Monday, September 29, 2014

Upper Warren Street as It Once Was

The new and growing commercial vitality of Warren Street above Park Place is cause for celebration, but the mid-20th century retreat of business upstreet took its toll on the architecture, especially on the houses that once lined the south side of the street. 

Gossips has more than once contemplated the alterations made in the past to residential buildings to accommodate commercial uses. In June 2013, the Historic Preservation Commission interceded to save the first floor bay of this house, which the owner wanted to remove to create ground floor commercial space. The solution was to insert the door to the commercial space--now the location of Spalon--into the center of the bay. Houses converted to commercial uses decades ago were not so lucky.

This picture from the Evelyn and Robert Monthie Slide Collection at the Columbia County Historical Society shows upper Warren Street when the south side of the block was still primarily residential--before it became the architectural mishmash it is today.

Somewhere in this row of houses, probably just to the right of the last house shown in the picture from the Monthie Collection, was this amazing house, which stood at 729 Warren Street. A hundred years ago, Jane E. Heath and her daughter Sally operated a boarding house here. Mrs. Anna Bradbury, who wrote The History of the City of Hudson, New York, was one of their roomers.

The Picturesque house, with its exotic elements reminiscent of the Dr. Oliver Bronson House, may have been demolished to make way for the Warren Theatre in 1938 or for a parking lot needed when the Warren Theatre morphed into a motel, known first as the Roylton Inn (that's right, there was no a), in 1959.


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