Saturday, October 12, 2013

Another Appeal for Photographs

It worked in the case of 721 Warren Street, perhaps not in as timely a fashion as one had hoped, but eventually Gossips' appeal for a historic picture of the building yielded results.

Now, a historic image is needed of this house: 117 Warren Street.

The new owner of 117 Warren Street came to the Historic Preservation Commission on Friday morning, wanting to put a "retail size" window on the first floor. She explained that she wants the first floor to become an art gallery, but whenever she comes close to renting it as retail space, the prospective tenant always wants a display window. She proposed a great plate glass window between the two doors.

Studying a photograph of the building, HPC architect member Jack Alvarez observed, "The building has been very compromised over the years," and mused, "How do we hold the line on this if it has been so compromised?"

HPC member David Voorhees recalled being told by the previous owners that the building had once been a store, and it was decided that historic pictures were needed to guide the transformation of the building back to retail space. Voorhees and HPC chair Rick Rector offered to go to the History Room at the library to look for evidence of the building's past appearance, particularly what it looked like before the facade easement program that was part of Urban Renewal. They invited Gossips to come along.

Before the excursion to the library, Gossips found this photograph, probably taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s. The subject of the picture is the Seth Jenkins House at 115 Warren Street, but it also shows part of 117 Warren and its storefront.

At this library this morning, in a booklet called Historic Hudson, created during Urban Renewal, when the houses in 100 block of Warren Street were about the only buildings in Hudson deemed worthy of preservation, we discovered foldout drawings of the block's streetscape--south side and north side. Below is the section that includes 117 Warren Street and shows the storefront that existed then.

At the time this drawing was made, the ground floor of the building was Cordato's grocery store. The name "Cordato's" appears on the awning. Apparently, in the late 1970s or early 1980s, the owner of the building at that time decided to convert the first floor into an apartment. The doorway at the far left and the lower windows, which don't align with the upper windows, were added at that time.

Here are some miscellaneous facts about 117 Warren Street that have been uncovered thus far.
From the City of Hudson Tap Record, we learn that prior to 1888, when the system of numbering lots and houses was changed, this house was 49 Warren Street. In 1875, Isaac Van Bergen lived in the house. In 1906, 117 Warren Street was the home of Mrs. Harvey Thomas. 
According to the Hudson city directory for 1912, Edward Eitleman lived at 117 Warren Street, as did Charles A. and Anna Rote.
This classified ad, which appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for October 12, 1917, indicates that Downing's Auction Rooms were located at 117 Warren Street in 1917.
This account of the wedding of Elizabeth Cordato, which appeared in the Hudson Register for April 26, 1941, provides evidence that the Cordato family lived and operated their grocery store at 117 Warren Street as early as 1940. What is interesting--at least for us in the 21st century--is that the newly married couple, after a honeymoon trip to New York City, took up residence at 117 Warren Street, the bride's family home.

Here is the appeal. If anyone has photographs of this building back when its storefront was still intact, or has any knowledge of the building's history, please let Gossips know. I will convey the information to the owner by way of the Historic Preservation Commission.


  1. I lived at 110 Warren St. in the 60's/70's which is across the street from 117.
    The foldout sketch of 117 is how the building appeared in the 1960's & after Urban Renewal. The Cordato Family owned & operated a grocery store there.
    Additional info on Liz (Cordato) & Nick Cariseo, the couple that are listed in the wedding clip from the 4/26/41 Register-Star.
    They operated a Tavern named The Savoia at 119 Warren. At sometime they moved to Florida. They returned to Hudson in the 1970's. They moved back to 117 Warren St. & remodeled the front as it appears today. They also purchased 255 Warren St. from my Uncle, remodeled the store & named it The Savoia.
    Many of the physical changes that have been made to the buildings in Hudson, especially the Urban Renewal areas of the 60's & 70's, may not be documented.
    But what is still available today is an oral History of the areas that will support sketches, stories, rumors, etc.
    I have asked for Hudson photos via "your probably from Hudson" on facebook hoping that people will share their photos.
    Is there a program or organization that will interview people for oral histories of Hudson?

  2. 117 Warren St was indeed owned by Rocco Cordato and his wife Mary during that time they operated Cordato Grocery and lived above the store. My great aunt and uncle. Rocco was the brother of my grandfather.