It's been a while since there has been any news about 900 Columbia Street, the very early 19th-century building that the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties wants to demolish to make way for a new facility. In April, Gossips reported that the effort to save 900 Columbia Street had moved to the state level, with the State Historic Preservation Office and the State Office of Mental Health going through the consultation process required by Section 14.09 of the State Historic Preservation Act of 1980. Since April, Gossips has periodically inquired about the state of the things and been told there was nothing to report--until today.
When asked, Gossips' original contact at SHPO said he was now out of the loop because the case had moved to the tech unit. So Gossips called the person in the tech unit who represents Columbia County (and fifteen other counties) to find out what was happening with 900 Columbia Street.
The sad news is that the file on 900 Columbia Street was closed on September 16, when the Office of Mental Health sent a letter to the Historic Preservation Office stating that they were ending the consultation and going ahead with the project. Apparently, they can do that.
The process at the state level seems to have replicated what happened on the local level, when an ad hoc committee tried to persuade MHA to change their plans. There was an analysis of alternatives, during which the State Office of Mental Health backed up MHA in their insistence that there were no alternatives. They had rejected other sites, had been rejected when they tried to move to Greenport, and were unwilling to subdivide the site--as the ad hoc committee had suggested--and share it with the historic house.
It now appears that Hudson will lose another of its most historic buildings because it has the misfortune of being owned by an agency that excuses its determination to destroy the city's architectural heritage by maintaining, as similar institutions have in the past, that historic preservation is not its business.