The Visitors Center is the first officially organized building that greets visitors who come in by Metro North train or from Route 9D. Organized by Linda Hubbard, an artist and longtime tourism advocate for the Hudson Valley, and Beacon's Chamber of Commerce, the Visitors Center was a work of art from artists and people passionate for the area. Linda is one of the co-owners of RiverWinds Gallery on Main Street, which used to serve as a tourism center for the area until the Visitors Center was conceptualized and built. She was also the first president of BeaconArts.
Created and built by volunteers in years prior to 2010 (we are awaiting confirmation on the year of establishment), the Visitors Center continues to be staffed by volunteers. The building started as a modular building, which was constructed by George Mansfield, longtime city councilman and owner of the popular bar/restaurant, Dogwood. George is known to get involved in public works, including the "Welcome to Beacon" letter blocks at the top of the train station, the restorative painting of the Dummy Light, and many other projects. George enlisted many local artisans including Niche Modern for lights, and others. Interior designer Bill Miller secured a donation of paint from Benjamin Moore.
The Visitors Center sees thousands of people through its doors each year. In 2015, it saw almost 4,000 people, and that was from people who registered in the official book. Many people don't write in the book, notes volunteers, so the number is higher. People do collect information about Beacon and the Hudson Valley from the rows of brochures made available to everyone. Businesses are encouraged to distribute their flyers or brochures in the Visitors Center at no cost. Destinations ranging from the Vanderbilt Mansion to Beacon-based businesses are on display there.
Today, maintenance and updates continue on the Visitors Center. Most recently, a donation of air conditioning units were installed. Windows were sealed with more insulation, filling gaps two fingers wide. The Visitors Center is not totally winterized, so any bit of insulation and sealing helps. Several resources utilize the Visitors Center, including The Cold Spring Tlley that stops there to let visitors collect information. A journal brochure about Beacon will also be produced and be distributed to Hyatt House and various bed and breakfasts.
Where to Park
Check A Little Beacon Blog's Free Public Parking Guide for parking locations and cross streets, which is sponsored by Antalek and Moore's car insurance option. There is free parking in the City Hall building from 5pm to 11pm down the hill from the Visitors Center. You will also find a small but free public lot behind Hudson Beacon Glass, and another one near Beacon Bread Company. Additionally, you may find parking on Main Street.