Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ear to the Ground

Almost a year ago, on February 14, 2013, Gossips reported that the Home for the Aged, founded in 1883 and located in the house at the corner of Union and Seventh streets since 1895, was expected to close in four years. According to that schedule, the Home would have closed sometime early in 2017. Now it seems the time frame has been significantly reduced. Gossips has heard that the new owner of the building, Galvan Initiatives Foundation or Eric Galloway, wants the residents still remaining at the Home to move out as soon as possible and has offered to find them new homes.

Gossips has often lamented the acquisition of Hudson's history by Eric Galloway, as Galvan Partners or the Galvan Initiatives Foundation. He owns the birthplace of Hudson's most celebrated military hero, William Jenkins Worth. He owns the Robert Taylor House, long thought to be the oldest surviving house in Hudson. He owns what's left of Captain William Ashley's house, the first house built at the confluence of the two historic turnpikesUnion and Columbia. He owns the Hudson Armory. He recently acquired the Hudson Upper Station, the depot on the first railroad line in Hudson. He owns the building that since 1862 had been the office of the Register-Star, a newspaper that traces its roots back to 1785. He also owns the building where the competing newspaper, The Republican, was published back in the day346 Warren Street.

Now, it is worth noting, Galloway/Galvan has, with the acquisition of 620 Union Street, taken over all the buildings that represent 19th-century Hudson's efforts to care for its most vulnerable citizensthe poor, the orphaned, and the aged. He owns 400 State Street, which was built in 1818 as Hudson's almshouse and was, from 1881 to 1958, the Hudson Orphan Asylum. He also owns 620 State Street, which was constructed in 1847 to be the original home of the orphan asylum. The Home for the Aged was founded in 1883, the initiative of twenty-eight Hudson women, among them Anna Rossman Bradley, author of the History of the City of Hudson, New York, published in 1908. From 1883 to 1896, the Home for the Aged rented the building at 501 Union Street as a temporary residence. That building is now owned by Galvan.

In 1895, the Home for the Aged purchased the residence of Robert and Sarah McKinstry, at the corner of Union and Seventh streets, and the Home has been located there ever since . . . at least until now.

The Galvan Initiatives Foundation came into existence in December 2011just a little more than two years ago. Among the documents filed with the New York State Charities Bureau is the Registration Statement, which describes the purpose of the foundation in this way: "To preserve the unique heritage of the City of Hudson, New York, by acquiring, interpreting, conserving and maintaining buildings of architectural and historical significance." While some may question whether the Galvan Initiatives Foundation succeeds at all in preserving the unique heritage of Hudson, there is little doubt that the acquiring aspect of its mission is being fulfilled. 

Back in April 2012, Debby Mayer, writing for the Columbia Paper, estimated that the combined holdings of Eric Galloway, Galvan Partners, and the Galvan Initiatives Foundation represented about 2 percent of the taxable property in Hudson. Since then, the acquisition of Hudson has continued, and it's likely that the Galvan holdings now represent closer to 3 percent or more. (It's interesting to note that in 2012 the majority of the parcels were owned by Galvan Partners LLC; today most of the parcels are listed in the tax rolls as owned by the Galvan Initiatives Foundation.) What "buildings of architectural and historical importance" are left for Galvan to acquire?  

Maybe Galvan would like to buy the house on North Fifth Street that was Hudson's first hospital. It's certainly historically significant for the City of Hudson. The house has been for sale for a while now, and Galvan already owns several properties on this part of North Fifth Street north of State. 

Perhaps Galvan has its eye on the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. There is certainly nothing in Hudson of greater architectural significance. Allegedly someone fitting Eric Galloway's description once inquired about purchasing the house from the State of New York, but it wasn't available. Historic Hudson has a thirty-year lease on the National Historic Landmark property which doesn't end until 2038. 

What about the Women's House of Refuge—a.k.a. the Girls' Training School and the Hudson Correctional Facility? That meets the requirements of both architectural and historical significance, and the Hudson Correctional Facility seems chronically to be on the list of prisons the State of New York thinks could be shut down.


  1. Apparently we have a bountiful crop of willing sellers. Without that, Mr. Galloway would be nowhere.

  2. It would be nice if Galvan spent more effort on the "conserving" part of its mission and less on the "interpreting" part. The latter is a loophole, as we've seen, large enough to drive a sizeable new building through it.

    1. town truly screwed themselves with allowing the interpreting. It's a shame.

  3. will the angel stop george from jumping off the bridge, or is hudson actually the America where there was no angel and george jumped ?

    my contention is that george did jump and "pottersville" turned into a whore infested gambling and bar town. we know that happened in hudson but its still here. with rick scalera and the gang and galloway. and henry the evil billionaire. life is like that.
    galloway is being funded by henry von ameringen. rather than ask about galloway, why not ask henry. he s making this all possible and the townsfolk dont like it. nor should they.

  4. Well I guess the solution could be to tell as many friends, real-estate investors, etc. that have the money to come here & buy Hudson properties. Otherwise how can you state who may or may not buy properties that are for sale? Should the sellers be named & dishonored too? Now about infested Hudson. The Proprietors were the first to give themselves the right to dispense alcohol to the public. Hudson was noted for its fine distilleries & breweries. Gambling & whores? Well maybe most seaports had the same. Someone once told me that when a sailor arrives in port after months at sea he just may want a drink, gamble, & personal attention from a woman. Or is it a whale of tale?

    1. Here's a fun fact. A few years ago, during a multiple year period when The Spirit of Hudson operated from our city dock without a lease, the boat's owner was concerned about competition with the city on liquor sales during Flag Day.

      The council, which is otherwise the only body authorized to grant leases, nevertheless decided to relent to his concerns about liquor sales at the waterfront park while overlooking the lease issue.

      Only in Hudson!

  5. Maybe the New York Times should write an article.