Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Future of the Furgary

It's been almost two years since the State Historical Preservation Office determined that the Furgary Boat Club, a.k.a. The Shacks, a.k.a. Shantytown, was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Since then the arduous journey from eligibility to actually being listed has been somewhat stymied by a lack of commitment on the part of city government. (SHPO doesn't like to pursue National Register designations when the property owner doesn't support the effort, and in this case, the property owner is the City of Hudson.) But things may be changing.

Gossips learned recently that Bill Krattinger, the staff member from the National Register Unit of SHPO assigned to Columbia County, will be visiting the site of the Furgary Boat Club on Thursday, July 6. Krattinger has some good history with Hudson. He wrote the successful and highly praised National Historic Landmark nomination for the Dr. Oliver Bronson House and helped get 400 State Street individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places back when the Hudson Area Library owned the building. The Furgary Boat Club, however, presents unique challenges, since it isn't your garden variety historic site.

Following his visit to the site, Krattinger will meet with the mayor and members of the Common Council to discuss state and national historic designation for the Furgary site. That workshop/ informational session will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 6, at City Hall. 

Frederick Law Olmsted and Hudson

At the end of May, a professor of American studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, contacted Historic Hudson seeking information about Hudson architect Michael O'Connor. (F&M's first library was designed by O'Connor, but more about that at a later date.) The inquiry was referred to me, which put the professor and me in touch.

Earlier this week, the professor contacted me to ask about a reference to Hudson found in an "Open Letter" written by Frederick Law Olmsted, which appeared in the magazine Century Illustrated for October 1886. In the letter, which has the title "A Healthy Change in the Tone of the Human Heart (Suggestions to Cities)," Olmsted argues the importance to cities of preserving "the grandeur, picturesqueness, and poetic charm" of the natural landscape. In particular, Olmsted celebrates a view that includes water.
No matter what is beyond, an expanse of water . . . can never fail to have a refreshing counter interest to the inner parts of a city; it supplies a tonic change at times even from the finest churches, libraries, picture galleries, conservatories, gardens, soldiers' monuments, parks, and landward outskirts. What is easier than to provide a grateful convenience for such refreshment? Yet if one wants it at Troy, Albany, Newburgh, Springfield, Hartford, Middletown, New London, Trenton, Norfolk, Louisville, St. Louis, Memphis, Vicksburg, what is offered? What was lost for Brooklyn when the brow of its heights was wholly given up to paved streets and private occupation!
He speaks specifically and at some length about Buffalo, where in 1868 he and Calvert Vaux designed an entire park system. 
Years ago a traveler arriving in Buffalo asked in vain where he could go to look out on the lake. "The lake?" he would be answered in the spirit of the middle ages; "nobody here wants to look at the lake; we hate the lake." And he might find that two large public squares had been laid out, furnished and planted, leaving a block between them and the edge of the bluff to be so built over as to shut off all view from the squares toward the lake and toward sunset. But lately land has been bought and prepared, and is much resorted to, expressly for the enjoyment of this view. This new public property also commands a river effect such as can be seen, I believe, nowhere else,--a certain quivering of the surface and a rare tone of color, the result of the crowding upward of the lake waters as they enter the deep portal of the Niagara. Is the regard paid to these elements of natural scenery by the city less an evidence of growing civilization than is given in the granite statues on its court-house or in its soldiers' monument?
It is in this context that Hudson is mentioned, to support Olmsted's assertion that "A small space . . . may serve to present a choice refreshment to a city, provided the circumstances are favorable for an extended outlook upon natural elements of scenery." This is what he says of Hudson:
Another illustration of the fact may be found in a queer little half-public place, half-domestic back-yard, from which the river may be overlooked if any one cares for it, at Hudson, New York.
[Interestingly, Henry James in The American Scene (1907) also used the adjective queer to describe Hudson: "It was the queer old complexion of the long straight street, however, that most came home to me: Hudson, in the afternoon quiet, seemed to stretch back, with fumbling friendly hand, to the earliest outlook of my consciousness."]

