Saturday, November 1, 2014

Activity at the Robert Taylor House

People living nearby on Allen Street and Tanners Lane raised the alarm. The roof was being stripped off the Robert Taylor House, a locally designated historic landmark, often thought to be the oldest surviving house in Hudson, now owned by Galvan Partners.

There was cause for concern. Removing the roof was the way the "disassembling" of 900 Columbia Street began, and it is known that Galvan Partners, who also owned 900 Columbia Street, questioned the efficacy of restoring the Robert Taylor House in its present location and back in 2012 were determined to move it to Union Street. By 10 a.m. this morning, the roof on the east side of the house was entirely gone, along with the two shed dormers, exposing the second floor rooms. Only the rafters remained.

Robert Taylor House in 2010

A message left for Craig Haigh, code enforcement officer, yielded an answer in a couple of hours. Haigh told Gossips that the code enforcement office had no prior knowledge of the project, and no building permit had been issued. He also said that, since the situation had come to his and the mayor's attention, he had been assured that what was happening at the historic house was just a "temporary fix."


  1. When do we stop arresting people for going through red lights? Or burglary? Or purse snatching? Or failure to pay taxes? Why do we look the other way when someone breaks the law on ripping historic houses down?

  2. Done on a Saturday when code enforcement and city hall are closed.

    Reminds me of their Saturday Surprise 'asphalt siding removal party' that happened this summer.

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  4. the good people of hudson want to preserve the cultural heritage of the beginnings of america. what was first here cannot be replaced.

    the historic commission's purpose is to save what little is left of history and the fabric of the city.

    the people voted for laws to protect the city. they do not want a disney version of a rebuild that is more like the las vegas eiffel tower.

    we hope that the owners adhere to the laws and the peoples desires. if the house comes down, we can only make sure that the perpetrators are unwelcomed in any other proposals that they make in the future. we want a good city, not a further violated one.

    we can vote in the future, and we all make sure the elected officials protect our interests and the history that is here.

    1. the owner(s) won't adhere to the laws unless the town forces them

    2. the laws aren't enforced - as weak as they are - due to certain political connections of greater influence than us

  5. Why the Passion for Historic Significance?

    We had our antiques shop for almost 30 years on Warren Street and as the years passed it became evident that many of our buyers had ceased to really care about age and style and provenance. What they responded to was what came to be called, indefinably, "the look." Pure Directoire, impeccable Georgian, superb Chippendale? No one cared. If it looked good it was good--whether two hundred or two years old.

    This way of looking at history and style has, in Hudson, literally hit the streets as Galvan builds Gallowegia in Hudson's green and pleasant land from the river to the park.

    Some--the mayor and his cronies?--might-- surely do--argue that owners should be able to do what they want with their buildings because, after all, "why this passion with historic significance?"

    And so despite Hudson's well-documented architectural history, its historic districts, and even, it seems, despite its Preservation Commission, Galvan & Co.--oh come on, it's Galloway--has done just that: in some cases inventing an a-historic style by mixing a bit of Greek Revival here, a dash of Federal there and pasting it on a helpless early building. And there it is: Gallowegian. Sometimes what was originally there is simply erased and presto!--something shiny and new appears in a style that never was. And sometimes he just tears them down and calls it "disassembling."

    No matter what it is called, once he does it, a part of the real Hudson is no longer there, Hudson's real history disappears bit by bit. We all die a little as Hudson's citizens lose still more of the City's authentic visible heritage.

    If you don't look too closely it all looks good. But it's all fake, you know.

    1. The new brick building designed to be a 'food source' by Galloway at the corner of Warren & 5th looks disturbingly 'fake' despite the use of antique bricks as a veneer from 900 Columbia.

  6. From the looks of the evidence presented here one can only conclude that building is going to get a new roof... to imply otherwise is pure calumny.