13A North Front Street, New Paltz, NY
Built in 1883 for Samuel Judkins, this building currently is the home to The Bakery, a restaurant staple to the New Paltz community. Formerly a barn, this annex to 13 North Front Street (currently The Bicycle Rack) has since undergone renovations to near double in size. Its history since being a barn includes being a laundromat and most notably, the headquarters for the New Paltz Food Coop.
The Bakery as it is today is a synthesis of two buildings. In the back is the original building being an 875 square foot barn with a lofted second floor. This building is where the kitchen is currently, and the second floor contains offices, storage, and a bathroom. The kitchen has high ceilings with horizontal beams, referencing the barn-like construction.
The newer part of the building is the 800 square foot addition, which is currently the storefront for The Bakery. The storefront consists of a display case spanning most of the length of the room, a deli case, a toaster oven, espresso machine, and a counterspace. The back wall of the storefront has a door connecting to the kitchen (the original building component) and a large glass-doored refrigerator containing refrigerated drinks. There is a smaller version of this refrigerator on the adjacent wall, as well. In between the two refrigerators is a bathroom, and on the other side of the smaller refrigerator are the stars to the upstairs, a door to the basement, and then the door to the outside seating area. The second floor is also lofted here and houses additional seating, both booths and tables, for patrons to eat at.
The ownership of the 13A North Front Street began in 1883 when it was built for Samuel Judkins. By 1886, it was sold to William Delamater for $1,600. I am still investigating the ownership in the next few decades. The next known property owner was Virginia Decker who used the barn as Ginny Decker’s Center Laundromat in 1970. By 1975, Alan Stout bought the property (both 13 and 13A) and turned 13 into The Bicycle Rack while renting out 13A to the New Paltz Food Coop. In 1981 Stout leased the barn to David Santner who turned the space into what is now The Bakery. In 1994, Santner doubled the size of the space to what it is today.
The former barn at 13A North Front Street has mostly been used as a center for New Paltz social life. It was built in 1883 for Samuel Judkins by Daniel Kniffio. By January 1886, Andrew Dubois occupied the space, yet it seems Judkins was still the landlord. Later that year, William Delamater bought the property from Judkins for $1,600. At that time, there is reference to Delamater having “three barns” on the property and expects “to have one for a bake house and one to sell bread.” This information leads one to believe that perhaps the current 13A might be a barn built at that time, however there is not too much evidence supporting this, and it seems more likely that 13A is the original barn built in 1883.
When Virginia Decker owned the space in 1970, she used the barn as Ginny Decker’s Center Laundromat, which supposedly was more of a laundry service rather than a typical laundromat with self-serve machines. It was noted that by the end of her time there, there was an extra large waterline to the barn, which would make for an ideal kitchen in the future.
In 1975, Alan Stout bought both 13 and 13A, turning 13 into a bicycle shop known as The Bicycle Rack, while renting out 13A, a then vacant space, to the New Paltz Food Coop, an organization started on the SUNY New Paltz campus that supplied bulk beans and grains to its customers, when those items were not commonly found in stores at the time (i.e. brown rice.) The second floor of the Coop was used for community classes such as Tai Chi. The Coop lasted for a few years, but closed around 1979.
In 1981, a former student from SUNY New Paltz and member of the Coop, David Santner, rented 13A from Stout, turning it into The Bakery. The space was filled to the brim, the kitchen occupying most of the space, while customers would have very little room to stand.
Santner said his goal in starting The Bakery was to have a place where people from all parts of the New Paltz social life could visit. So in 1994, Santner and Stout arranged for renovation of the space, adding the 800 square feet for seating and additional customer space. This renovation also coincided with an expansion to the menu from just baked goods to include sandwiches as well. Santner said they were one of the first places to have an espresso machine in New Paltz which made The Bakery known for this hot commodity.
One of the most important contributions Santner and Stout were able to make to the community came from their desiring of outdoor seating. Santner said his ideal restaurant would have been built somewhere next to a park so people could enjoy the outdoor eating experience. However, since this was not what was available to them, Santner and Stout got a permit from the Village of New Paltz in 1996, granting them permission to maintain a landscaped outdoor seating area, a novelty at the time. This permit set the stage for future New Paltz establishments to have outdoor seating permits as well.
The Bakery also introduced an important tradition to the New Paltz culture when it began hosting The Night of 100 Pumpkins in 1990. Santner said his wife came up with the idea to host a pumpkin carving contest open to the community around Halloween time. The event, which has occurred annually since its inception, features carved pumpkin displays, as well as free hot chocolate, cider, and pumpkin bread. The Bakery’s location on North Front Street, being a one-way, wide street near the end of the traditional Halloween parade route, makes it a convenient place for people to gather and take part in the festivities. It is truly a haven of the New Paltz social life.
Kwiatoski, Debbie. “Planners encourage property owners to find solution for garden spillover.” The Daily Freeman 10 July 1996. Print.
Ryan, Jeanne. “The Bakery builds on 800-square-foot addition.” Huguenot Herald 22 Dec 1994. Print.
Santner, David, and Alan Stout. Personal interview. 13 Mar 2013.
“The Bakery, in New Paltz, NY.” Photograph. Baking Fix, 7 May 2011. Web. 15 Mar 2013.
Clips of articles also referenced (from the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection):
New Paltz Times: 11 Apr 1883, 12 Jan 1886, 5 Nov 1886