Of course, the "queer little half-public place, half-domestic back-yard" Olmsted speaks of is none other than Promenade Hill, designated as a public space by the Proprietors, according to the National Register of Historic Places, on October 14, 1785. In 1886, when Olmsted spoke of it, Promenade Hill was surrounded by houses. This is illustrated by the map below, which shows the 1970 National Register Front Street-Parade Hill-Lower Warren Street Historic District before Urban Renewal laid waste to much of it a few years later.


The Great War: June 21, 1917

June 20, 1917, had been Red Cross "Emblem Day" in Hudson. From 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., more than a hundred Hudson women dressed in Red Cross uniforms "accosted" people in the street to sell them Red Cross emblems and raise the city's share of the $100 million which was the national goal. The front page of the Hudson Evening Register for June 21, 1917, reported on the success of that effort.

Nearly $1,775 was realized on Emblem Day here yesterday. The return of cash last night actually broke all records for such a day in this city, $670 being the previous high-water mark.
When the gong sounded, closing the drive at 9 o'clock last night, more than $1,735 had been raised. Several contributions have subsequently been made and the committee hopes to make the actual count register at $2,000. To-day several persons who were not tagged yesterday made contributions at the headquarters on Warren street.
The sale of emblems started with a $100 contribution and closed last night with a $100 contribution. At the Playhouse last night it was announced from the stage that $1,600 had been realized with more coming in. A patriotic Hudson young woman thought that the last emblem sold for the day should equal the price of the first and through this act of generosity $100 more was added just as the headquarters closed for the night.
Using an inflation calculatorGossips discovered that $100 in 1917 is the equivalent today of nearly $2,000 ($1,910.34). The amount raised for the Red Cross in Hudson on Emblem Day, $1,775, is the equivalent in 2017 of $33,908.60.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last Night at City Hall

This morning, Gossips reported about one issue that took up a good portion of last night's hour-long Common Council meeting. Now you can watch the entire thing. Dan Udell's video of the meeting can be viewed by clicking here.


This Saturday at the Other Opera House

This Saturday, June 24, the Ancram Opera House kicks of its 2017 season with Real People Real Stories, an evening of storytelling by six local residents. The theme for the evening is taking chances: quitting jobs, finding what you didn't know you wanted, real estate deals, a near-death fishing accident, and more.

AOH co-director Paul Ricciardi created Real People Read Stories, live local storytelling in the tradition of The Moth Radio Hour, last year, and it soon became an audience favorite. AOH now opens and closes its season with this "evening of homegrown stories." 

The storytellers this Saturday are from around the county and beyond: Lisa Morris (Gallatin), Sherry Weaver (Livingston), Darlene White (Pittsfield), Joan Galler (Ancram), Mildred Aksen (Ancramdale), and Hudson's own Ellen Thurston.

The storytelling begins at 8 p.m. The Ancram Opera House in located at 1330 County Route 7, just north of the intersection with Route 82. Parking is available on the adjacent lawn. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Still Talking About the Parade

On his blog The Other Hudson Valley, former Register Star reporter Roger Hannigan Gilson offers his review of last Saturday's OutHudson Parade, in which he cites the presence of The Gossips of Rivertown in the parade as evidence that the pride parade in Hudson "isn't just for homosexuals anymore": "A Glimpse of Gay Pride in the Hudson Valley." 

Photo: Michael Montlack

The Issue We Can Always Kvetch About

Today is the first day of summer, and the last snow emergency is far behind us, but the sturm und drang of a snow emergency in Hudson was recalled last night at the June meeting of the Common Council.

It started with the motion to pay the bills, something that happens every month. Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) questioned one item on the list of payments: $118 to be paid to William Shannon. Council president Claudia DeStefano explained that during a snow emergency, Alderman Abdus Miah (Second Ward) had told some of his neighbors where to park. It turned out that the information he provided was incorrect, and as a consequence four or five cars had been towed. The other car owners, according to DeStefano, had been reimbursed the towing fee by the Department of Public Works. Shannon was the one person left to be reimbursed.

