Thursday, April 11, 2013

Parking, Parking, Parking

Whenever there is discussion about the adaptive reuse of the Armory--for the library, for a senior center, and possibly also for a primary or urgent care facility--someone invariably asks about parking. This seeming obsession with parking brings to mind how the previous owners of the Armory, we were told, wanted the fire department to burn down (for training purposes) the two houses just across the alley (they owned them, too, of course) because they wanted the land for a parking lot but didn't want to pay to have the houses demolished.

Even someone who mourns all the buildings in Hudson that have been sacrificed for parking lots (or as a former mayor would say "parkin' lots"), and even someone who would like to think that Hudson is a walkable city (given the state of our sidewalks off Warren Street, we're not there yet) has to admit that the blasé attitude shown by decision makers about parking at the Armory is a bit bizarre. Lack of parking always seemed to be a huge issue when the library was located at 400 State Street, but the current library board, euphoric about the move to the Armory, seems not to be the least bit worried about parking at their new location.

On Wednesday night, Michael Sullivan of Crawford & Associates made an initial presentation to the Planning Commission in the site plan review for relocating the Hudson Area Library to the Armory. Parking is one of the things that the Planning Commission concerns itself with, and Sullivan affirmed that there were 20 on-street parking spaces along the perimeter of the building: 4 or 5 on North Fifth Street, 10 or 11 on State Street, and 5 on Short Street. The curb cuts on Short Street, Sullivan said, were to be restored as curbs, thus allowing parking. When Don Tillson, chair of the Planning Commission, mentioned other things that might be going into the Armory, Sullivan said that the application being submitted was only for the library.

So what happens when (and if) the senior center and whatever use is proposed for the new addition to the building on Short Street come before the Planning Commission? Do they get to claim the same 20 on-street parking spaces, too?


  1. If memory serves me the area shown in the above picture was used as the motorpool when the building really was the National Guard armory. If it could park the necessary large vehicles for the armory then, it should be able to park at least 10-15 cars on the property itself now?

    1. Ray: That is to be the entrance to the library, and there is a plan in place to create a plaza there, with hard surfaces, seating, grass, and a performance space. You can see the plans on the library's website: