Monday, December 26, 2016

Long Ago on Promenade Hill

Today, the City of Hudson is struggling to provide universal access to Promenade Hill. In the mid-19th century, the concerns about this historic public space were a bit different. This item appeared in the Daily Star for June 11, 1851.

Prohibiting boys from playing "upon the productive portion of the Hill" reminds me of 2009, when the Common Council, at the urging of Mayor Rick Scalera, decided to ban pick-up soccer games from Henry Hudson Riverfront Park and relegate them to Charles Williams Park, which Scalera predicted would be, when completed, "the eighth wonder of the world."

Above is Charles Williams Park, soon after it was declared "all built out and complete" in 2015.


  1. Charles Williams Park was a great idea then -- and now. This is where our City Government, owing perhaps, to an excess of drama, has forgotten what it should be doing: taking care of its citizens and taxpayers. If Dan Udell's videos are any sign, it would seem that City government is focused far too much on the drama of petty politics and not nearly enough on doing good for our citizens. Charles Williams Park is a perfect example. --pm

  2. Except for a few kids that live right next door, I have never seen much use of the park by anybody (the park is about a block away from me). I wonder why that is. It would be an interesting issue for an urban planner to address. What went wrong? Is it the location (too remote)? Is there just not much demand for it, because other venues for sports are preferred? Is it because of the lack of infrastructure, that would attract patrons? Is it because there is not much there for adults, who would prefer something for them to enjoy while watching their kids throw around frisbees or whatever, so they elect to take their kids elsewhere to recreate? Is it because often nobody is around, so there is a perception of a lack of safety for kids?

    To the extent mistakes were made here, it would be good for us to learn from them. And we all make mistakes, so I don't mean to imply that I am casting aspersions on anyone. I am not.

  3. Gossips just received this comment from former mayor Rick Scalera:

    Scalera quoted, Moving that mountain of clay to build a park in that location was like building the "eighth wonder of the world," not as you tried to deliberately twist my words..

    Unfortunately, Mr. Scalera's issue is not with me but with the minutes for the September 15, 2009, meeting of the Common Council, which is where I found the quote:;/content/Minutes/View/232:field=documents;/content/Documents/File/518.pdf. See page 328.