Friedman questioned why the City was paying for someone's car being towed. "It's not our money," he proclaimed. "It's the taxpayers' money."

Defending himself, Miah wanted to know the address from which the car had been towed (information that was not available to anyone at the meeting), asserted that he had only told one person where to park, and denied having spoken with Shannon. He maintained that he could not be held responsible because Shannon's car had not been parked on this block. He also implied that he did not know Shannon, at which time Alderman Henry Haddad (Third Ward) helpfully provided the information that Shannon used to be a reporter to the Register-Star and wrote the blog and the book Hudson River Zeitgeist. What Haddad didn't mention is that Shannon lives in Miah's ward.

After lengthy discussion that seemed unlikely to reach a resolution, Alderman Rick Rector (First Ward) asked if they couldn't approve all the bills with the exception of the reimbursement to Shannon. Since the motion to pay the bills had already been made and seconded, the Council first had to vote not to pay the bills and then vote to pay the amended list of bills. Miah abstained from both votes. The question of whether or not the City is responsible if someone suffers a loss as a consequence of acting on incorrect information offered by an elected official is yet to be resolved, but as Friedman observed of the rules and regulations about parking during snow emergencies, "The fact that a city law is imprecise shouldn't surprise anyone."

The Great War: June 20, 1917

One hundred years ago today, it was Red Cross "Emblem Day" in Hudson. Gossips coverage of the promotion of the event failed to include this display ad, which appeared on page four of the Hudson Evening Register for June 19, 1917.

On June 20, the Register reported that "bright and early nearly 150 women attired in Red Cross uniforms appeared on the streets. They asked folks to do nothing but help the greatest movement the Red Cross has ever attempted. The young ladies 'tagged' pedestrians and autoists. They invited persons to buy a Red Cross thimble or a Red Cross lapel emblem, or if the person accosted owned an automobile they tried to sell him a Red Cross auto emblem." The article goes on to name all the women who participated in Emblem Day.

The news item most intriguing on June 20 appeared one column over on the front page. It reported on what was to happen as the finale of Emblem Day.

Emblem Day of the local branch of the Red Cross will close at 9 o'clock this evening with an inspiring and elaborate electrical demonstration.
A large and attractive Red Cross banner, made by high school pupils under the direction of Miss Nixon, fastened on the cupola of the Farmers National bank will figure prominently. The Albany Southern railroad company has generously donated sufficient "juice" to operate a large "flood" light which will illuminate the banner, and this light has been arranged free of charge by Electrician Joseph Clark. The machine, from which the "flood" light will be thrown will be at the Speed shoe store.
This was the Farmers National Bank building, which stood at 544 Warren Street. Constructed in 1872, it was destroyed in a spectacular fire in November 1926.

The shoe store owned by H. S. Speed, where the floodlight was located, was across the street at 539 Warren Street, which today is a pocket park.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Repaving the Public Square

This morning, the Department of Public Works has been busy applying new asphalt to some of the walks in the Public Square, a.k.a. Seventh Street Park.

Photo: Bill Huston

Photo: Bill Huston

The activity prompted some to wonder if this meant the plan to replace the asphalt with pavers had been abandoned. After some consideration, it is Gossips' opinion that the answer is no.

As Gossips reported at the time, the walks through the public square were a topic of discussion at the April meeting of the Common Council Public Works Committee. Commissioner Peter Bujanow had pointed out that the paving of the walks in the park was in such bad shape that it presented a public safety issue. DPW superintendent Rob Perry indicated at the time that he had added the estimated cost of replacing the asphalt with pavers to the budget for 2014, but it had been rejected by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (the mayor, the treasurer, and the Common Council president). It was his intention to ask for the money to replace the asphalt with pavers again in the budget for 2018. It is Gossips' opinion that the work done this morning was the easiest and least expensive way to alleviate a public safety issue and the idea of replacing the asphalt with pavers has not been abandoned. 

