Friday, February 17, 2012

Providing for the Aged

During the discussion of the proposed senior center that took place Monday at the informal Common Council meeting, Council President Don Moore made this statement in support of building the senior center with a partial second floor: "A city that cannot provide services to seniors and youth is not a city that will attract people." That statement called to mind the provision for seniors made in Hudson more than a hundred years ago--not by city government but by twenty-eight resourceful women: the Home for the Aged. The following history of the Home appeared in the Hudson Daily Star on December 11, 1939.

Henry M. James Spoke Last Night at Forum
in the First Methodist Church. 

An interesting and informative talk on "The Home for the Aged" was given last night by Henry M. James, secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the Home, on the Sunday evening forum at the First Methodist church.

Mr. James outlined the history of the Home from the formulation of the idea by a group of twenty-eight women in March, 1883, through the opening of the institution, October, 1883, to the present. The original building he said, was a four-story brick structure at the southeast corner of Union and South Fifth streets. The present building, on the corner of Union and South Seventh streets, was purchased in 1895 and was ready for occupancy, after improvements, in 1896. A wing was constructed in 1906.

The constitution and by-laws for the Home were drawn up by Mrs. Anna R. Bradbury and Judge Samuel Edwards, through the latter of whom the institution was incorporated. The original institution had a capacity of seventeen members, which has now been increased to twenty-seven.

Mr. James told of the management of the Home by a Board of Trustees and Board of Managers, and the active interest which the members of these groups take in the Home.

He described the entertainment which is provided for the Home members by various organizations, and the various safety devices and conveniences installed in the Home for the convenience of the members.

Included in the conveniences is an elevator which serves the three floors of the building, and modern bathrooms on each floor, two having been installed recently. Safety devices include a fire alarm, with call boxes on each floor, porches serving as fire escapes, a special box number for the Home, a sprinkler system servicing each room and all parts of the building, a new heating system boiler recently installed, as well as a new gas range boiler, an infirmary, with two hospital beds and a domestic nurse in attendance and special nursing provided when required.

Nearly a hundred are on the Home's waiting list, Mr. James stated. The oldest resident is 92, and a member of the Home family recently died at the age of 95, he said.

The Home staff at present consists of the superintendent, Mrs. Von Stamm; a cook, nurse, waitress, laundress and janitor. A committee from the Board of Managers visits the Home each week, calls on all members of the family and reports to the Board of Managers at each monthly meeting.

A radio and fine victrola, a library and numerous monthly and weekly magazines provide music and literature for the Home members.

The Home for the Aged today


  1. What does CC President Moore arguing for this plan with a partial second floor, have to do with him saying
    "A city that cannot provide services to seniors and youth is not a city that will attract people."
    There is no issue whether services should be provided to youth and seniors or not.
    No one is going to argue that.
    And secondly there are a litany of existing problems in this City
    that would not "attract people"
    that would push not building a partial second floor on this ill conceived, poorly located
    badly designed and expensive project
    way down that list.
    The issue is building the extension, period.
    Why is Moore arguing for a partial second floor?
    The extension and partial 2ND level attached to the existing historic former
    Methodist Episcopal Church
    dedicated June 22, 1854,
    itself in terrible need of restoration, that is currently used as Youth Center,
    on a busy,dangerous major Truck rte 23B &9G. is an issue.
    The small site that is being proposed,is the former side yard to that church.
    The proposed design ,fills every inch from alley side ,to truck rte side.and back adjacent private property
    and would cover a story and a partial half of existing north side of Church
    There is no opportunity for green space,parking , expansion
    or restoring a Historic Building in a Designated Historic Area.
    Is there money in the budget for overhauling the Youth center
    and even repairing the existing Church building ?
    Building from scratch means all of 2012 Public Assembly Codes
    and ADA regulations must be adhered to
    especially when its for Seniors and Youth
    There is no grandfathering in
    Hudson must adhere to NYS Universal Bldg.Code
    It's the Law.
    A small space cost's are not much less than a larger space,
    because the most expensive elements are the same.
    Everything has to be wheelchair,handicapped accessible,for instance.
    The 2nd floor costs of an elevator, and added ADA washroom facility,the added problem of fire evacuation ETC
    What possible advantages are you going to get for building a small partial second floor,that would justify those costs,
    when the first floor as planned cannot be justified?
    There are far better locations and more suitable and affordable solutions.
    Hudson is in desperate need of an outside the inner circle,qualified,up to date ,innovative City Planner.
    That, would attract more people to this city.

  2. The only problem I see here is Prison Alley makes too much sense in a town where logic and reason has no bearing.