Monday, August 29, 2016

A 19th-Century Complaint About a Gateway Park

Michael LeSawyer|Facebook
It's not uncommon these days for people to grumble about the level of care provided to our parks and public green spaces. The DPW crew always seems to be short-handed and stretched thin mending water main breaks and repairing City-owned vehicles, leaving little time for manicuring the municipal parks. Apparently, this is not a new thing for Hudson, as evidenced by this rant, which appeared in the Hudson Daily Register for October 11, 1889, about the sorry state of Franklin Square Park.

Before Urban Renewal re-imagined Front Street in the 1970s, Franklin Square Park was located at South Front and Ferry streets, where there now is a parking lot for Hudson Terrace apartments.



  1. I feel for him - its not unlike my 26 year rant about keeping the town clock wound on a weekly basis.

    This week is different tho - the clock is running but its not ringing.

    Why is a weekly wind such a difficult task for our DPW ?

    1. Thanks Vincent for all you've done over the years to make the clock a priority.

  2. Replies
    1. Yup. It's in the tower of the First Presbyterian Church--a tradition that started back in 1801, when the church was still located at Partition and Second streets.

  3. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again - although well-intentioned, Urban Renewal was the worst thing to ever happen to downtown Hudson. You don't get a "do-over" when you demolish buildings and neighborhoods.

  4. In retrospect, the long-term consequences of the social engineering which went hand-in-hand with urban renewal didn't work out too well either. It's that aspect of the federal housing policy, and its disastrous administration, which sometimes seems little better than Stalin's mass relocations.

    But before someone supposes I'm making an argument against social mobility (in fact I'm arguing the opposite, away from dependence on government), I'd ask our local geniuses from the 1970s, those who first learned to suckle on HUD while wielding the wrecking ball, where are the jobs today?

    Instead of attracting employers to Hudson (in large part a failure of State policy), probably the largest transfer of funds in the county today is through social services. Was that part of the plan too, or was it an added failure of vision?

    Urban renewal had so many ruinous costs, and yet today's social visionaries look and sound exactly like yesterday's social visionaries.

    News flash (to deaf ears): human nature doesn't change.