The picture below of a park in Chesterton, Maryland, gives a sense of how our public square could look if the asphalt were replaced with brick pavers.


Harmony Project Hudson

Last Thursday afternoon, there was a concert in the beautifully restored auditorium of the Hudson Opera House featuring singers and string players, all of whom were primary school students.

The concert was the end-of-year performance of the more than fifty children who have been part of Harmony Project Hudson, a partnership of the Hudson City School District, Bard College Office of Civic Engagement, and founder, Josh Aronson, in association with Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood and the Hudson Opera House.

The mission of the Harmony Project is threefold:
  • to promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice, and performance of music;
  • to build healthier communities by investing in the positive development of children through music;
  • to develop children as musical ambassadors of peace, hope, and understanding among people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs.
Harmony Project Hudson involves the youngest HCSD students. Children in Kindergarten through Grade Two are engaged in vocal music lessons and performances; first and second graders are learning to play the violin and cello.

HCSD superintendent Maria Suttmeier told Gossips: "The music that came from our youngest students was quite remarkable. We are so fortunate to have people like Mr. Aronson taking a sincere interest in our students."

Harmony Project Hudson has a summer program which begins in July. Of the summer program, Aronson says, "Once again we will bring a month of music, movement, lyric writing, and creative juice to all of our kids."

To learn more about the program, visit the website:

Hudson Water in the News

Today the Register-Star reported a story Gossips published more than a week ago--that freshwater scientists from the Eastern New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy have offered to do a risk and sustainability analysis of Hudson's water supply: "City's water supply to be studied under a microscope." The headline given to the story is a bit misleading, since the study has to do with the sustainability and potential for pollution of the watershed that is the source of our water and probably won't involve many microscopes. The story got picked up Dave Lucas on WAMC News: "Scientists offer to study municipal water supply."

The Great War: June 19, 1917

On June 18, 1917, the Hudson Evening Register announced the opening of the new Red Cross headquarters at 530 Warren Street. On June 19, 1917, the paper announced Red Cross "Emblem Day," to take place the following day.

Tomorrow is Red Cross emblem day in this city. It is held coincident with the drive to raise a war fund of $100,000,000. Hudson's quota is a large one, but if the residents of this grand old city display the same generosity to-morrow as they have in former times of trial and tribulation, there is no doubt but that the allotment will be nearly met.
Great interest is being manifested in to-morrow's big event, and to-day crowds gathered at 530 Warren street getting instructions and doing valuable work. To-morrow the headquarters will be open at 6:45 o'clock in the morning. . . .
Hudson will be turned over to the Red Cross workers Wednesday, and there is very little possibility of one escaping "tag." So it is useless to go up or down back streets, or even down the alleys. However, all who so desire can leave any contributions for this great work at the headquarters, where receipts will be given.
The city to-morrow will be thoroughly covered by about 125 workers, all of whom will be attired in Red Cross uniforms. An attractive emblem will be sold to individuals, and a pretty Red Cross emblem for motor cars will also be on sale. Contributions must be at least 10 cents, and for the motor car emblems the price will be not less than 25 cents. . . .

Monday, June 19, 2017

And the Winners Are . . .

During Saturday's OutHudson Pride Parade, a trio of judges--Tiffany Martin Hamilton, Richelle Martin, and Rick Rector--were carefully scrutinizing and evaluating the parade entries.

Photo: David Voorhees|Facebook

Their task was to decide who merited awards in each of these eight categories:
  • Most Hudson Spirit
  • Most OUT There
  • Best Music
  • Most PRIDE
  • Most Kitsch
  • Most Fabulous
  • Butchest
  • Best in Theme: Wild Queendom
On Monday, June 26, at 7 p.m., at Helsinki Hudson, you can find out who won at the First Annual OutHudson Awards Night. The awards were arranged by Andrea Elliott, and the each winner will receive one-of-a-kind statuette, crafted by Drop Forge & Tool.

