Building history

The Whitehill Pictet Engine & Ice Machine Company was  founded in 1890 by Scottish engineer inventor Robert Whitehil. The firm manufactured steam engines, ice making equipment, and steel and brass castings. In 1883, construction began on what is today The Foundry building. Designed by E.K. Shaw and built by Thomas Shaw’s Sons Newburgh Planing Mill, the factory complex included: a foundry, chemical plant for the refrigeration/ice machines, a cutting area, mould making facilities and an office. Whitehill manufactured some of the earliest practical ice making and refrigeration machinery using the Pictet process. These machines were mainly used to refrigerate box cars and cool down beverage plants. Whitehill’s constructed refrigeration machinery for two large outdoor ice skating rinks in Newburgh.

In 1986, Eastern Castings Corporation sold the site to two real estate developers who planned to build 120 units. The first set of units began construction in 1988 but didn’t deliver until 1999 due to the savings and loan financial crisis. While Phase I and II of the project eventually yielded 61 units,, the third and largest phase of the project stalled due to the Great Recession. The current developers bought the project in Spring 2021 with the plan to build beautiful rental apartments in Phase III overlooking the Hudson River. The completed project you see today builds on over 140 years of history.

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