Welcome back to day two of Blake’s Cardboard Piano tour. Yesterday we saw some of the interesting part of the Poughkeepsie train station, both inside and out. There are some beautiful architectural elements, including a steel overhead walkway outside and high arched windows on the facade.
But there were a couple of other places I wanted to visit, so I carefully rolled up the piano and headed out on foot, the way Blake would have. Looking out toward the Hudson River and the Mid-Hudson Bridge—or the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge, officially—you can see the park mentioned in the story.
Named Waryas Park, after Victor C. Waryas, former mayor of Poughkeepsie, it sits just at the edge of the river, one block west of the station.
It is peaceful and beautiful and such a surprise to find right there at the edge of the city.
There’s a plaque dedicated to the former mayor that’s built into the front of this very large boulder, conveniently located at the entrance to the park.
You may notice that within the park, similar architectural features as the station can be found. The pyramid-shaped roof and steel frame of the picnic area mimic the distinctive walkway from the street level to the tracks at the station. The streetlamps are the same, as well.
A few blocks east of the park was a surprise the first time I found it, as I had no idea it was so close to the station.
But as you approach the station, the steeple to a church is visible through the trees for at least a mile. I thought, “No way; that can’t be Cole’s church.” But after checking with the lovely author herself, I was assured that it was, indeed, Cole’s church.
Known to locals as Church of the Holy Comforter, this Gothic Revival church built in 1860 is stunning, made of local bluestone with dark red trim accenting the doors and stained-glass windows. The doors are actually red and just gorgeous. I can almost picture Cole throwing open the doors and welcoming his congregation.
At the front of the church, there is a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus, and there are wildflowers and daffodils blooming all around in the spring.
The only disappointment was the fence surrounding the church. We couldn’t look inside or even get close enough to the front, so we had to limit ourselves to pictures at the back door, which was really red!
As unfortunate as the fence is, its also understandable. Some of the windows have been broken, and in the few times I’ve visited, haven’t been repaired. Which is sad. It’s a beautiful landmark in the community and it’s a shame to see it mistreated.
We tucked Blake’s piano in the fence for one last photo before heading back to the station.
It was absolutely wonderful to have a chance to take Blake’s piano back to Poughkeepsie, back to the train station, where the story began. Thank you Debra and the Poughkeepsie Street Team for their all-around awesomeness in allowing me to be a stop on the tour, and thank you for visiting!