But that's not here. That's Cheyenne, Wyoming. Here in Hudson, we're just expected to accept, gratefully, the bait-and-switch that went on with 900 Columbia Street, when the Galvan Initiatives Foundation's stated intention to move the c. 1810 house intact devolved into "disassembling" it and using the salvaged bricks and some other salvaged elements to build a new house. After all, the 200-year-old house was going to be demolished anyway. Its owners were hell-bent on getting rid of it.
On the subject of 900 Columbia Street, Gossips decided it was time to check in on the new house being built with its salvaged elements and report how things are going. It will be remembered that, in January, the Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to grant the proposed house a certificate of appropriateness. The rendering below was the one presented with the application.
There was some concern that the foundation was too high and that the setback interrupted the street wall, but in the end--mostly because the foundation had already been built before the project came before the HPC--the proposed house got its certificate of appropriateness. Here is what the slowly evolving house looks like today.
The most striking difference between the rendering and the reality is the height of the windows. Gossips was not privy to the actual window measurements presented to the HPC, but the height of the windows in the rendering seems significantly greater than the height of the openings in the actual building. The addition of the lintels, salvaged from the original house, will add some height to the appearance of the windows, but not enough to make the reality match the rendering.
Then there's the problem that seems to exist with all elevation drawings. Where does one have to stand to see the building as it appears in the rendering?
The roof--all the way up to the ridge--is visible in the rendering, but from the sidewalk across the street, no part of the roof on the actual building can be seen.
Another shortcoming of the rendering presented to the HPC is context. Compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood is an essential consideration when the HPC decides whether or not to grant a certificate of appropriateness to new construction (for this is what it is) in a historic district, but the rendering presented shows the house in complete isolation. Of course, there is no reason to believe that a rendering showing the house in the context of its genuinely historic neighbors would have accurately represented its scale or that the outcome would have been any different if such a rendering that been submitted.
Perhaps we should rejoice. They have started applying the veneer of bricks to the "Hudson Arcade" at Warren and Fifth streets. A reader told Gossips he thought the bricks being used were 19th-century bricks and suggested they might come from 900 Columbia Street.
An actual brick building wall, constructed as walls were in the 18th and 19th centuries, uses twice as many bricks as a brick veneer. Could it be that we are getting two faux historic buildings for the sacrifice of just one authentically historic one?
COPYRIGHT 2014 CAROLE OSTERINK