Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When Will It End?

Even before 2003, when the City of Hudson adopted its preservation ordinance to protect its historic architecture, houses were being brought back from the edge and restored to their original appearance and vibrant use. Many hoped the preservation law would raise awareness of the value of historic properties to the overall character and appearance of the city, and the impulse to demolish buildings would go away. Sadly, despite all the evidence that people are drawn to Hudson by its historic architecture, people continue to find reasons to want to demolish the very elements that create Hudson's unique appeal.

Between Christmas and New Year's Day, the carriage house behind 405 Warren Street was demolished, to be replaced by a new building, meant to imitate the original, that will be a garage with office space above.

Photo: Lisa Durfee
On Monday, the early 20th-century garage behind 439 Union Street was demolished, to be replaced by a new building, imitating the old, to be used as a garage and dwelling. Gossips arrived on the scene in the afternoon of the day it came down to find all trace of the building gone. 

Both buildings--the one on Cherry Alley and the one on Partition Street--were located in historic districts, and their demolition and replacement were granted certificates of appropriateness by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Tonight, at 6 p.m. in City Hall,  the Zoning Board of Appeals is holding a public hearing on the proposal to demolish this building at 418 State Street and replace it with another building which does not imitate the design of the original and will not be in its footprint.

The project is before the ZBA, which means that the only thing being considered are setbacks for the new building. The location is not in a historic district, so there will be no one to speak out against demolishing the building or to assess the appropriateness, within the context of the neighborhood, of the new building proposed for the site. Having an engineer declare the building unsafe is sufficient to get a demolition permit. Then all that remains is for the ZBA to grant the area variances required to position the new building on the lot as desired.


  1. Let's take a closer look at the laws governing the Historic Preservation Committee; if they are granting certificates of appropriateness in violation of the rules put into place to preserve the historic character of Hudson, the City Attorney should be brought in. This destruction of the architectural and historical character of the City of Hudson has got to be stopped period.

  2. There is no one on the Historic Preservation Committee that actually understands neither history nor preservation of such suchness.


  3. "all the evidence that people are drawn to Hudson by its historic architecture"

    Oh please.

    Why would anyone waste money trying to refurbish this hunk of junk? It's sagging in the middle and looks like it is structurally unsound. There is nothing architecturally interesting about it other than "oh these are the terrible materials people used back then to build badly designed houses."

    Out with the old, in with the new. Hudson doesn't have to look like a dingy shithole.

    Sorry for speaking so Presidentially.

    Is that the