Skyline from the east
Location in Orange County and the state of New York.
Location of New York in the United States
|Incorporation as village||1848|
|Incorporation as city||1888|
Joseph M. DeStefano (D)
|o Total||5.14 sq mi (13.3 km2)|
|Elevation||520 ft (160 m)|
|Highest elevation (North boundary along Kennedy Terrace)||740 ft (230 m)|
|Lowest elevation (Unnamed tributary of Monhagen Brook along south boundary)||460 ft (140 m)|
|o Estimate (2016)||27,653|
|o Density||5,041/sq mi (1,946/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|o Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Wikimedia Commons||Middletown, New York|
|Website||City of Middletown, New York|
Middletown is a city in Orange County, New York, United States. It lies in New York's Hudson Valley region, near the Wallkill River and the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains. Middletown is situated between Port Jervis and Newburgh, New York. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 28,086, reflecting an increase of 2,698 from the 25,388 counted in the 2000 Census. The zip code is 10940. Middletown falls within the New York metropolitan area.
Middletown was incorporated as a city in 1888. It grew in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a stop on several lower New York State railroads, attracting several small manufacturing businesses. The surrounding area is partly devoted to small dairy farms. Mediacom Communications Corp, the Galleria at Crystal Run, SUNY Orange, Walmart, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Times Herald-Record are major employers in Middletown.
John Green purchased land from the DeLancey patent and probably settled the area around 1744. Due to its location between other settlements, residents adopted the name of Middletown, changing it later to South Middletown to avoid confusion with a nearby location. Eventually they dropped the word "south," using the current name when the community became a village in 1848. The village was incorporated as a city in 1888.
The First Congregational Church of Middletown, established in 1785, has the highest spire downtown. Construction of its first building was a sign of Middletown becoming established as a village. Its current church building was constructed in 1872.
Middletown grew through the 19th century, stimulated by construction of the Erie Railroad and the New York, Ontario and Western Railway (among others). The city was industrialized, developing factories for a number of industries, such as shoe, lawnmower blade, and furniture. These did well through the World War II era.
Due to industrial restructuring most of these businesses had closed by the 1960s. In 1968, Middletown annexed the adjacent Village of Amchir. In the 1970s the economy of Middletown and surrounding communities suffered additional blows due to the closing of a large Ford Motor Company plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, and the downsizing of IBM operations in the area.
Responding to higher housing costs in New York City, from the 1970s, New York City police officers, firefighters and other workers began to move to the area, as local housing offered better value. These long-distance commuters helped to bolster the economy of the area. After 1986, however, New York City required its municipal employees to reside in the city, and Middletown lost this source of residential development. The only railroad left in town is the Middletown and New Jersey Railway, a freight line. The population has continued to grow into the 21st century, while the economy has shifted largely to service and retail, with a regional medical center a major employer in the area.
The downtown business district of Middletown suffered from suburbanization that drew off retail businesses. The "Miracle Mile" shopping strip and Lloyd's Supermarket were developed in the late 1960s and two later shopping malls, all located at the eastern edge of town along Route 211, near Route 17 and Interstate 84. The Orange Plaza mall drew several of the downtown shops into it by the mid-1970s, weakening downtown. To the East across Route 17, the Galleria at Crystal Run opened in the early 1990s. A Super-WalMart replaced the Orange Plaza mall in 2001. Some of the buildings downtown are abandoned or underused. But there has long been an active downtown bar and restaurant scene.
The downtown area has a number of historic churches. The Middletown City Hall and City Court are located on James Street. Prosperous neighborhoods include Presidential Heights. Highland Avenue is lined with large Victorian houses, some of the largest of which are now used as nursing homes. Other neighborhoods show the effects of loss of jobs and decline in the economy. The surrounding countryside was devoted partly to small dairy farms, but family farming has waned since the 1980s.
Middletown is the main business address for the newspaper Times Herald-Record and its owner, Local Media Group.Mediacom Communications Corp, a cable and other pay TV company, is headquartered outside the city in the Town of Wallkill. It is also a manufacturing location for Bell Flavors & Fragrances.
The downtown area, particularly North Street and East/West Main Street, has a variety of ethnic eateries and various small shops. A children's science museum, called The Interactive Museum, and a number of churches are located in the neighborhood. The city also has movie theaters, the historic Paramount Theatre, a local arts council, bowling alleys, WALL and WOSR radio stations and Thrall Library downtown.
There are active civic organizations: Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA chapters, as well as Lions Club, Elks Club, Kiwanis, Rotary Club and other service clubs. The Rotary Club runs an annual Horse Show at Fancher Davidge Park each fall. Middletown is also the site of the Orange County Fair each summer and the Orange County Fair Speedway.
