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Town of Cornwall
The Town of Cornwall today is home to more than 12,000 residents and comprises the hamlets of Mountainville, Firthcliffe Heights, Meadowbrook, Salisbury Mills, West Cornwall, and Orrs Mills, and the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson. Only 50 miles north of New York City, open space, outdoor activities, and the sweeping vistas offered by the Hudson Highlands and the Hudson River have attracted tourists since the late 1800s when the Town became a resort town for residents of New York City and New Jersey. The Town boasts more than a dozen buildings on the historic register, most dating from the mid-1800s, and many of which were once boardinghouses, taverns, and stores that supported the summer vacationers who flocked to the area. For detailed history, visit the Town of Cornwall website.
Storm King Art Center is the largest cultural destination in the Town of Cornwall. Attracting approximately 200,000 visitors annually, Storm King is proud of its long and close history with the Town of Cornwall.
Storm King Art Center and the Town of Cornwall
Storm King’s founder, Ralph E. Ogden, and the first President and Founding Chair, H. Peter Stern, were active participants in the Town. Mr. Ogden moved his manufacturing company, Star Expansion, from Bayonne, New Jersey to the hamlet of Mountainville in the Town of Cornwall in the late 1950s after the completion of the New York State Thruway.
Ogden was a significant philanthropist who helped develop the Town as we know it today. He financed the construction of the Mountainville Post Office and Fire House, the Town swimming pool, and the Town’s main ball field—which is known as Johnny’s Field after his son who died in an accident in his late teens and still used by Cornwall Little League. He was a major benefactor of the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum and heavily donated to the construction of the Boulevard building, funded the construction of the Storm King School’s library in 1958, and along with Mr. Stern, financed construction at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. Mr. Ogden was also an early supporter of the preservation of Sands Ring Homestead, funding a new cedar roof on the historic house and museum in the 1960s. After Ogden’s death, Mr. Stern funded many local organizations through the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, including many projects at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands and Storm King School and donated to other environmental and cultural organizations. This philanthropic tradition continues through Odgen’s grandchildren who now run the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation.
In the 1980s, Storm King amended its Charter to encompass open space protection. Working through the Star Expansion Company, and then Storm King Art Center, Mr. Ogden purchased and protected more than 2,100 acres of land that were protected and transferred to the Open Space Institute and ultimately became Schunnemunk State Park.
Storm King Art Center and Cornwall Today
Today, Storm King is an international destination for experiencing art in nature and welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually. Based on an Economic Impact Study conducted in 2017, Storm King contributed $12 million to the Orange County economy and supported more than 225 jobs. Of this, Storm King supports 120 jobs in Greater Cornwall and provides more than $4 million in economic impact. Storm King directly employs 25 Cornwall residents.
As an active participant and supporter of Town activities:
- Storm King participates in the work of the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and is active on the Town Comprehensive Planning Committee and Town Economic Development Advisory Council.
- Storm King supports Town events such as RiverFest, the Chamber Music at the Park series, the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson movie night, the Sands Ring Homestead, the Cornwall Community Foundation
- Storm King runs joint programs with the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum and the Black Rock Forest Consortium
- Storm King continues to support local municipalities to defend against the potential ecological impact of water withdrawal from the Mountainville wells, including allowing access to Storm King property for monitoring and providing financial support for the monitoring process
- Storm King provides free group visits to all Title 1 schools as well as schools in Orange, Putnam, Ulster, Sullivan, Dutchess counties
- Storm King welcomes other organizations working to improve our local community by providing retreat and meeting space, including the Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the Open Space Institute, the Orange County Citizens Foundation, Horizons on the Hudson, and the Town of Cornwall School Board
Things to Do in Cornwall
For a full list of restaurants, shops, and activities in Cornwall and around Storm King, visit the Local Amenities page.
More Cornwall Resources
- Greater Cornwall Chamber of Commerce: Information about events, local businesses, and the work of the Chamber
- Town of Cornwall: Wikipedia entry
- Town of Cornwall Government Website: Information about Town of Cornwall administration
- Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson: Information about the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson administration