On Friday morning, the proposal to restore Washington Hose came before the Historic Preservation Commission. At the outset, Cheryl Roberts, counsel to the HPC, advised that the proposal was coming before them for recommendation only since Washington Hose was owned by the City of Hudson and therefore the HPC that not have the power to grant or deny approval.
According to Dan Proper from the engineering firm of Crawford & Associates, who appears to be overseeing the project, two significant changes are planned for the building. The first involves the truck bay, which, in the building's new life as the offices of Hudson Development Corporation and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, will become a conference room. The roof on the truck bay, which is now a flat roof with a parapet, will be changed to a gable roof with asphalt shingles. The second significant change involves the frieze, which will be made "more Greek Revival" in style.
According to Proper, the building has undergone "so many morphs" that it doesn't make sense to retain any of the windows except the arched windows at the front, which fill openings that were originally the engine bays, and the metal windows in the truck bay. The new windows will be wood, with true divided lights, four over one to match the configuration of the few existing windows believed to be original.
The Historic Preservation Commission made only one recommendation: to retain the little round windows in the gables on either side of the main part of the building. In the architect's rendering of the building, the window was missing, and in the drawings presented to the HPC, the round window reportedly had been replaced with a square window.
Among the materials submitted to the HPC were historic photographs of the building, including this amazing image. The building has been so altered over time that it's barely recognizable as the same building.
This photograph is remarkable not only because it reveals that the building once had this extraordinary turret but also because at includes three fire-wardens dressed exactly as dictated in a resolution passed by the Common Council on July, 22, 1794:
"That so many firemen shall, from time to time, be appointed as the Common Council shall deem proper, and shall be called fire-wardens, whose duty it shall be, immediately on notice of fire, to repair to the place where it shall be, and to direct the inhabitants in forming themselves into ranks for handing the buckets to supply the fire-engines with water,-- . . . and the citizens are hereby enjoined to comply with the directions of the fire-wardens upon such occasions. . . . And in order that the . . . fire-wardens may be readily distinguished at fires . . . each of the fire Wardens shall, upon all those occasions, carry in his hand a Speaking-Trumpet painted white, to be used as occasion may requires; . . . shall wear, a Leather Cap with the crown whited white."