"Give what you like" contributions will be accepted at the door. There will be a cash bar, and weekday menu items from the restaurant at Helsinki Hudson will be available for purchase. Those planning to dine at Helsinki Hudson are urged to make a reservation by calling 518 828-4800. Click here for more information.

Money for Farms

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that more than $1 million has been awarded to twenty-seven new and early-stage farms in New York through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund, a program started in 2014 to help farms expand operations and improve profitability. Three of the grant recipients are farms right here in Columbia County. Blue Star Farm in Stuyvesant, a mainstay of the Hudson Farmers Market, will receive $50,000; Letterbox Farm Collective in Greenport, which supplies produce to Fish & Game, Crimson Sparrow, Swoon, and Hudson Food Studio, among others, will receive $31,000; and MX Morningstar Farm in Copake will receive $30,436.

Sue Decker of Blue Star Farm
Cuomo said of the program, "Agriculture remains a major New York industry, and with support from the New Farmers Grant Fund, we will be making investments that will pay dividends for future generations of farmers."

The Hudson River School This Coming Sunday

On Sunday, June 25, Historic Hudson and the Columbia County Historical Society collaborate once again to present a slide show and conversation by Peter Jung about the artists and work of the Hudson River School (1825-1875).

Sanford Robinson Gifford|South Bay and Mt. Merino
Hudson River School painters--Thomas Cole, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Frederic Church, and others--captured some of the last moments of the virgin landscape inhabited by Native Americans before the European immigrants transformed true wilderness into farms and settlements. These artists believed that God was manifest in the form of the American landscape, and their reverence for the vistas before them are recorded in the paintings known as Hudson River School paintings. 
Jung has been a dealer in traditional American paintings for a quarter century, and during that time he has handled many examples of Hudson River School paintings. His dedication to Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), one of several Hudson River School painters closely associated with Hudson, inspired him, in 2008, to undertake the restoration of the Gifford family plot in the Hudson City Cemetery, where the artist is buried.

Sunday's event takes place at Stair Galleries, 549 Warren Street. The slide show, featuring sixty images, followed by a question-and-answer conversation begins at 5 p.m. A reception precedes the presentation at 4:30 p.m. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Fifty-three Years Ago Today

Photo: MPR News
On The Writer's Almanac this morning, Garrison Keillor reminded us that on this day in 1964 the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing all segregation on the basis of race on the United States. To quote Keillor:
The bill was quickly passed in the House of Representatives, but Southern Democrats filibustered it in the Senate for almost three months. [President Lyndon] Johnson made personal telephone calls to many of the Southern Democrats, and told them that they wold be sorry if they didn't drop their opposition. He reminded the Southerners that he was the first Southerner serving as president since before the Civil War, and if they ruined his agenda, they might not see another Southern president for another hundred years.
The bill finally came up for a vote in the Senate on this day in 1964. Every senator was present, including Senator Clair Engle of California, who was dying of a brain tumor and couldn't speak. In order to vote yes, he pointed to his eye. Johnson needed 67 votes to break a filibuster. He got 71.
You can read the full transcript or listen to the entire episode, which includes a sweet poem about the yellow Lab, by clicking here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Great War: June 18, 1917

A website called Home Before the Leaves Fall: The Great War has this to say about the American Red Cross during the months after the United States entered World War I: 
By the spring of 1917 the war in Europe was at its most intense. Word about the dismal trench conditions in France and Germany was reaching citizens of the United States and the reality had sunk in that American combat troops were going to be deployed in Europe in large numbers. Driven by these circumstances and a growing patriotic duty in America, citizens offered their help to the Red Cross in greater numbers than ever before. . . .
The Red Cross also provided women an unprecedented opportunity, both at home and abroad, to show their patriotic spirit and strip away preconceived notions of women and the public sphere. Women played a vital role in the Red Cross and in the relief effort overseas. . . .
All this is reflected in the article that appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on June 18, announcing the opening of a new Red Cross headquarters in Hudson.

