Monday, May 14, 2012

Jane's Walk: Site 14

It is fairly well known that the celebrated 19th-century architect Alexander Jackson Davis was commissioned in 1839 to "refit" Dr. Oliver Bronson's house and ten years later was hired to design an addition to the house. 

What is not so well known is that in the 1850s Davis was commissioned to refit and expand another house in Hudson--the house on the northwest corner of Fourth and Union streets.

The work done on the house, following Davis's design, was quite extensive. The roof was raised to create a third story, and a cornice with brackets was added. A porch was added to the north facade, and an addition to the house was created, with an overhang at the rear supported a series of exquisitely graceful brackets. 

From its earliest days, the house belonged to John and Clarissa Gaul. In 1879, their daughter Catharine, then 39, married Dr. George C. Yeisley, who was the minister of the First Presbyterian Church, a position he'd held since 1876. After they were married, Catharine and George lived in the house (John Gaul died the same year they wed), and during that time, Frederic Church was a frequent visitor. (He and George were great friends.) 

Catharine and George inherited the house, and, at some point, they deeded it to the First Presbyterian Church. When Yeisley retired in 1926, after serving as the church's minister for fifty years, the house continued to be used as the parsonage until the end of the 1980s, when the building was sold. 

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what the original purpose of the little federal style building was which is located on this property at the corner of south forth and cherry alley.

    I imagine at one time it also served as the doctors office.