Sunday, July 3, 2016

It Was Ever Thus

Back in February, Alderman Abdus Miah complained that a ramp at Promenade Hill had been discussed since 2010 and used that claim to argue that the ramp project must be pursued now without consideration for design and appearance or the impact of a ramp on a National Register historic park. Miah's impatience showed no recognition or tolerance for the fact that municipal projects take time, and apparently in Hudson, they always have. Recently, I discovered evidence of this while searching old newspapers at Fulton History.   

We know from Anna Bradbury's History of the City of Hudson that improvements to the Public Square, transforming it from a treeless square paved with cobblestones to the park that survives today, began in 1878. 

The fountain, hailed as "an ornament to the City and a monument to Public Spirited Citizens," was added in 1883. On September 11, 1883, the Hudson Evening Register announced: "The beautiful fountain in Public Park is nearly completed and our citizens have enjoyed the sight of 'Venus Rising from the Sea,' exhibiting in the most effective manner the power of our water supply, and proving that it can be put to ornamental as well as useful purposes. . . ."

This little item, however, discovered in the Hudson Evening Register for August 29, 1889, reveals that eleven years after the park was created and six years after the fountain was completed, folks in Hudson were still waiting for the trees to provide shade, for benches to be installed, and for water to flow regularly from the fountain.


1 comment:

  1. Back in the 1800s the park was beautiful with a fountain of Venus, in 2016 we have a fence with high voltage keep out signs and broken up asphalt. That's progress! I guess everyone is so busy staring at their phones they don't see or care about the ruins in their midst.