On Wednesday, Gossips celebrated the removal of the aluminum siding at 742 and 744 Warren Street and the revelation of the original detailing--particularly on 742 Warren--that had been hidden for who knows how many years.
But alas, in the past thirty-six hours, all those marvelous details that were revealed on 742 Warren Street have disappeared--this time, not just covered up but probably removed altogether.
The word is that the discovered decorative elements were "broken" or missing parts, and restoring or reproducing them was too expensive, so the solution was apparently to install new clapboard in those areas.
The situation raises an important question for the Historic Preservation Commission and for our preservation ordinance. The HPC granted certificates of appropriateness to 742 Warren Street and 744 Warren Street to remove the aluminum siding. Of course, a proposal to remove aluminum siding would be given a certificate of appropriateness. It was a no-brainer. At the time, the owners of both the properties told the HPC that the original details survived beneath the aluminum siding, leading anyone to believe that it was their intention to preserve whatever details were discovered. Given that the HPC exists to preserve and protect the authentic architectural fabric of Hudson, it would seem that, once the original decorative details were revealed, another certificate of appropriateness would be required to obliterate them, but this didn't happen. Thank goodness that, in the brief time they were exposed, the decorative details were fairly well documented, although not as well documented as they might have been had people known they were to be short-lived.
I am reminded of the film Bedazzled--the original 1967 version not the 2000 remake. The HPC is Stanley Moon, and just about any applicant before the HPC could turn out to be George Spiggot.
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