The window hoods and the window frames and sash have been painted. There is cresting along the top of the roof that seems not to have been there before. The most significant difference, however, is the slate on the mansard roof and the roof of the tower. The slates of two shades of gray with the occasional red slate, arranged in decorative patterns, which were originally on the house have been replaced by slates of a different shape that are all very dark gray almost black, raising the question, "Is this historic preservation or historic revisionism?"
The U. S. Department of the Interior Technical Preservation Services has a Preservation Brief about slate roofs. Here's what it has to say about the character and detailing of slate roofs:
During some periods of architectural history, roof design has gone far beyond the merely functional and contributed much to the character of buildings. Roofs, by their compelling forms, have defined styles and, by their decorative patterns and colors, have imparted both dignity and beauty to buildings. The architectural styles prevalent during the latter half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries placed strong emphasis on prominent roof lines and greatly influenced the demand for slate. Slate, laid in multicolored decorative patterns, was particularly well suited to the Mansard roofs of the Second Empire style, the steeply pitched roofs of Gothic Revival and High Victorian styles, and the many prominent roof planes and turrets associated with the Queen Anne style. . . . The configuration, massing, and style of historic slate roofs are important design elements that should be preserved. In addition, several types of historic detailing were often employed to add visual interest to the roof essentially elevating the roof to the level of an ornamental architectural element.The Preservation Brief concludes:
Slate roofs are a critical design feature of many historic buildings that cannot be duplicated using substitute materials. Slate roofs can, and should be, maintained and repaired to effectively extend their serviceable lives. When replacement is necessary, details contributing to the appearance of the roof should be retained. [The underscore is a Gossips addition.]The Cornelius H. Evans House, built in 1861, is one of a very few Hudson houses individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination document, written in 1974, describes the house in this way:
A house of ample dimensions, 414-416 Warren Street with its mansard roof and pyramical-roofed tower typifies a style fully articulated in America by James Renwick in his Corcoran Gallery (Washington, D.C., 1859) and his Main Hall, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1860), and expressed on a smaller scale in domestic architecture by affluent enterpreneurs in small 19th century industrial cities such as Poughkeepsie and Hudson. The generous size, the attention to decorative trim, and the pretension in overall design reflect the ambitions and the accomplishments of entrepreneur Cornelius Evans whose brewing and bottling enterprise proved to be one of the city's major industries.The house has now been deprived of significant decorative details, and even though original slate roofs have been replaced with new slate roofs, the overall appearance of the house has been significantly altered. Amazingly, all this appears to have been done without a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.
|356 Union Street|
|501 Union Street|