Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Architect Member Joins HPC

Hudson's historic preservation law, Chapter 169 of the City Code, requires that at least one member of the Historic Preservation Commission "shall be an architect experienced in working with historic buildings." The Historic Preservation Commission has been without an architect member since it was determined that Jane Smith's involvement with the design for the senior center addition to the Youth Center constituted a conflict of interest that required her to resign from the HPC. Today, HPC chair David W. Voorhees announced that a new architect member has been appointed by Mayor William Hallenbeck: John ("Jack") D. Alvarez II. In a press release, Voorhees says, "We could not have asked for a more qualified candidate," and goes on to summarize Alvarez's background: 
Mr. Alvarez is a native of Hudson. His background as a preservation architect began upon completing his degree at Syracuse University in 1995 with Mesick, Cohen, Wilson and Baker Architects, a noted Albany firm specializing in historic preservation. He was an intern with that firm for four years, during which time he was immersed in reconstructing Thomas Jefferson's retreat home, "Poplar Forest," near Lynchburg, Virginia, and worked on mansion restoration projects in Newport, Rhode Island. He then broadened his experience in architecture and preservation by taking positions with preservation firms in San Francisco, where he worked on seismic retrofit projects and residential scale preservation. Returning to the East Coast, Mr. Alvarez worked for Ann Beha Architects in Boston in 2000-2002, concentrating on restoration and adaptive use projects in New England before returning to work for Mesick, Cohen, Wilson and Baker. He was particularly attracted to what became one of the largest preservation projects that firm has undertaken--the restoration of James Madison's "Montpelier," a $25M project to restore Madison's home to its late 18th- and early 19th-century period of significance. In 2011 he joined his wife, Kim, in her firm of "Landmark Consulting," which is a small private practice focused on historic preservation and architectural services. They also offer hands-on workshops to educate owners of historic homes and buildings in the merits of saving their original wood windows and other character-defining features. He has volunteered much time to preservation advocacy through Historic Albany Foundation, the Preservation League, and Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. 
It is worth noting that Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker is the architectural firm that is working with Historic Hudson on the restoration of Hudson's only National Historic Landmark: the Dr. Oliver Bronson House, also known as the Plumb-Bronson House.

In addition to Voorhees and Alvarez, the following people now serve on the Historic Preservation Commission: Tony Thompson, Rick Rector, Phil Forman, Scott Baldinger, and Nick Haddad.

1 comment:

  1. This is the best news I've heard in a while,
    and Mr.Alvarez's joining HPC,could not have happened at a more critical time.
    this is graet!! Welcome Mr Alvarez