Miss Jennie R. Denegar has generously donated to the Hudson branch of the Red Cross society her store at 530 Warren street, and the work will be done there this week instead of at the parish house of Christ church. The new headquarters are coincident with the big drive of the Red Cross for war contributions, and it is the sincere hope of the officials of the local organization that there will be a large attendance at the gatherings to be held in the building, as the call for dressings is incessant.
The new temporary headquarters will be open from 9 o'clock in the morning until 9 o'clock at night, and in the evening the kits for the "F" company members will be made. The Red Cross buttons will be on sale there, and women are needed. New members of the organization will be cordially received, and membership cards given to new members and those who enroll in the Red Cross this week. This is a new feature, Mrs. Gillette, who is an ardent local Red Cross worker, explained this afternoon. Every member is entitled to a card showing that he or she has enrolled in the organization. . . .
"We wish you would emphasize the fact that women are needed at the new headquarters," a member of the organization stated to-day. She also declared that the following motto had been decided upon: "If you can't give a dollar to become a member, you can give your time, can't you?"
Displayed in the headquarters is an abundance of surgical dressings made by the local branch; also night shirts for the wounded, convalescent robes, pajamas and hundreds of other useful things in the hospital. Two large boxes ready to be sent to the front filled with surgical dressings are also shown.
This is 530 Warren Street, the newly designated headquarters of the Red Cross in 1917, today.


Of Interest

On his blog, Current Matters, Mark Orton pursues the topic of slavery in Hudson and Columbia County in the 18th century: "Slavery in Hudson and nearby."

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Last Monday, at the informal Common Council meeting, a resolution authorizing "the Mayor or other city officials" to apply for a NYSERDA ZEV (zero-emission vehicle) Clean Vehicle Infrastructure grant was presented. The purpose of the grant was to establish electric vehicle charging stations in the city. 

The resolution raised several questions, the first being where it had come from, since it had not passed through any committee. It turns out that the resolution had originated with Alderman Michael O'Hara (First Ward), who was not present at the meeting to answer questions about it. O'Hara had given it to Council president Claudia DeStefano, who gave it to Council counsel Andy Howard for vetting prior to presenting it to the full body.

Several aldermen recalled proposal a few years ago to create two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the municipal parking lot at the train station. The proposal originated with National Grid and was first discussed at a Public Works Committee meeting in March 2013. In May 2013, there was a resolution before the Common Council. When it was discussed at the Common Council meeting on May 13, 2013, several objections were raised: it would cost the City money; only those people who could afford electric or hybrid cars would benefit; it would eliminate two parking spaces for the general public. The fate of that resolution is not clear, but there are no EV charging stations in the parking lot at the train station--or, if there are, they are so well-hidden that they cannot be found in a simple drive through the parking lot looking for them.

O'Hara was at the Economic Development Committee meeting on Thursday to provide more information about the current plan to create EV charging stations. He explained that it is part of a larger plan for Hudson to become a Clean Energy Community, which is a program of NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority). Being a Clean Energy Community would qualify Hudson for up to $100,000 in grants, but to become a Clean Energy Community, Hudson must complete four of ten "High Impact Actions." One of those actions would be to install EV charging stations. O'Hara is proposing that the City seek a grant from NYSERDA to install the charging stations. The grant requires a 20 percent match from the City, which he anticipates would be covered by an in-kind contribution: DPW's work on preparing the site. O'Hara told the committee that the site chosen for a charging station was the municipal parking lot behind City Hall.

At the Economic Development Committee meeting, Alderman Rick Rector (First Ward) said he would like the Council to look at all ten High Impact Actions and decide which ones to pursue, suggesting that everyone had not been "brought into the overall strategy." The resolution, which was introduced at the informal meeting, will very likely be discussed further at the regular Common Council meeting on Tuesday, June 20.

