Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ceremonies and Serendipity

Next week, the Hudson City School District is hosting two big events--or one big event in two parts. On Wednesday, September 27, at 6:30 p.m., it's the closing ceremony and the annual homecoming bonfire at Barrett Field (behind Montgomery C. Smith School, 102 Harry Howard Avenue). On Thursday, September 28, at 6:30 p.m., it's the grand opening and dedication of the new Bluehawk Sports Complex (behind the Hudson Jr./Sr. High School, 215 Harry Howard Avenue). You can learn more about the festivities being planned by clicking here.

Here's the serendipity. Last week, Cynthia Lambert sent me a photocopy of the program for Hudson's sesquicentennial celebration in 1935. Among the events in the week-long celebration of the city's 150th anniversary were, on Tuesday, July 2, at 3 p.m., the opening of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, and on Wednesday, July 3, at 2 p.m., the "Dedication of Athletic Field and Athletic Meet by schools of Hudson and other cities." (The dedication of the field was followed that evening by a "Costume Ball at State Armory," which began at 9 p.m.)

The program includes this picture of 102 Harry Howard Avenue, identified simply as "New Hudson High School." It must have been an architect's drawing of the building because construction did not begin until 1936.

Here's what the program had to say about the site where there was an athletic field even before there was a school building.

In 1931, the Board of Education of the City of Hudson took title to a 28-acre tract of land situated on Harry Howard Avenue and extending easterly to Oakwood Boulevard, as a site for the location of a new junior-senior high school and a general school recreation center. The plans for a high school building have been approved, and it is expected work on the construction of the building will be commenced soon.
The plans for the development of this property are the work of leading authorities. Tooker and Marsh, one of the most prominent firms of school architects, have drawn the plans for the building, and the development of the field and play areas is the work of Dr. Laurie D. Cox, head of the Department of Landscape Engineering, State College of Forestry.
Nearly all of the facilities that are usually found in complete "civic centers" will be included in this project. The recreation and play field is already completed. This includes a baseball diamond, football and soccer field, a quarter-mile running track, five tennis courts, ample play grounds for smaller children, park areas with drives, walks, etc. A swimming pool and "outdoor theatre" are included in the complete plans and will be built later.
The entire area lends itself naturally and easily to beautiful landscaping effects. The opinion of authorities is that for accessibility, natural contour and beauty and adaptability to education and recreation use the property is ideal.
So far as I know, the swimming pool and outdoor theater were never built, and eighty-two years later, Hudson is moving on up the street to the artificial turf and gorgeous views of the new Bluehawk Sports Complex. 

1 comment:

  1. Paul Barrett may have photographs of the costume ball at the Armory.