Friday, June 16, 2017

Twenty Years Later

Twenty years ago, in the summer of 1997, Historic Hudson and Hudson River Heritage arranged field trips for their members to two major Hudson River houses owned by the State of New York: the first was Hoyt House in Staatsburg; the other was the Dr. Oliver Bronson House on the grounds of the Hudson Correctional Facility.

We know what's happened to the Bronson House in the past two decades. Historic Hudson became its advocate. In 2003, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark, and enabling legislation was passed to allow Historic Hudson to enter into a long-term lease for the house with the State of New York. The lease was finalized in 2008, and Historic Hudson became the house's legal steward. Since then, the first two phases of the house's restoration have been completed, and Historic Hudson is now ready to embark on Phase 3.

The story of Hoyt House in the past decade is remarkably similar. In 2007, the Calvert Vaux Preservation Alliance became the friends group for Hoyt House. In early 2015, the initial phase of restoration was completed, which involved work on the roof, gutters, and chimneys, restoration of the exterior stonework masonry, and--just as with the Bronson House--the removal of a dilapidated kitchen addition. In the case of the Bronson House, the addition was late 19th century; the Hoyt House addition was 20th century.

Beginning today, June 16, seven students from Boston Architectural College (BAC) are at Hoyt House for a week-long residency. A Heritage Documentation class will use Hoyt House and the surrounding historic landscape known as "The Point" as a field school for instruction in measurement, hand drawing, photography, and other technical skills, including a three-day photogrammetry workshop. Part of the BAC program too is a course on New York State History and Culture. During the week, the group will also be visiting the Bronson House. Five graduate students, one undergraduate, and one professional seeking continuing education credits are part of the workshop.

At the end of the week-long workshop, on Saturday, June 24, at 3 p.m., the public is invited to the final student presentations at the New York State Park Auditorium on the grounds of Norrie State Park in Staatsburg. Click here for more information about the BAC program and the restoration of Hoyt House.

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