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Hudson River Heritage has lost one of our earliest and staunchest advocates with the passing of Kay Verrilli on January 26, 2019. Kay was a daughter of Red Hook who became a devoted civic activist and community organizer in her adopted Rhinebeck. Hudson River Heritage was prominent in the organizations that she supported, serving on the board of directors on and off over many years and being one of the original advocates for what became the HRH mission.
Before the establishment of the Landmark District and HRH, Kay and several intrepid colleagues protested against a massive development project proposed for a riverfront portion of Ferncliff lands. They advocated that this project would compromise the architectural and retail economy of the village of Rhinebeck and threaten Rhinebeck’s quality of life and sense of place. Not only were they successful in defeating the project, but a new public awareness about the need for land use planning and controls emerged. Community support was garnered for a focus on assessing and recognizing architecturally and historically significant properties and districts. Kay was instrumental in this epochal change in the community as it developed the infrastructure to protect and preserve the historic character of our community.
Kay Verilli was a tireless advocate for all that we at HRH work to preserve. Her decades of commitment have made a profound difference on the quality of life and the preservation of what our community is known for. With gratitude to Kay for all she accomplished, our condolences go out to her family and to all who like us are sad of her passing
-Wint Aldridch, Hudson River Heritage co-founder.