Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Story of a House in the 21st Century

An exchange among friends on Facebook in the past few days revealed that 126 Warren Street, the little house nestled beside the majestic house with the rare cast-iron facade, is the object of some curiosity and most people don't know its story. It's a story that deserves to be told and one that Gossips knows quite well. 

At  the end of the last century, the house belonged to John Flynn, who in the 1960s, before Charlie Butterworth took on the role, was the city engineer for Hudson. Flynn had used the little house as his office, but by the end of the 1990s, it was clear that the little house hadn't been used for anything for a while. The house had fallen into disrepair. There was a tree growing through the roof. There was talk of condemning it. There was fear it might be demolished.

In April 2000, before there was a preservation ordinance in Hudson, before there was a Historic Preservation Commission, Historic Hudson, then in existence for only four years, stepped in to save the house and keep the streetscape intact. Historic Hudson purchased the house from Flynn for $10,000 and also assumed some unpaid back taxes. With a mortgage from Housing Resources of Columbia County, Historic Hudson stabilized the house. The picture below, taken by Byrne Fone in 2001, shows the house sporting a green sign announcing that the ongoing stabilization was a project of Historic Hudson.

Once the stabilization was complete, Historic Hudson sold the house in November 2002 for $55,000--just enough for the organization to pay off the mortgage and recoup its investment--to someone who agreed to continue the restoration.

The current owner completed the exterior restoration but so far not the interior restoration, and the house, which today is assessed at $131,000, remains unoccupied.

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