Monday, September 5, 2016

Public Forum Next Week

As Gossips has reported, the Common Council Economic Development Committee, assisted by Bill Roehr of TGW Consultants and HDC executive director Sheena Salvino, is moving ahead with a request for proposals (RFP) for the Dunn building on the waterfront and the adjacent vacant land along Water Street.

To  assist in gathering input from the community about the kind of development people want to see on the waterfront, the Waterfront Advisory Steering Committee is holding a public forum on Tuesday, September 13, at 6 p.m., at the Hudson Senior Center, 51 North Fifth Street, second floor.  

A study completed last year by Saratoga Associates called Dunn Warehouse Adaptive Reuse: Redevelopment Analysis and Master Plan is central to the discussion about developing the waterfront. That study can be found on the City of Hudson website. 


  1. As I've mentioned in other posts, I'd like to see the creation of a Hudson Whaling Museum, using the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as a model. It would include exhibits, a boatbuilding workshop, a home for the Hudson Sloop Club, and a restaurant on the second floor with picture windows overlooking the river and the mountains. As part of this project, significant changes would be made regarding dockage. One quart of the floating docks could be used by the Power Boat Association, one quarter would be reserved for commercial vessels, one quarter would reserved for recreational boaters who are residents of Hudson, including members of the Tin Dock Association, and one quarter of the docks would be reserved for transients who wanted to visit the restaurant or museum by boat. Finally, I propose that Hudson should reach out to the Hudson River Maritime Museum as a partner in this endeavor.

    John Hunka

    1. I like these ideas, but the pace of things just picked up. With an RFP on the way, it's fish or cut bait. I do hope you find some others to fish with!

  2. I forgot to mention that the Hudson-Athens lighthouse would be part of the museum's collection. The museum could also conduct guided walking tours of Hudson's historic buildings, such as General Worth's house, sea captain's homes, etc.

    1. I really encourage you to take this further.

      It would be nice if leaving comments at Gossips was enough, but it's really just the start of a start.

      You've got my support anyway. Imagine how your idea could shape the feel of the city in future. Nice.

    2. I assume that some members of the Common Council Economic Development Committee are reading these posts. I wish they would indicate whether they think the proposal has promise and, if so, how I should present it for formal consideration. I'm all ears.

    3. As Gossips wrote on January 8, 2011, this type of project takes a village to accomplish. Carole wrote:

      "I'm suggesting that in conceptualizing a destination for the waterfront we imitate Norwalk by coming up with a plan that respects place, has an educational as well as a recreation/entertainment or cultural purpose, and has as part of its mission the appreciation and/or protection of the Hudson River. And I'm suggesting that the planning not be done by three men in a room but that it involve the community and not-for-profits that could be helpful--Scenic Hudson, perhaps, or maybe the Columbia Land Conservancy, Historic Hudson, the Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration and Sailing Society, the New Netherland Museum. 'Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood.'"

  3. let's hope they read this because if the federal government won't finance it or insure it then banks certainly won't loan money for it. these new rules apply not only to the Dunn warehouse but also any L&B project and could even affect the plans for "the Wick". if the plans by Saratoga Associates do not consider the new rules they are worthless and chasing them is pointless. let's stop now.

    1. Wow, thanks for the link. It could be important for the fate of the Dunn building.

      After reading the paper, one question I have is whether the cap on federal spending - which tops off at "50 percent of the value of the structure" - applies to all expenses, or only the cost to the federal government?

      If the 50% limit is a tally of everyone's expenses, then I wouldn't count on any federal money supporting this project.

  4. Only a fool would fight to fund a project that ends up under water.

  5. I learned to sail at an organization called the Cooper River Yacht Club near Camden, New Jersey. The club was located in a small building that was rented from the county, and it brought real vitality to the waterfront and the joy of boating to many, many people. The Hudson Sloop Club is analogous in many ways to the Cooper River Yacht Club, So, I hope something similar ultimately happens at the Dunn Warehouse. Here's a brief history of the CRYC:

    "The term 'Yacht Club' generally brings to mind an exclusive club with members who own large yachts and are well off financially. This description does not fit the Cooper River Yacht Club.

    Prior to 1929 the Cooper River was just a narrow stream of water meandering along through marshland on both sides. It was more commonly called 'Cooper's Creek'.

    During the great Depression of 1929 and into the early 30's, President Roosevelt formed what was called the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The WPA was a government program to give work to men who were unemployed and/or destitute. The CCC was a government program to provide work to young single men who were unemployed. These two organizations played a major part in creating the Cooper River Park from Route 130 east to Kings Highway in Haddonfield.

    The water level of the creek was raised by installation of a dam located behind the Howard Hill Furniture Store on Route 130 which created the present lake. Some dredging was also necessary. Cooper River Yacht Club (CRYC) was founded in 1945 by a small group of sailors. Sailboat races were started by a veteran sailor from New England named Harry Chandler and races have been held ever since.

    After CRYC was formed, the Camden County Park Commission donated a building by the river and members donated their time and money to make it suitable for a clubhouse. We now lease the facilities from the Park Commission. Maintenance of the present clubhouse and grounds is still done mainly by volunteers of CRYC.

    CRYC is family oriented and consists of members from all walks of life, regardless of social standing or nationality. It is not necessary to own a boat to be a member of the Club, nor do you need to live in New Jersey.

    CRYC also has a very successful Community Sailing Program for people who wish to sail but do not want to purchase their own boat. Further information can be found on the CRYC website.

    Beginner and advanced sailing lessons are offered to anyone who wants to learn to sail. The Club encourages children to take lessons, as they will be the future backbone of the Club. Instructors are experienced sailors certified by US Sailing and are fully capable of instructing novices in the art of sailing.

    CRYC has produced sailors who have gone on to win more than 50 national and international races in their sailing careers. Races are held at the Club on weekends during the spring, summer and fall.

    The Club does more than just sail and race. Social events are held throughout the year which include barbeques and holiday parties.

    CRYC embraces diversity and denounces discrimination in any form."

  6. The Cooper River club surely grew out of the Corinthian yacht club movement of the 19th century.

    From Webster's: "Of or pertaining to an amateur sailor or yachtsman; as, a corinthian race (one in which the contesting yachts must be manned by amateurs)."

    The Corinthian club which I attended on Long Island (my brother belongs to a different Corinthian club on the south shore), has deep ties to the mid-Hudson region. This includes 19th century ice-boating, and even particular 19th c. ice boats which survive to this day. The sloop Eleanor, now being rebuilt in Hudson, was designed by the former Commodore of the club I'm talking about near Oyster Bay.

    Hudson's nautical ties with other regions are rich, but they're only ever remembered by a few people.

    Meanwhile, the fate of the Dunn building may be decided by people who have little more than a passing knowledge of history. It's a good thing we're talking about this, then, to stir the collective memory and imagination. Economic activity lies in this direction, too.

    Gossips understands these things. On June 10, 2013 we were asked "What if the old Dunn warehouse could become a maritime museum and a shared center for the public education endeavors of both the Hudson Sloop Club and the Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration & Sailing Society?"