In one of the last ditch efforts to save 900 Columbia Street back in 2011, Deborah Kinney tried to find another site for the Mental Health Association to locate their new group home. One of those sites was the property of the American Legion. It was rumored that the Legionnaires were thinking of selling their building, located a stone's throw from 900 Columbia Street, in the part of Hudson zoned for such group homes. When Kinney approached them, however, they reportedly vehemently denied that they were considering selling their building. Now, five years later, with the 200-year-old building demolished and a house of undistinguished design taking its place, the American Legion Hall is for sale.
The same bad timing applies to the Hudson City School District's plan to divest itself of the John L. Edwards School. Years ago, in 2010 or maybe earlier, back when the Hudson Area Library still owned 400 State Street, there were rumors that HCSD might want to sell the JLE. It was so easy to imagine the City acquiring the building (despite the fact that HCSD allegedly wanted something like $4 million for it) and turning it into a municipal government campus. The police department could be there, the city court could be there, the code enforcement office could be there, City Hall could be there and finally be universally accessible, and the Hudson Area Library would be the centerpiece of it all with room to expand because there would no longer be the need for a playground.
It's not likely that the NYS Office of Court Administration will be willing to wait another decade for the City to correct the shortcomings of the city court facilities nor is it likely that the Common Council, which flinched at spending the $4.3 million needed to acquire and adapt 701 Union Street, would be willing to assume the expense of acquiring an elementary school building and redeveloping it for use as the police department, the city court, and City Hall.
But to return to the American Legion Hall and its imminent sale, after Gossips published the following picture of the bell water trough that once stood at the intersection of Green Street and Fairview Avenue and wondered about the buildings behind it, a reader suggested that a closer look at the American Legion building might be in order.
I did that today.
Although it's no longer possible to see the most prominent building in the historic photograph from the same vantage point (there's a house in the way), it is possible to see that building buried within the current American Legion Hall.
Hudson is such an endlessly intriguing place!
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK