middletown High School is the only building for high school and includes grades nine to twelve. There is also a Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

SUNY Orange, previously known as Orange County Community College, is located in Middletown. Its campus includes the historic Webb Horton House (pictured), more commonly known as Morrison Hall. It also has a campus in Newburgh, and three satellite campuses, but the majority of buildings and students are in Middletown. A total of more than 6100 students attend SUNY Orange. In addition to credit classes, there are a wide variety of classes for lifelong learning. Adelphi University offers a Hudson Valley Center located on the SUNY Orange campus.[26]

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine opened a Middletown Campus, in 2014, located in the former Horton Hospital.[27][28]

Surrounding area

Nearby Goshen, viewed from its Historic Track, the oldest continuously operating harness racing track in the country

Communities and locations adjacent to Middletown

U.S. Census Map

The following communities and places are all located adjacent to, or within a few miles of Middletown:[29]

Media

The Times Herald-Record, a daily newspaper, is the result of a merger of several newspapers. Its antecedent newspapers date back to the 1850s.[30]

WALL radio (Classic hits format), 1340 AM, has been on-the-air since 1942.[citation needed] WOSR, 91.7 FM, is a repeater of the NPR affiliate WAMC.[31]

Notable people

References

  1. ^ Sullivan, James; Williams, Melvin E.; Conklin, Edwin P.; Fitzpatrick, Benedict, eds. (1927), "Chapter I. Orange County", History of New York State, 1523–1927 (PDF), vol. 2, New York City, Chicago: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., p. 414, hdl:2027/mdp.39015019994048, Wikidata Q114149636
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ United States Office of Management and Budget (September 14, 2018). "OMB Bulletin No. 18-04" (PDF). Retrieved July 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Photo and description of the First Congregational Church
  5. ^ Yashinac, Rob (September 2006). "Ontario & Western Railway Station". Hudson Valley Ruins. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  6. ^ Kuhn, Robert (March 13, 1990). "National Register of Historic Places nomination, Webb Horton House". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  7. ^ "Amchir Residents Blast City Hall Neglect", Times Herald-Record, August 11, 1976, p. 23
  8. ^ "New York City residency requirements". New York City. Archived from the original on May 15, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  9. ^ "Middletown City Court", New York State Unified Court System. Retrieved April 5, 2012
  10. ^ Local Media Group, accessed November 15, 2015
  11. ^ "Worldwide Locations", Bellff, accessed August 18, 2015
  12. ^ "Chorley School: Background & History". Middletown City Schools.
  13. ^ "Garnet Health Medical Center", Garnet Health, accessed August 11, 2020
  14. ^ "Orange Regional Completes Move Into New Hospital", Orange Regional Medical Center. Retrieved June 8, 2012
    - "Orange Regional Medical Center: HBE Designs and Builds First Replacement Hospital in New York in 25 Years". HBE Corporation. 2009. Archived from the original on April 11, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  15. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access – Station: Middletown 2 NW, NY". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  17. ^ "xmACIS2". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  18. ^ "Middletown Area", Transit Orange. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  19. ^ CoachUSA Mainline
  20. ^ CoachUSA Hudson Line
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  22. ^ "All Zip Codes in Middletown NY".
  23. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  24. ^ "The Mayor and the Common Council". City of Middletown. Archived from the original on May 14, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  25. ^ Middletown City Charter, Title II, Election and Appointment of Officers, November 1, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  26. ^ "Hudson Valley Center". Meet Adelphi. Adelphi University. Retrieved August 19, 2023.
  27. ^ "Our Facilities" Archived 2015-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Touro College, accessed November 10, 2014
  28. ^ "Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrates opening of new Middletown campus", Daily Freeman, September 1, 2014; and "Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Announces Lease Space Available Adjacent to New Touro Medical College", Rand Realty, September 11, 2014
  29. ^ Map of Middletown and surroundings, google.maps, accessed 29 December 2009
  30. ^ Burkhart, Wade. "About Us". The Times Herald-Record. Archived March 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "WOSR", Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved October 4, 2023