Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Questioning the Proposed Senior Center

Some have pondered the need for a senior center when the only programs now offered for seniors are Bingo and yoga. Some have objected to the possibility of a tax hike to support a project that was supposed to be funded with grant money. Now the wisdom of attaching a new building to a deteriorating building is being questioned.

If memory serves, more than $800,000 in grant money has been spent on rehabilitating the Youth Center building in the past decade, yet, according to Karen Smith, whose house stands cheek by jowl with the rear wall of the Youth Center, the building still has structural problems that are putting her house and its value in jeopardy.

You can read the details in today's Register-Star: "Senior addition has homeowner worried." Smith shared her photographic documentation of the building's problems with Gossips. Those photographs can be viewed here.


  1. I'm very interested in hearing others' thoughts on this subject. I've been slowly moving away from approving of this idea. Contrary to the gist of the article in today's R-S (which never tried to contact me by the way), I've met with Karen and been in her backyard; I've toured - with a critical eye - the youth center and extant senior addition. This building seems a wreck to me -- a great deal of mortar is missing from joints from foundation up due to the lack of gutters on the Union and alley sides of the building; the rear of the building - which abuts Karen's property - appears to be bowing out and the steel struts are in poor condition. I understand this is something of an historical building as its foundation was the site of the original Friends' Meetinghouse in Hudson. So efforts should be made to shore it up before adding on to it. The entire project currently before the Council is increasingly looking like a bad idea to me.

    One alternative that I've heard is to use the grant to complete the upstairs of the Opera House which could be the Senior Center during the day, and then available for public gatherings the balance of the time. This seems like a "two birds, one stone" sort of deal which appeals to me.

    Please let me hear from those who agree -- and esp. disagree -- with my thoughts above as well as the Opera House idea. I'd appreciate learning more about others' thoughts on this.

    John Friedman (3d Ward alderman)

  2. John, I think that using the grant money to complete the upstairs of the Opera House and use it for a Senior Center during the day and for public programming the rest of the time - rather than adding on to a building with obvious maintenance issues- is a very sensible idea. The entire community would benefit much more from using the funds in this manner.

  3. Has anyone asked the Opera House if they would be amenable to this idea?

  4. John Friedman's idea seems like a good one and I'd be interested in the Opera House's response. Seems it is taking a long time to restore the upstair's space at the Opera House. Has an engineer studied the Youth Center Building? Surely they or the architects must have an engineering study prior to considering adding on an extension.

  5. John's proposal is something I have been thinking about for some time. The economic development of Hudson would receive a huge shot in the arm, if the main opera house stage was operational. I would be a huge supporter of the city partnering with the Opera House to finally complete the renovations of the main stage. In addition to housing the senior center daytimes, I would hope that the informal and formal meetings of the Common Council could return to the building, which was once Hudson's City Hall. It would be a win-win for the Opera House and the City of Hudson.

    Victor Mendolia

  6. This Church/now Youth club is in dire need of repair and Historic Restoration and is in a designated Historic District .How could an extension be added to it ,especially in the deplorable condition the City has allowed it to become.
    The repairs needs to be immediate, but the actual restoration budget,I do not know how much money they have for this project.

    I am sorry that Karen Smith has so paitently gone through all this,but by bringing this to the public's attention,she may have saved the original Church.
    I shutter to think what the planners of this "center" ,had in mind for this Historic building,while tacking on this extension.
    Properly restoring this Church,would be another great project for GalVan Initiatives,INC.

    Leave the Cherry Alley side1/2 lot alone and return it to the Green space it was originally.

    The danger created by being directly on Major Truck Rte 23B& 9G makes this a
    a terrible place for a youth and /or a senior center.The terrible condition of the sidewalks have never been addressed since I have lived here.This and the lack of enforcement on bldgs. to shovel their snow&ice,forcing school children at the bus stop and elders alike on to Trke RTE
    with no signage anywhere .I have fought about with C.C. first hand.With the help of Peter Meyer and then Alderman Sterling ,some progress was made,nothing significant to alter safety issues.
    I could no longer let my Mother, a celebrated Master draughtsman of silver point and anatomy for artist's Instructor at the Arts Student League in NYC, prior to her illness in her 80's with Alzheimer's; live here, in a place so suited for her ,because of these dangers,as I live on the same Truck RTE and trip on same sidewalks.
    When she was living with me here a few years ago and her disease had not progressed to the
    point it has now,her greatest joy was to go to the Opera House to Life Drawing
    For the kindness and care she received from the staff at HOH, I will be eternally grateful ,as she has stopped drawing now.

    Regardless of the fact the building dept here feels they answer to no one,they do.
    There is a NYS Universal Building code.
    and when you build from scratch you must adhere to 2012 codes for Public Assembly and ADA Regulations,to name two.
    especially concerning seniors and children, and the costs are prohibitive,especially by adding a second floor.
    It would be very foolish to invest that kind of money at this proposed site
    I have no idea how HOH would feel about sharing its space with seniors.It too, as a Historic Building has many ADA/Public Assembly issues that need addressed and they are addressing ,but may not have the budget to do so.They have conditions, grandfathered in ,that may cease to be legal, if its usage were changed,
    but if this grant money could be applied there ,they could conform to the codes and regulations they need to in any case
    to be safe ,up to code and multi operational,as others have suggested.