Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A New Concept for the Waterfront

In November 2012, the Common Council agreed to sell the 19th-century industrial building across the street from riverfront park, known as the old Dunn warehouse, to close a gap in the 2o13 budget. We are now more than two months past the end of 2013, and the City seems to have survived financially, in spite of the fact that the Dunn building has not been sold.

A couple of months later, in January 2013, Sarah Dibben made a terrific suggestion at a Common Council Economic Development Committee meeting: turn the old Dunn building into an aquarium--there wasn't another aquarium within 200 miles. 

Last night, Dibben and Damara Stolfo, along with architect Stephen Shuryn, were at the informal Common Council meeting to present their concept for turning the old Dunn warehouse into an aquarium and maritime museum. The proposal was the product of monthly meetings that went on for almost a year, at which a group of volunteers, headed up by Dibben and Stolfo, conceptualized the project and discussed potential programming. The proposal was presented to the Common Council, along with these conceptual drawings.

Lower Level Plan
Upper Level and Roof Plan
West Elevation
South Elevation
North Elevation
East Elevation
The plan involves the purchase or lease of the building from the City by a not-for-profit entity. The City would benefit additionally from an increase in tourism resulting from the project. 

Stolfo called the plan "a micro-version of a science center and a maritime museum . . . with sustainability and education at the core." Council president Don Moore expressed the opinion that what was proposed would be "a public anchor that reflects our community and the county."

Stolfo told the Council that the next step, after the research that has already been done, is to do a feasibility study. An Indiegogo campaign has been set up to fund that study. She also indicated that they are entering a period when they will be listening to people's ideas. If you care to share your ideas in comments here on Gossips, you can rest assured they will find their way to Stolfo and Gibben.


  1. To invent a Yogi Berra-ism, it will never work in Hudson. Ideas like these have tended to be successful when tried elsewhere.

    Today's Register Star also reports a plan to acquire one seahorse. Call me a romantic, but the entire plan should be redrafted at once to include two of them.

    And will there be any room at the inn for the lowly mucket? Eh? Hmm?

    But seriously, keep up the good work. And thank you.

  2. As an added bonus, an aquarium will be better able to survive the coming of global warming
    and the resultant flooding than any other amenity I can think of...