Monday, September 16, 2013

A Cathouse for 21st-Century Hudson

Yesterday, Animalkind held a grand reopening celebration to show off its "totally renovated, cat-friendly, completely awesome" adoption center. A visit confirmed that all the preliminary hype was true. The new center is stunning--bright and immaculate, with enclosures, called "Catlands," designed by people who definitely know cats and their behavior. Gossips counted eight Catlands--one of them with access to outdoors and all of them filled with steps and perches and scratching posts for exploration and exercise and snuggly places for cuddling and catnapping. But pictures tell the story of the place better than words.

The outside of the building also looks spectacular, but Gossips learned yesterday that the mural is coming back. According to reliable sources, Peter Wurster, code enforcement officer, said that because the mural had been on the building before it can be put back on the building without requiring any further permits. However, 721 Warren Street is part of a locally designated historic district, and a certificate of appropriateness was never granted for the mural.
All of Warren Street was designated a historic district in May 2006. It is not known when the mural was originally placed on the building, but it's very likely that it happened before the historic preservation law was adopted and the Warren Street Historic District was created. The question of whether or not the mural can go back on the building now, without a certificate of appropriateness, just because it was there before, is an interesting one. If Wurster has misinterpreted the law, it's not clear who can or will tell him that.


  1. What beautiful spaces for the kitties! Congrats to Animalkind. And thanks to Animalkind, and also to everyone who assisted with the rebuilding and renovations.

  2. Wurster is still on the payroll? Rumor had it that he resigned at the end of August...

    1. Peter Wurster is in fact resigning or retiring, but the rumor that he was leaving at the end of August was not true. Gossips heard from Wurster himself that he was staying on as CEO (that's code enforcement officer) until his "little fish place" is ready. (He is opening a fish and chips restaurant in the former Bubba Bean on Route 66 in Greenport.) When Gossips asked when that might be, he said he didn't know.

  3. ...i would ask do the people at Animalkind realize that the mural is just plain ugly? who wants it back up? why would they deface a very beautiful building? why would this "mural" be imposed on a community that just went to great lengths to help them?...

  4. Congrats to all at Animalkind. The place is just wonderful and the cats looked comfortable, cosy, playful and happy, as were the people sitting in the chairs in each station petting them. Certainly 21st century. I'm happy for them.

  5. The building is SO handsome and upscale now, especially with that fantastic sign !

    Why deface it with that 'mural' ?