Historic Huguenot Street extends free membership to students

SUNY New Paltz students are now automatically eligible for free admission to the buildings and tours of the National Historic Landmark District, including free entry to all education programs, special member rates for all other events, and a 10% discount at the museum shop.  All they need to do is present a valid SUNY New Paltz student identification card.

Like SUNY New Paltz, Historic Huguenot Street is an educational organization chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.  Earlier this year, Huguenot Street set a record for the organization in the amount of money awarded for college scholarships.  Also this year, along with a fresh guest experience based on solid historical foundations, an expanded internship program with SUNY New Paltz, the return of the annual SUNY New Paltz Archaeology Field School, and greater attention to visiting scholars as guest speakers, Huguenot Street will launch a new set of programs that meet NYS Learning Standards in a number of areas.  Moreover, it has been active with SUNY New Paltz faculty to create a new consortium of Hudson Valley historians of Early America.

“I am delighted that Historic Huguenot Street has created this educational benefit for SUNY New Paltz students that will engage them in the unique history of our community and the many educational enrichment opportunities that this organization provides,” said SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “This is just one way that the college and Historic Huguenot Street are strengthening the partnership between these two anchor institutions in our community that extends well back into New Paltz’s history.”

“Historic Huguenot Street’s commitment to education at all levels is not just an important part of our past, it’s also a critical part of our present and future,” said Mary Etta Schneider, President of Board of Trustees of Historic Huguenot Street.  “Opening Huguenot Street’s doors to SUNY New Paltz students is a clear sign that our historical dedication to learning in our community remains strong.  It is also a mark of the high confidence we have in the educational quality of our new programs.”

Historic Huguenot Street’s ties to SUNY New Paltz, and role as a provider of quality education in the community, extend to the founding of the village.  The first schoolmaster, Jean Cottin, was appointed by New Paltz’s Huguenot settlers in 1689 and given “a little cottage” as a home on the end of what’s now Huguenot Street.  The New Paltz Classical School was started in 1828 by their direct descendants and followed five years later by the construction of an academy on Huguenot Street.  In 1889, that academy became the New Paltz State Normal School, which remained on Huguenot Street until 1906, when a new building—now “Old Main”—was constructed a mile away.  The academy became one of the founding institutions of the State University of New York in 1948.