Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hudson in Life Magazine

Some may think that Hudson's being recognized in the national media for its historic architecture is a relatively new thing, but not so. A Gossips reader sent me a copy of an article from the Hudson Daily Star for October 2, 1939, which informed its readers that a photograph of a house in Hudson was in the current issue of Life Magazine:
Photos of old houses in Hudson and Columbia county are printed in the October 2 edition of Life magazine in a story describing the Hudson river from its source to where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at New York City. The pictures, which include a house on State street, here, were taken for the magazine by Margaret Bourke-White

The caption under the picture states that "Whalers came to the river from Nantucket in the 1780's to be safe from British raids. Hudson, where this Nantucket-style house stands, was the country's whaling center in the 1782's [sic]."

The Daily Star article notes that the three-story brick building was owned by Pasquale Russo, and my source provided the information that it was located at 19 West State Street--the part of State Street that extended beyond North Front Street toward the river. The Sanborn map for 1944 identifies the building as a "tenement." Unless it had been destroyed by fire or demolished before then, this house was one of the many houses in Hudson that were razed to make way for Hudson Terrace during Urban Renewal. (Unfortunately, the original Front Street-Parade Hill-Lower Warren Street Historic District did not extend to State Street, so this house was not included in that inventory.)    

All the issues of Life Magazine, from 1936 through 1972, are available online, so you can view the entire photo-essay entitled "The Hudson River: Autumn peace broods over America's Rhine" (it begins on page 57) or browse the whole issue to see what frightening things were happening in the world in October 1939 by clicking here.


  1. The above photo's caption refers to Hudson as the country's whaling center in the ***1820's*** -- not the '1782's [sic]' ...

  2. I know that. I was quoting what appeared in the Hudson Daily Star, which quoted the caption incorrectly.

  3. Interesting tidbit - the piece about college girls working for clothing retailers because they're in the know on all the latest styles features Barbara Bush's sister as a model (the brunette).