Sunday, September 18, 2011

Truth Revealed

Gossips has been observing the construction of the two houses at 102-104 Union Street and wondering about the discrepancy between the renderings presented to the Historic Preservation Commission--and to residents of the neighborhood at the public hearing--and the reality. Commenters--online and elsewhere--have pointed out that elevations not renderings are a reliable indication of a building's dimensions, and this afternoon, Tom Swope, chair of the Historic Preservation Commission sent Gossips the full package of drawings submitted to the HPC, including the elevations.

These don't seem to provide much help either unless you notice the little notation below each one, which says: "SCALE: ¼”=1 FOOT." To realize that the renderings did not accurately represent the buildings as they would be, the HPC would have had to measure the height of the buildings in the drawings in inches, calculate how many quarter-inches that was, and compare that number with the height in feet of 106 Union Street, if that were known. Then, to judge compatibility, they would have to imagine buildings with those dimensions on the site, since the renderings do not reflect those dimensions. 

Whether this happened or not is unclear. It didn't happened in a public meeting. What has been confirmed, however, is that the buildings, although unlike the renderings, are apparently what the HPC granted a certificate of appropriateness.   


  1. All architect's drawings are presented "to scale". To measure the actual size of the building drawn can be done by a school child with an scale ruler. In all due respect, if the HPC did not, or could not, do this it is no one's fault but their own.

  2. Indeed, scaled drawings should be the determining factor, and i assume the rendering and elevation drawings were presented to the HDC at the same time. Understandably, renderings need not be perfectly accurate, but in this case the differences (just look at the roof lines of the rendering vs. the existing neighboring building) ) are way off. One can only conclude that the rendering was presented in a deceitful manner.

  3. I could not agree with R.Rasner more.Doesn't
    HPC have an architect on its board? They have an attorney.Did HPC require compatibility with the building next door? Did they require the elevations ,drawn to scale, of the front of the building next door? I would be very interested in seeing the elevations of next two structures facing First Street,that HPC has approved.Don't side streets count?
    So,HPC now has the opportunity,since these builders are now owners of some of Hudson's important Historic buildings, to pay a great deal more attention."Gossip's" reporting has made some of the public, pay more attention.If HPC, the city and the building dept. gives the owners their blessings by signing off ,then the owners can not be held accountable, after the fact, if the end result is less than expectations. It also will make it difficult in the future for HPC to have any enforceable clout, to protect any other historic bldg, by any other owner,unless of course this leniency only applies to these particular owners.So,we have all been warned.

  4. It seems clear, a new and different building is being built.

  5. Judy Sherman submitted this comment:

    Could it be that the building next door is the one which is inaccurate in the renderings? From what I can see, using's birds eye view, that could be the be the case.
    Hopefully, the new building seems to be in closer proportion to the second building up, not to the smaller one next door to it.
    Judy S.

  6. I have to agree with Norman.

    Renderings, drawings, scale should all be in keeping with what is being proposed.
    It is the responsibility of the applicant to offer their concept without monkey business for later shock and awe by the trusting and unsuspecting. Be a part of this community instead of a renegade. Might work better in the long run. No one appreciates being taken by snake oil salesmen.

  7. I couldn't agree more with Norman.  The problem is, as it has been for some time in Hudson, there is very little appetite for enforcement of the rules.  Deceive the HPC?  No problem.  Literally.  And if the HPC doesn't grant approval to a developer, the developer has been known to s l o w  the work to a standstill (3rd/Warren) in retaliation. 
    When you think of the precarious place the current library board has placed this community treasure, the mind reels.