Monday, September 12, 2011

Rendering and Reality

The walls are rising on the two houses at Union and First streets, and the reality seems disturbingly different from the rendering presented to the Historic Preservation Commission and the public.  

Mass and scale are essential to compatibility, as is continuity. In the rendering, the height of the two buildings aligns with the height of 106 Union Street, just to the right. The first and second story windows align with the windows on 106 Union and appear to be fairly similar in size. But the reality is quite different.

With the cellar and the first floor in place, the houses threaten to dwarf their surroundings. The top of the first story windows aligns with the bottom of the second story windows on 106 Union.  These two houses may end up as tall if not taller than the three-story building on the other side of First Street.

Elevations were submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission in addition to the renderings, and it may turn out that the elevations represent the buildings exactly as they are being realized. It is likely, however, that the majority of the HPC members--and certainly all the members of the public, who didn't have the opportunity to examine the elevations--relied on the renderings to judge compatibility, and the renderings are clearly misleading.    


  1. With a viable governance system, this would be sufficient grounds for an immediate stop-work order.

  2. True. In New York City, a developer who added extra storeys to his sliver building on the Upper East Side was (correctly) forced to take them down, at a cost of millions of dollars.

    Over and over again in Columbia County there is no actual enforcement against violations like this. Very discouraging.

    Good luck with this one.

    -- Jock Spivy

  3. Too bad I'm not on the HPC anymore. I would have certainly caught this. --- When the slick, glossy 5th and Warren plans were submitted I noticed the distortion right away.

  4. Some people just can't play by the rules designed to make a community.

  5. This structure going up and the renderings aren't even close. Where are those basement windows in the drawing,just for starters?
    What good is HPC if they had different elevations and blueprints that matched what is being built.They had no business approving them, not without the proper revisions.The renderings are just imaginary, a publicity stunt.I hope that those pretty pictures aren't how the builders were given the go ahead.What good are codes if they aren't enforced.What good is code enforcement if they aren't made accountable.Not just on these historic preservation matters,but on all building code matters. If code enforcement turns a blind eye to these obvious cosmetic transgressions, that anyone who cares, can see,what else is let slide by in matters of the real building construction and safety regulations.There is a real and present danger if the citizens of Hudson do not have regulatory agencies that enforce the law for their safety, health and welfare.That rules apply to some ,but not to others.I know these are the most pressing issues I have for the present Candidates.Historic Preservation is very dear to me. But preservation period ,is even more so.

  6. are the elevations available for posting? as the elevations were made public it would be enlightening to see them as part of this posting. is this the first time the HPC has approved something while neglecting to understand or absorb the details? a rendering is conceptual. elevations are the details.

  7. As Carole suggested, and as a city official confirmed, the "renderings" (the drawings above) are not the official plans that were approved by the HPC. What does this mean? The city official said it meant that Carole's post is disingenuous. I responded that, au contraire, it is the HPC and the approval process that is flawed -- if the renderings are not accurate representations of the proposal, then they should not be allowed into the official proceedings.