The Hoffman House, located in historic Kingston, New York was built prior to October 1679, and with few exceptions, the original structure is intact.

Little of the history of the house and its occupants between 1679 and 1707 is known other than the first recorded owner of the property was Edward Whittaker, an English solider in the employ of the Duke of York.

In 1707, when Nicholas Hoffman became the owner of the residence, all transactions and information pertinent to the building were recorded.

historyThe most notable member of the Hoffman family was Nicholas’ son, Anthony. A blacksmith by trade, he served for many years as a trustee of Kingston, owned large estates in Ulster and Dutchess Counties, was an elected member of the Provincial Congress of New York City in 1774, was signer of the “Articles of Confederation” in 1775, was appointed a judge of Dutchess County in 1777, and was one of the regents of the University of New York in 1780.

In addition to its primary purpose as serving as a residence for the Hoffman family, it is believed that the building served as an early fortification and lookout, as evidenced not only by its location as the cornerstone of the Stockade area, but also by certain structural features (steps in the attic leading to the roof of the building).

On October 16th 1777, the British army plundered and burned Kingston. The Hoffman House was severely damaged but was restored by the family shortly thereafter. Char marks can still be seen in the attic section of the house.

The Hoffman Family owned and occupied the house for a total of 201 years. In 1908 it was given to the Salvation Army. During the mid part of the 1900’s, the residence was used as a warehouse and storage facility and fell into a state of total disrepair. In 1973, Kingston Urban Renewal Agency purchased it, and the exterior of the building was restored.

March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

In 1975, Pat and Ginny Bradley purchased the Hoffman House and began its restoration. The owners and a crew of devoted friends and relatives completed all the work.

Rather than destroying any part of the building, all usable materials were salvaged and restored, any warped or damaged floorboards were carefully removed, planed, sanded and if necessary, turned over or replaced. Original nails were also reused.

This same process was employed for restoring the molding, baseboards, mantels, and door paneling. Original door handles of wrought iron still exist on several doors. The bar top was made from wood from a 200 year old barn, and extensive research went into making the backboard reflect the woodworking style of the era. The “grill” above the bar is a reproduction of the original “bar and grill”. At night, the innkeeper would pull the grill down to lock up the spirits for safekeeping, as patrons would oftentimes sleep in the inn.

In June 1977, the Hoffman House Tavern, which began as a “Labor of Love” opened for business. The Hoffman House is an excellent example of an early American Dutch rubble house, featuring a fireplace in each of the main rooms; many small multi-level rooms; and wide-planked, random width floors. With very few exceptions, the entire structure, both interior and exterior, is intact.

One of the architectural and historic highlights of Kingston’s Stockade District, the Hoffman House was placed on the National Register as a historic landmark on June 13th 1975.