Monday, March 18, 2013

Architecture in Hudson

So far in the 21st century, new architecture in Hudson has been pretty lackluster. We've gotten "designbuild" structures like the Central Fire Station and the county building at 325 Columbia Street and CAD created faux period houses like 9 and 10 Willard Place and 102 and 104 Union Street. It often seems that the days when architects of stature and reputation--A. J. Davis, Marcus Reynolds, Warren and Wetmore, Shreve and Lamb--were designing buildings for Hudson ended in the earliest decades of the 20th century, but there is an exception. In the 1960s, Edgar Tafel, a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed not only the campus of Columbia-Greene Community College but also the rectory and offices at Christ Church. The latter project was completed and the building dedicated in 1967.

In 1932, Tafel, then a twenty-year-old from New York City, became part of the Taliesin Fellowship, which Frank Lloyd Wright and his third wife, Olgivanna, were establishing on Wright's estate in Wisconsin. In an obituary of Tafel in the RIBA Journal, Zoe Blackner characterizes Taliesin as "at once architecture school, workcamp, bohemian community and autocratic fiefdom." Tafel stayed at Taliesin for nine years before beginning his own architectural practice, ultimately becoming one of Taliesin's best known alumni and a dedicated preserver of Wright's legacy.

Northwest Architectural Archives
In 1971, Tafel brought the imminent demolition of this house, designed by Wright for Francis W. Little in Wayzata, Minnesota, to the attention of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The outcome was that the living room of the house was dismantled, transported to New York, and installed in the American Wing of the Museum in 1972. Other rooms from the Little house are preserved in museums in Minneapolis; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Dallas; and Karlruhe, Germany.


  1. Please stop trashing my home for the sake of advancing your personal interests.

  2. The funny thing about architecture is that there aren't many people who know enough to speak intelligently about architecture. Great clients make great buildings. Architects guide them and provide resources during the design and building process. If the architect is fortunate s/he will be given free reign and a decent budget. Frank Lloyd Wright "Starchitecture" is an entire subject of study unto itself.