This is 34-36 South Second Street--another property currently owned by Eric Galloway's "Hudson Preservation Group." In recent months, the house was been crawling with workers, but for years it stood vacant.
George Duguay lived in this house, on the first floor of the little wing on the north side of the building. There were, as I recall, at least four other apartments in the building, nothing luxurious, but decent affordable places to live--something that gets talked about a lot in Hudson. The building never seemed to be a magnet for drug dealing or any other undesirable activity. George had lived here for forty years, with his peonies in the backyard and his cats.
Galloway acquired the building toward the end of 2005, and George--and everyone who knew him--began worrying that he might lose his home. At least two compassionate neighbors contacted Galloway on George's behalf and received promises from him that he would not evict George. Unfortunately, once George got something into his head, he wasn't easily reassured, and he died plagued by the fear that he would soon be homeless.
Tenants started moving out soon after Galloway bought the building, and after George's death, the building was completely empty. It remained so for four years, until early this year when the restoration began.
Kevin Walker came to the Historic Preservation Commission with the plans for this building quite a while back--possibly as long ago as sometime in 2006. The original plan involved subdividing the house into two dwellings, making the two stories of the wing where George used to live into a separate unit with a sitting porch. Walker has since told me that they have given up the subdivision idea because they couldn't make it work--there was no way to make the smaller house big enough to be marketable--but the sitting porch remains part of the design. The pilings are already in the ground to support it.
The project received its certificate of appropriateness, but not until Galloway agreed to certain requests from the Historic Preservation Commission. One of them had to do with this unusual little window. The original plan called for its removal, but the HPC would not permit it, so modifications were made, and this lovely eclectic detail of Hudson's architectural heritage survives.