For sixty-five years it sat as a ruin atop a small bluff on the shores of the Hudson River. But since the late 1970’s the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration has been a beautiful spot to learn about local history and take in the river scenery. It has no religious affiliation, but that doesn’t mean it is not an uplifting or inspiring setting.
To get there from the intersection of Route 9 and 301, take 301 west about 2.5 miles into downtown Cold Spring. Just before the main road ends, make a left onto Lunn Terrace. Lunn Terrace will curve right and go over the train tracks. Make a left onto Market Street. Market Street leads into the Cold Spring train station. As you enter the train station, the chapel will be on your right, just before Foundry Dock Park. On weekends, there is free parking in the train station.
As you approach the chapel from the train station parking lot, you will be facing the rear of the building. Follow the large stepping-stones around the right side of the building that form a wide curved path. As you crest the small hill, a great view of the Hudson awaits you. There is a bench that sits on the edge of the bluff where you can sit and enjoy the scenery.
Turn around to see the façade of the restored chapel. It was originally built in 1833, was abandoned in 1906 and sat vacant until the 1970’s when it was purchased and restored by a group of restoration-minded citizens.
The chapel is host to artistic events, many of which are free, through their Sunday Music Series and Sunset Reading Series. The chapel can also be rented for weddings and private events. They have one last music concert scheduled for this year on Sunday November 14th when the Claremont Trio will be performing. The chapel will also be participating in the “Cold Spring by Candlelight” Holiday Festival and House Tours. This one day event, held to benefit Partners with PARC, lets visitors tour historic homes and sites in the area. For more info visit www.partnerswithparc.org.
The chapel sits on a small piece of property, so if you are visiting from eastern Putnam, I would not make this my sole destination. The Foundry Dock Park is right next door, which makes for a nice place for a picnic. There are plenty of hiking opportunities close by, including Breakneck Ridge, West Point Foundry Preserve, Bull Hill, Constitution Marsh, and Little Stony Point State Park. So you could, for example, make of day of hiking Breakneck Ridge, have lunch at Foundry Dock Park, and then stop at the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration and thank your higher power that you survived Breakneck.
Chapel of Our Lady Restoration is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by a nonprofit organization aptly called The Chapel Restoration. For more information, contact them at 845/265-5537. For a more detailed history of the chapel and an events calendar visit www.chapelofourlady.com.