Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hudson in 1905: Bonus

Today, along the west side of Third Street between Allen Street and Montgomery Street, there are two giant vacant lots. But it wasn't always that way.

In 1905. St. Mary's Academy stood at the corner of Allen and Third streets, and St. Mary's Church stood at the corner of Montgomery and Third. These pictures of the two buildings are from the booklet Illustrated Hudson, N.Y.

St. Mary's Academy

St. Mary's Church
The original St. Mary's Academy building was destroyed by fire in 1973.

The church moved to their monumental new Gothic building at the corner of East Allen and East Court streets in 1930. The old church building was destroyed by fire in March 1950. Thanks to city historian Pat Fenoff for providing the information about the fate of the old church and to John Cody for providing this picture of the building from a slightly different vantage point.


  1. There is a strange pattern here thanks to Gossips, and it just hit me.

    It seems as if several buildings that once stood in Hudson -- a church, a parochial school, a candy factory and a courthouse (each rather monumental) -- were "destroyed by fire". I believe that a bunch of buildings on Union Street had also burned to the ground over the years (to wit, the brick-fireplaced ruin on the 100 block).

    Were these fires random accidents, or was there something more sinister at work?

    1. Well, Observer, two things that some of these fires have in common is that, at the time of the fires, the buildings were abandoned or unused, and the fires were started, probably unintentionally, by kids playing with matches or smoking where adults wouldn't catch them. That's the story I've heard, from people who were here at the time, about the mushroom factory, which burned in 1979, and St. Mary's Academy, which burned in 1968 or 1969. It was also true for the fire in 1994 or 1995 that destroyed the original Hudson Electric building, which replaced the General Worth Hotel in the 1970s: kids were playing with matches on the loading dock. Interestingly, it was fear of fire that made the city fathers so determined to demolish the General Worth in the first place.

      There is a pattern or sorts--at least with the fires in the 20th century--but one of neglect, disrespect, and delinquency. I'm not sure what caused the fire that destroyed the Moul courthouse in 1907--only seven years after it had been built--but the current Warren and Wetmore courthouse was constructed entirely of stone and metal--including the original furniture--to prevent that from happening again.

    2. The fir happened on April 15, 1973. I was 6, and lived right down the street at 230 Allen. I remember the fire department being worried that the parts of the roof that were burning, were going g to land on the neighborhood houses, so they had all of us on standby to be evacuated.

  2. The fire occurred much later than 1969, more like 1973. Check your facts. It was arson.

  3. The fire at the school was in 1972 or 1973. It was still used as an elementary school in 1968 when I graduated from there.

  4. The fire was on April 15, 1973. I was in kindergarten, and lived right down the street at 230 Allen St.

  5. I lived on Montgomery. Looked out window.saw fire in its very beginimg.i was 10. I started school there. 2-3 years.then went across street till grade 8.after fire we salvaged stuff & helped people load bricks & marble in cars & trucks for pennies.there are marble pieces still around town in use as steps.

  6. Replies
    1. I have a brick from the school fire my mom wrote date of fire on it. 1973.i was 10 and saw fire from start to end.