Shopping in the area includes the Galleria at Crystal Run, a mall just east of Middletown, and a long retail strip along Route 211 on the east side of town.
Middletown has works by two prominent architects: Hillside Cemetery was designed by British architect and landscape designer Calvert Vaux, who worked with Frederick Law Olmsted to design New York City's Central Park. The J. W. Chorley Elementary School was designed by American architect Paul Rudolph, while serving as Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.
The Highland Lakes State Park is the nearest state park. Good choices for hiking, biking, and country drives are nearby.
Health care services are provided at Orange Regional Medical Center, a new hospital located in the Town of Walkill. It was completed in 2011, merging the faculties of the former Horton Medical Center and Arden Hill Hospital. It is a major employer in the region.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.3 km²). 5.1 square miles (13.3 km²) of it is land and 0.19% is water. The city is drained by Monhagen Brook and the Wallkill River.
Middletown can be reached from New York City by bus and is located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and NY 17 (the future Interstate 86). State routes 17M and 211 run right through the city, and US 6 parallels I-84 to the south.
The Middletown-Town of Wallkill station on Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis line is located nearby, in the Town of Wallkill, and provides rail service to Port Jervis, other communities in Orange and Rockland Counties and Bergen County, New Jersey, Hoboken and New York City via a transfer at Secaucus, New Jersey.
Randall Airport is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the center of Middletown. (ID: 06N)
The city of Middletown also offers a bus service, consisting of approximately a half-dozen routes throughout the city and the Route 211 commercial strip. A downtown transportation center is also planned as a central location for all local bus services. There is also a "Main Line" bus connecting to surrounding Orange County villages., and another route connecting to villages such as Newburgh & Woodbury.
As of the 2010 census, the population of Middletown is 28,086. The ethnic makeup is 39.7% Hispanic, 36.6% white (exclusive of Hispanics), 21.0% African-American, 1.9% Asian, and 0.8% Native American.
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,388 people, 9,466 households, and 5,963 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,939.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,907.1/km²). There were 10,124 housing units at an average density of 1,969.7 per square mile (760.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.68% White, 15.13% African American, 0.75% Native American, 1.69% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.33% from other races, and 4.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.11% of the population. 34.0% of households had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.0% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the 2000 census, the city's population was spread out with 27.8% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males. The median income for a household in the city was $39,570, and the median income for a family was $47,760. Males had a median income of $35,990 versus $28,429 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,947. About 13.5% of families and 17.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.4% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
Middletown is governed by a mayor and a city council known as the common council. It consists of 9 members: an alderman-at-large, who acts as president of the council, and eight members elected from wards. Each of the city's four wards elects two members. The mayor and the president of the common council are each elected at-large for four-year terms. The other council members have two-year terms. Terms of office begin on January 1.
A fire chief and three assistants are elected every three years by members of the city's engine companies. A corporation counsel, commissioners of public works and of assessment and taxation, a city clerk, registrar and a treasurer and any other officers required are appointed annually by the mayor and confirmed by the common council.
In the past 10 years, the Middletown public school system has shifted from maintaining numerous small neighborhood schools and combined more students into fewer magnet schools. Three elementary schools cover grade levels from kindergarten through fifth grade. Both Truman Moon Elementary School and John W. Chorley Elementary School have made way for Presidential Park Elementary School, the district's newest school, built in 2014. William A. Carter Elementary and Maple Hill Elementary are the district's two other elementary schools. In 2005, the Middletown School District implemented a full day kindergarten program at the request of the Middletown voters. Two middle schools in the district, Twin Towers Middle School and Monhagen Middle School collect the students from the elementary schools. Middletown High School is the only building for high school and includes grades nine through twelve. There is also a Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
Middletown High School offers many programs in addition to the basic educational classes found in most schools. It has a large and active sports program including football, baseball, basketball, tennis, swimming, track and field, soccer, lacrosse, softball and various other athletic programs, as well as various other after school academic and social programs and activities. The High School also offers a Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
SUNY Orange, previously known as Orange County Community College, is located in Middletown. Its campus includes the historic Webb Horton House (pictured), more commonly known as Morrison Hall. It also has a campus in Newburgh, and three satellite campuses, but the majority of buildings and students are in Middletown. A total of more than 6100 students attend SUNY Orange. In addition to credit classes, there are a wide variety of classes for lifelong learning.
The following communities and places are all located adjacent to, or within a few miles of Middletown:
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Retail businesses in Middletown are often referenced in the phone calls of the TV series The Jerky Boys. These have included the Route 211 Taco Bell in "Civil War Memorabilia (Part 2)", from The Jerky Boys 3, and the Middletown Motel and International Golf Discount in "What's Wrong With This World" from The Jerky Tapes (2000).