In Case You Missed It

Two of our Hudson residents, Sherry Jo Williams and Pauline Decarmo were featured in the Real Estate Section of the New York Times on Friday: "Living the Urban Life Upstate."

Photo: Tony Cenicola|The New York Times

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sunshine for the Pride Parade

A half an hour before the OutHudson Parade was to begin, it started to sprinkle, but, by 2 p.m., when the parade stepped off, the rain had stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun came out. 

Since Gossips was part of the parade, I have no photographs to share, but I do have a parade story. Last year, my dog Joey rode with me in the Gossipsmobile, but he was so frightened and unhappy that no one saw him. He was lying down in the passenger seat. Because he was wearing his travel harness, to prevent him from possibly jumping out the open window, he couldn't escape to safety in the little cargo area in the back. Needless to say, I felt like the world's worst pet parent. So this year, we got a stand-in for Joey, one who was willing to wear a pink wig and a rainbow lei.

Photo: Andrea Lea Elliott
The first person to see "Parade Joey" told me he was initially concerned, thinking I might have taxidermied my dog. Others confessed to thinking, as we all waited for the parade to begin, that he was an amazingly well-behaved and tolerant dog, until they realized he was not real. As the Gossipsmobile made its way down Warren Street, Joey's double seemed to be a big hit with spectators on the north side of the street--the ones who had the better view of him--whether they thought he was real or not.

Many thanks to Andrea Lea Elliott for taking this amazing picture of "Parade Joey."

Today's the Day

All is in readiness. The OutHudson Pride Parade begins at 2 p.m. Where's the sunshine?

Photo: Rob Bujan|Facebook

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Great War: June 16, 1917

On June 16, 1917, the Hudson Evening Register published a list of all the employees at Union Mills, Albany Southern Railroad, and Swansdown Mill who had subscribed to the Library Loan program. The list started on page one, continued on page five, and ended on page seven. More evocative, however, were these two little items that appeared on the op-ed page.


Twenty Years Later

Twenty years ago, in the summer of 1997, Historic Hudson and Hudson River Heritage arranged field trips for their members to two major Hudson River houses owned by the State of New York: the first was Hoyt House in Staatsburg; the other was the Dr. Oliver Bronson House on the grounds of the Hudson Correctional Facility.

We know what's happened to the Bronson House in the past two decades. Historic Hudson became its advocate. In 2003, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark, and enabling legislation was passed to allow Historic Hudson to enter into a long-term lease for the house with the State of New York. The lease was finalized in 2008, and Historic Hudson became the house's legal steward. Since then, the first two phases of the house's restoration have been completed, and Historic Hudson is now ready to embark on Phase 3.

The story of Hoyt House in the past decade is remarkably similar. In 2007, the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance became the friends group for Hoyt House. In early 2015, the initial phase of restoration was completed, which involved work on the roof, gutters, and chimneys, restoration of the exterior stonework masonry, and--just as with the Bronson House--the removal of a dilapidated kitchen addition. In the case of the Bronson House, the addition was late 19th century; the Hoyt House addition was 20th century.

Beginning today, June 16, seven students from Boston Architectural College (BAC) are at Hoyt House for a week-long residency. A Heritage Documentation class will use Hoyt House and the surrounding historic landscape known as "The Point" as a field school for instruction in measurement, hand drawing, photography, and other technical skills, including a three-day photogrammetry workshop. Part of the BAC program too is a course on New York State History and Culture. During the week, the group will also be visiting the Bronson House. Five graduate students, one undergraduate, and one professional seeking continuing education credits are part of the workshop.

At the end of the week-long workshop, on Saturday, June 24, at 3 p.m., the public is invited to the final student presentations at the New York State Park Auditorium on the grounds of Norrie State Park in Staatsburg. Click here for more information about the BAC program and the restoration of Hoyt House.