I visited Kingston City Hall on a rainy day in April of 2017. It's a building I never put much thought into in my life, although I've been past it countless times. A few people told me I should check it out, and I also thought it'd be cool to meet the Mayor and photograph him, so I made it happen.
The outside architecture is neat. It was designed by the same architect at Saint Peter's Church in Rosendale, which I went to weekly when I was a kid.
I had the chance to wander around and photograph some of the interesting stairways, hallways, offices, and the city council chambers.
I discovered a great view from the upstairs men's room.
I met Mayor Steve Noble, and sat in on the end of a meeting he had. He then told me he it was time to officiate a wedding, and I watched that. He said that the job of mayor involved a lot more weddings than he expected. I wasn't comfortable photographing the bride and groom for that, but I got the picture of Steve doing his thing.
In my exploration, I had seen some stairs to a roof, where there was a locked door. I asked about the possibility of roof access then or another day, and within a few minutes, I was getting access to something better than the roof. The tower! Someone named Jim used a special key in the elevator to access a floor not available to the public, but we weren't close to the top yet.
After walking through rooms filled with boxes of old files and Christmas decorations, we headed up a series of stairways, including the ones pictures below. It was like something out of a video game or a fairy tale.
I crawled out of a small door at a top, so small that with my camera backpack it was tough to squeeze through. Then I found myself in the top of the tower, with beautiful brickwork, and great views of the surrounding city and Catskill Mountains. Even with the rain, the natural beauty and the aesthetics of the city were striking.
To me, it felt palpable that the city had a rich working class history, particularly with the style of many of the houses.
KHS! Forever the best! Full disclosure: I didn't go to Kingston High School (seen below) and I don't know much about it, besides that "Forever the Best" sports cheer that they had in the 1990s...and might still have today.
And finally, a winter shot of Kingston City Hall, that I shot a few months prior to this visit.