Hudsonians continue to wonder why and for whom the main street of our city was renamed Warren Street in 1799. As Byrne Fone told the story in Historic Hudson: An Architectural History, the change was sudden and unexplained: "One day, Hudsonians saw messages in red and yellow chalked on fences along the street summarily informing them that 'this street is no longer Main Street but called Warren Street by order of the Common Council."
The naming of the pocket park in the 200 block of Warren Street was never so legislated. Instead, the nomenclature was more of a grassroots thing. Back in 1997, Historic Hudson and the Hudson Opera House collaborated to stage a garden tour called "The Secret Gardens of Hudson." The newly created park, on a vacant lot that had been used as a bocce court, was one of the stops of the tour. There, under the sparse shade of then very young Bradford pears, a stalwart volunteer read excerpts from Frances Hodgson Burnett's book The Secret Garden.
For the purpose of the printed tour itinerary, the park needed a name, and tour organizers decided it would be appropriate to name the park for the Proprietor who had originally owned that piece of land. Some research revealed that the Proprietor was John W. Thurston. Hence the little park was dubbed John W. Thurston Park, or simply Thurston Park.
For fourteen years, people have been calling it that, and now it seems the name is catching on. In today's Register-Star there's a picture (strangely absent from the online version) with a caption (not absent) explaining that the picture shows Lisa Heintz "in front of a newly installed sign at the Thurston Pocket Park on Warren Street." The name Thurston Park has made it into the official vernacular.