When Per Blomquist first came to the Planning Commission with his proposal to build a new five-unit apartment building at 248-250 Columbia Street, he said that the mayor and the code enforcement officer wanted him to demolish the existing buildings, which he purchased, according to tax assessment records, in 2011 and 2012. The foundations are reportedly buckling, and in the opinion of our Hudson officials, the only course of action when there's a problem with the foundation is demolition. But is it? Demolition isn't the solution always sought in other places.
Take for example this little house across the river in Athens. Not long ago, the foundation was crumbling, and the house was tilting downhill. Today, the foundation has been repaired, and the house has been righted and beautifully restored.
The house, the oldest part of which was built in the 1780s, is known as Hallenbeck House (probably no relation to our mayor), and it is now listed in the Greene County Historic Register. If only such a bright future could be imagined for 248 and 250 Columbia Street.
Photographs of 7 North Church Street in Athens courtesy James Male and E. D. Pujol.