Ask the people who have made Hudson their adopted home in the past twenty years what attracted them here. Ask the visitors who throng Warren Street every weekend, visiting the shops and galleries, dining in the restaurants, and keeping the B&Bs booked to capacity, why they chose to come. Chances are Hudson's historic architecture will be a part of everyone's answer. Given that, it is remarkable how careless official Hudson is about its valuable and irreplaceable architectural heritage.
Former mayor Rick Scalera, who was the mayor when Hudson's historic preservation ordinance was adopted in 2003, has gone on record (more than once) saying that signing the ordinance into law was the "worst mistake he ever made." Current mayor William Hallenbeck has made it known that he thinks a developer with an obscene amount of money to spend in Hudson and a demonstrated lack of respect for our history and the authenticity of our architecture deserves the key to the city, while he chides members of the Historic Preservation Commission for trying to do their job in a deliberate and conscientious manner. Inundated by proposals from said developer, who now owns more than 2 percent of the taxable property in Hudson, and pressured by mayors past and present not to "hold things up," the Historic Preservation Commission was told yesterday by Common Council President Don Moore that it "has not been as active in its educative function as it might be." In the meantime, in a city where everyone should be pulling together to protect its most valuable asset, things like this keep happening.
This is 816 Warren Street, a classic example of Victorian Stick architecture on upper Warren Street. Among other things that appear to be happening to this building, it is sprouting a new shed roof dormer. The house is situated in a locally designed historic district, but this project never came before the Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness.