Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jeff First's Wish List

Pictured below are the properties on the list of "Bliss Towers Replacement Housing Sites" that Jeffrey First, Executive Director for the Hudson Housing Authority, presented to the Common Council Legal Committee last week. The list is dated December 23, 2009. Some properties have already been eliminated from the list for obvious reasons, but it's revealing to consider the whole list. The plan to demolish Bliss Towers and relocate 132 households is going to have a huge impact on the city, especially--and judging from this list exclusively--on the Second Ward, and this list of properties suggests a unsettling lack of awareness of what's happening in the community beyond the gates of Bliss Towers.

202, 204, 206, 208 Columbia Street These lots, owned by the Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency (HCDPA), make up the community garden, which has been in existence for more than a decade. The garden is a vital and valued feature of the city--particularly to those who are committed to the idea of making fresh local food available to everyone. Just after I took this picture on Sunday, a multigenerational Bengali family left the garden after harvesting the produce of their garden plot. A lot of time and money has been invested in this garden and relocating it would not be a simple task.

234, 238, 240, 242-244, 248 Columbia Street These lots--some owned by HCDPA, some owned by the City of Hudson--are on the north side of Columbia Street, a couple doors down from Third. A few years ago, 242-244 Columbia Street, owned by the City, was promised to the Power Restoration Church as a site for a church building in Hudson. That plan has not moved forward, and City Attorney Jack Connor expressed doubt that it will.

444 & 446 Columbia Street These two lots were given by the City of Hudson to Habitat for Humanity about a year ago. The foundations for two townhouses are now being poured at the site.

213 Columbia Street This vacant lot, owned by HCDPA, is on the south side of Columbia Street, across the street and up a bit from the community garden.

214 Prison Alley This property, also owned by HCDPA, abuts the back of 213 Columbia Street.

16 North Second This vacant lot, owned by HCDPA, is located just north of Prison Alley.

20 North Second Street This house stands next to the vacant lot at 16 North Second Street. It is unoccupied, and its owner is unknown. Presumably, if acquired as a replacement site, this house would be demolished.

6-8, 10, 12, 14 State Street It's not clear exactly where these lots are. The addresses suggest they are in this stretch of State Street, just up from North Front Street, but, as the guardrail suggests, the land drops off quite steeply along the north side of the first block of State Street, so it doesn't seem that these would be buildable sites.

1 Lombard Street I remember seeing Lombard Street on old maps of Hudson, but I had to Google it to find out where to take this picture. Lombard Street goes south from Dock Street right about where the wastewater treatment plant is, but there's no street sign and no street that I could find, so this is my best guess about the location of 1 Lombard Street.

Corner North Front & Dock Streets The corner in question is the southeast corner of North Front and Dock streets. This area is contiguous with 1 Lombard Street and the lots along the lower end of State Street. All this land is owned by HCDPA and is identified on the list as "Urban Renewal Vacant Land."

Mill Street Owned by the City of Hudson and identified on the list as the "old baseball field," this open space is part of Charles Williams Park, which the City has a grant to develop and which the Common Council officially designated as parkland back in 2007. This is also the field that City developed a year ago and maintains as the City-sanctioned alternative to Henry Hudson Riverfront Park for pick-up soccer games.


  1. Sharp reporting, Carole, top marks.

  2. Incredible. Thanks Carole. A real visual testament to the size and scope of this project. The impact this proposed demolition will have on the built character of Hudson is staggering - much more disruptive & destructive than I think anyone is willing to admit. We need to address our stigma of hi-rise public housing and understand what we'll get in its replacement. Please check shortly for more.