Friday, July 20, 2012

What Now?

Gossips was alerted today to a public notice that was posted on the City of Hudson website on June 18, 28 days before an HPD SWAT team descended on the Furgary Boat Club at 3 a.m. to evict, according to their own description of themselves, "three grumpy old men." The gist of the notice is contained in the final sentence (the first part is taken up with a legal definition of said lands): "All persons currently occupying said lands must forthwith remove all items of personal property and structures and vacate said lands immediately." (Gossips added the boldface.) 

Does this mean the City of Hudson expected the Furgarians to remove the shacks? The entire notice can be read here.


  1. Since the city has made no promises to save the shacks, it would seem this wording allows them a chance in the future to say "You had your chance to take them with you" (iif and when they decide to bulldoze them). The bad wording allows them to deem the shacks as left behind/abandoned. But let's hope they will see the light and have more respect for the unique history there.....

  2. I think Five and Diamond has it right.

    The notice must have meant what it said, the references to those "currently occupying" notwithstanding (the phrase may refer to personal property).

    I checked with the DEC, and any significant alteration of these structures, including their demolition, will require a Freshwater Wetlands Permit.

    This is a last remnant of Hudson's unique maritime identity, so at what point do we ask the Common Council to take more of an interest?

  3. I have personally requested that they Mayor and the Council preserve at least a portion of the shacks and I encourage others to do the same. Calmly and respectfully.

  4. I'm grateful to anyone who shows an interest in preserving history, but where choices must be made (apparently), people are not equally proficient at judging such things.

    Had the eviction and proposed demolition been discretionary actions, SEQRA would have required a cultural resource survey.

    Of course that's the sort of thing this action was meant to avoid by ordering the bum's rush. (And if 30 days wasn't long enough to FOIL the Mayor's office to learn of his plans, then 30 days was not at all "generous.")

    So rather than hiring an objective and neutral cultural survey, why don't knowledgeable citizens discuss the Mayor's planned municipal vandalism in the unconscionably short time he has left us?

  5. As has been the case with so many of the things I've heard and read during my involvement in the fight to preserve the Furgary Boat Club, I am disheartened by the message of this public notice. Where, exactly, would the Furgary structures be removed to?

    This very suggestion came up at a meeting I and several members of the North Dock Tin Boat Association had last week with the Mayor Hallenbeck, Mayor's Aide Gene Shetsky, Common Council President Don Moore, City Attorney Cheryl Roberts, and Sgt Anthony Moon of the Hudson Police Department. I compared that recommendation to a proposal put forth several months back by GalVan Initiatives to move the Robert Taylor House, Hudson's oldest surviving house, from the head of Tanners Lane to another location on lower Union Street. On June 8th, the Historic Preservation Commission denied a certificate of appropriateness on the grounds that the Robert Taylor house is integral to the neighborhood in which it's situated and moving it would be to the detriment of the neighborhood.

    I feel the same about the shacks and cabins at the Furgary Boat Club. These structures were born from the land on which they sit; they were built with the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors. They belong there. They hold stories of many generations of families that have used the North Dock. Moving the structures to another location leaves an incongruous account of the Furgary's history for future generations to try to piece together and never really fully understand or appreciate.

    Worse yet is the idea that can easily be read between the lines of the public notice that the structures may be demolished. They would be erased, only to be remembered by those who are lucky enough to have been a part of the Furgary's history. Years from now, people will remember with fondness the community that once was the Furgary Boat Club and bitterly recall how it was destroyed in the name of "progress." The tale will be lumped in with other stories of the demolition of the historic houses on Front Street that were torn down so the Terrace Apartments could be built, how the homes on Mill Street disappeared and were replaced by industrial buildings, how Gold's was finally forced to leave Columbia Street after serving the surrounding neighborhood and acting as a local gathering place for so many years.

    In the last month, we've seen a groundswell of support to preserve the Furgary. We've all been deeply touched by each person who has taken the time to visit, spend some time, ask questions about the history, document with photos and film, and just enjoy the unique serenity and beauty that is the Furgary Boat Club.

    I respectfully ask that everyone in Hudson take a good hard look at what's happening and decide if you are comfortable with the City of Hudson making yet another mistake to destroy a significant part of our local history, as they have so many times before, only to look back several years later and realize they'd made a colossal mistake that can never be reversed.

  6. Did I miss something in all that has taken place regarding the Furgary Boat Club?
    Isn't this all about $4.4 million that the City has or will receive from the State for the
    Water & Sewage Plant funding? The other items just distractions & politics.
    Please tell me more about Hudson's Politicians concern for saving History & send it off to all the people forced from their homes for the sake of "urban renewal" in the 1960's.
    Yes Furgarians Hudson City History does repeat itself.
    Please sing the song by Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi", it starts out with "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot............they took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum, etc.
    Good luck Mr. Mendolia.

  7. @tmdonofrio, I'm under the impression that the money for the sewage plant turned on ownership of the Furgary site, rather than potential future rental schemes.