Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Heartbreaking News

Photo: Giovanni Di Mola
Timothy Dunleavy died early this morning. Gentle and gentlemanly, he was one of the lions of Hudson. 

He was the inspiration and genius of Historic Hudson, dedicated to fostering appreciation for the city's architectural heritage. One of his great passions was the Dr. Oliver Bronson House, and his tireless advocacy brought the house from ruinous obscurity to national recognition as one of the Hudson Valley's great architectural treasures.

He was the creator and proprietor of Rural Residence, "founded on the pursuit of beauty derived from the refined perception of the sentiment of nature." Established in 1999 (or as he preferred MCMXCIX), the shop was elegantly and impeccably curated, before the term curate became au courant. Every object and its placement reflected his discernment and unwavering commitment to beauty. Every visit to the shop was a chance to bask in an environment infused by his incomparable good taste and gentle spirit. 

Our loss, as individuals who knew and loved him and as a community ennobled by his life among us, defies expression. 

"Good-night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."


  1. The last time we spoke, three weeks ago, he asked when we could go look at old buildings again around Albany and Troy. What a huge loss for those who loved him and for our community. Fare thee well Timothy.

  2. Devastating news and a major loss for those of us in Hudson who "get it".

  3. So sad. His store was wonderful and he was always gracious and happy to see me, even if I was only buying a few bars of soap. What a loss to Warren St. and the people of Hudson.

    Elizabeth Nyland

  4. While I still lived in California, I spoke once on the phone to Timothy Dunleavy to learn more about the Robinson Street Historic District proposal which caused so much controversy back in 2011. While visiting Hudson, I dropped by his shop in hopes of meeting him, and left him a note, but alas I never had the opportunity to meet him in person. Now I never shall, alas. What a sad and unexpected event, for so relatively young a man. May he rest in peace, and my condolences to his many friends and admirers and family.

  5. Indeed, heartbreaking news. I knew for the better of 15 years. His positive force in Hudson was and will continue to be an inspiration for all of us who strive the make and keep Hudson the showcase it has become. Tim's memory will always be in my mind and heart. Good bye my friend, rest in peace.

  6. The sky is full of tears today...
    Au Revior mon ami...

  7. What a very beautiful - and apt - tribute. Thank you.