Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yesterday at the Hudson Opera House

As Gossips reported, there was a press conference yesterday at the Hudson Opera House to announce the commencement of the final phase of restoration at this esteemed Hudson landmark.

A number of people spoke at the press conference and said a number of quotable things, but two comments were for me the most memorable. Talking about the beginnings of the Hudson Opera House twenty-five years ago, when a handful of people banded together to buy the derelict building, Gary Schiro, HOH executive director, described the attitude of skeptics by saying, "Salvaging an old building couldn't possibly change lives." But it has changed lives. It has changed the fortunes of our city.

The other memorable comment was offered by Greg Burns, CEO of Consiglio Construction, the firm undertaking the restoration project. Burns spoke of the firm's love and respect for old buildings and said that in the process of restoring the building he hoped "we will have uncovered for you the stories of the past."

Uncovering the past has already begun. Years ago, four of the original seats from the theater were discovered under the stage. Recently, more seats--newer ones, which replaced that originals sometime in the 1920s--were discovered tucked away in the attic.

Also discovered in the attic were the missing pieces of the medallion in the ceiling dome, which were cut away, many years ago, in order to install a fan.

There is also a bucketful ephemera--documents from the building's years as City Hall, programs from performances and events, old newspapers--providing clues to the past.

The Hudson Opera House staff have created an exhibit of some of the most interesting small finds, which is currently on display in the center hall. When you get a chance, stop in and have a look.


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