Saturday, January 31, 2015

Finessing the Design

The last time Gossips published a rendering of the design for the new police and courts building, it caused quite a brouhaha. According to Mayor William Hallenbeck, as reported in the Register-Starit led to "an outcry of opposition" and inspired him to complain that he and his assistant, Gene Shetsky, whom he had designated "clerk of the works" for the project, had been "left out of the loop on recent decision-making regarding the design of the building." He called for a public hearing on the design. 

After a meeting in early January, at which the "task plan schedule" adopted in September was reviewed, the mayor backed off the idea of a public hearing and seemed satisfied that the review by the Historic Preservation Commission would provide sufficient opportunity for the public to comment on the design.

The rendering that caused all the kerfuffle was not, according to Alderman Nick Haddad (First Ward), who is the point man on the Council for the project, the final iteration. This one is.

Haddad told Gossips that final decisions about exterior material and color have not yet been made and a series of mock-ups will be done, to assist in decision making, before materials and a color scheme are determined and any exterior finishes are applied. This process, Haddad said, will probably happen sometime in July.

It is expected that the design for the police and court building will come before the Historic Preservation Commission at its meeting on Friday, February 13. The HPC meets at 10 a.m. at City Hall. 

The existing building is a noncontributing structure in a locally designated historic district. The preservation law specifies that the HPC's review of the design be based on its compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood. Chapter 169-6 B of the city code lists the factors the HPC must consider when applying the principle of compatibility.
  1. The general design, character, and appropriateness to the property of the proposed alteration or new construction;
  2. The scale of the proposed alteration or new construction in relation to the property itself, surrounding properties, and the neighborhood;
  3. Texture, materials, and color and their relation to similar features of other properties in the neighborhood;
  4. Visual compatibility with surrounding properties, including proportion of the property's front facade, proportion and arrangement of windows and other openings within the facade, roof shape, and the rhythm of spacing of properties on streets, including setback; and
  5. The importance of historic, architectural, or other features to the significance of the property.


  1. Are there plans to fuel that structure with solar power? Looks like it was designed to be a collector of rays.

  2. "Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder" never was so appropriate as now !

  3. Every bit as bad as the last version.

  4. This really need to go out to competitive bids, otherwise its just throwing good money after bad.

    I thought we were breaking that cycle in Hudtown ?!

  5. make everybody happy, forget the faux, call it "temporary".

  6. There are so many beautiful buildings where our deserving Police Department could have gone. Why this monster on the wrong side of the tracks? Meaning that if there is an emergency West of the RR and the train is coming through, the Police will potentially have to drive miles around to get to a site.

  7. Ruth I don't think the police are waiting at the station for a call. I like to think that when a call comes in they respond from where ever they are on patrol.

  8. At a younger age I would here people state it's time to start over with a clean sheet of paper.
    Times have changed.
    It's time to start over again with a new CAD or sit at a table with a pen and napkin and sketch it.
    Or is the roof area designed for an exercise place for jailed people?
    The Hudson Police Department deserves better.