Kingston’s After-IBM Years
The loss of IBM was devastating for Ulster County. It has been estimated that IBM counted for 12% of the county’s entire economy. Businesses that served IBM and IBMers suffered. The housing market was glutted with properties as IBM employees who relocated to other areas sold their homes. But thousands of IBM families stayed in the region, continuing to contribute to the economy and volunteering for scores of non-profits.
Kingston continues to be the locus of government, healthcare, finance and professionals like lawyers, accountants and insurance agencies. Many manufacturing businesses thrive in Kingston and in nearby towns. They include specialty firms making products as diverse as dolls, encaustic paints, and luxury woodturnings. A younger generation has moved to Kingston, attracted by the arts scene, affordable housing and access to a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities.
Kingston’s neighborhoods continue to change. Rondout has become a center of water-related recreation and nightlife and many of its remaining historic properties are being restored. Midtown is the city’s most diverse neighborhood and is increasingly becoming home to arts and media-related businesses. Uptown continues to be a center for government, historic tourism and now specialty retail establishments.