The new lighting draws renewed attention to the sad state of the little park, known to some as the PARC Park because it was created, on City-owned land, as a gift from the PARC Foundation. Fifteen or so years ago, the PARC Foundation (PARC is an acronym for Planning + Art Resources for Communities) had great plans to transform the north side of Hudson, what was then the Second and Fourth wards, but the linear park extending from Warren Street to State Street, of which this little park is the first stage, is the only part of the plan that was realized.
The park was completed late in the summer of 2007--a lovely little green oasis of modern design tucked into a streetscape of 19th-century buildings. A few days after the ribbon cutting, the stone fountain was tagged. Fortunately, the PARC Foundation, which then had a presence in Hudson, was maintaining the park at the time, and the graffito was promptly removed.
The boxwood hedges that originally lined the front edge of the park and the ramp to Prison Alley suffered a different kind of abuse. A year or so after the hedge was planted, someone from DPW took a power trimmer to the lovely rounded nascent hedge and brutally squared it up, giving it the same shape exhibited by every bush and shrub in the city parks of Hudson, regardless of species.
In 2011, Gossips made an appeal for a "hedge fund" to restore the boxwood in the PARC Park. In 2014, the Mrs. Greenthumbs Day garden tour originally intended to solicit donations specifically for the restoration of the hedge, but it turned out that the PARC Foundation, in conjunction with completing the rest of the linear park, was going to "retouch" park on Warren Street, replacing the boxwood hedge with plantings they believed would be more salt resistant and would require less maintenance.
The new plantings were installed late in the summer of 2014, but, alas, a little more than three years later, they too are in sad shape. The following pictures were taken earlier this week.
These trees were very important to the designers of the park because they screened from view 325 Columbia Street, which the folks from the PARC Foundation considered very poor design. Such was their distress over the proposed design for the building that they had commissioned renderings of two alternative designs--one that replicated a row of 19th-century buildings, the other a very modern building clad in copper--hoping the County might consider one of them instead of the ornamented big box that was built. Today, only five of the ten trees meant to screen the view survive. The others have been cut down and not replaced. Whether or not the hostas will reappear in the spring is unknown.
Sadly, the PARC Foundation will not be coming back to "retouch" the park a second time. The original agreement with the City was that they would retain "design control" of the park for ten years. That ten-year period was over in 2016, so we're on our own.
COPYRIGHT 2018 CAROLE OSTERINK