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WSDG Readies WKNY for the Future

WKNY relocated to a vacant historic building with the help of WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group.

WKNY's new home.
WKNY’s new home.

Kingston, NY (August 29, 2022)—When WKNY decided to relocate its radio studios across the street to a vacant historic building, the station called on WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group to design its new facilities.

The octagonal Bonesteel House was built in 1855 at 693 Broadway just across the street from the station’s longtime location at 718. Working with global architectural, acoustic design and systems integration firm — and Hudson Valley neighbors — WSDG, WKNY re-conceived the building to be as advanced as possible, with audio/video and energy systems developed to carry the community radio station’s content to Kingston’s 24,000-plus residents. The building was completed in June 2021 and broadcast operations began there in July 2021.

“One of the reasons we wanted this space was the super-sized windows facing Broadway. We imagined people seeing us and us seeing them while we made radio for our city and it was quickly apparent that concept had been turned into reality when we started working in the new studios,” said Jimmy Buff, executive director of Radio Kingston.

Another goal of Radio Kingston’s was to keep as much of its resources in the community as possible. ​ The Radio Kingston staff knew architect and acoustician John Storyk and WSDG, located down the road in Highland, NY, by reputation and personally.

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“Radio Kingston’s new studios utilized an ‘adapt and reuse’ approach to repurposing the original two-story octagon building,” Matthew Ballos WSDG partner/project manager, explained. “The building had excellent bones, but its unusual eight-sided configuration and center-floor fireplace/chimney presented a considerable challenge to space optimization.

“Fortunately, a close inspection of the fireplace assured us that the chimney had no structural significance. This welcome news enabled us to remove it entirely and provided open space to house a 250-square-foot On-Air/Live Studio,160-square-foot Talk Studio, 75-square-foot Talk Studio Control Room and a 100 -square-foot Production Room.  We also added a third floor-to-ceiling window and replaced all that glass with double-paned soundproof material,” Ballos added.

“The sound, or lack of, inside the studios is like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” Buff said. “There was major road construction just outside the studios last year when we moved and while you could feel it — the ground literally shook — you couldn’t hear it.”

WKNY went on the air in December 1939 and will celebrate 83 years continuously on the air in Kingston in December 2022. Radio Kingston Corp purchased WKNY in October 2017 and will mark its fifth anniversary this fall.