Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bid Farewell to the Wall

The demolition of 124 Union Street has begun, and with this little infill house, whose side walls were the walls of the houses on either side, will go that last vestige of a very early Hudson house, one that was already here when the Proprietors arrived in 1783.

The owner of 124 Union Street is demolishing the little house in order to build an addition onto 122 Union Street. The demolition received a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission in May, but it almost didn't. The vote was split, with three members voting aye, three members voting nay, and one member--Tony Thompson--abstaining. When he realized that his abstention meant a certificate of appropriateness would be denied, Thompson changed his vote to aye, saying that he didn't want to "impede progress."

If the ancient brick wall had not been an integral part of the infill house, it would have been demolished back in 1993, when efforts to save the 18th-century house after a devastating fire had to be abandoned. Still, the wall has been, for twenty years, an intriguing and provocative element in the streetscape of lower Union Street, offering a unique window into so much of Hudson's past. I will be sorry to see it go, and I encourage readers to come down to see it one more time before it does.

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