Thursday, July 26, 2018

How Buildings Survive

In 2010, Gossips published its "Gellert Gallery," a pictorial inventory of all the buildings in Hudson that were at the time part of Phil Gellert's "Northern Empire." Since that time, Gellert has been selling some of his properties in Hudson, and from time to time, I like to report on how the buildings are faring with their new owners. The news recently that 514 State Street has a new owner and is to be rehabbed provides the occasion to review the fate of other former Gellert buildings.

514 State Street
The first building featured in our 2010 inventory was 451 State Street.

In 2015, the house was purchased by someone who cleaned out the interior and began fixing it up but eighteen months later sold it to an LLC. Even though there are historic images that show how the house was meant to look, the house is now being completely reimagined.

451 State Street appears in this early 20th-century photograph of the cannon at the Hudson Armory
First, the inappropriate 1950s picture windows on the ground floor were replaced with equally inappropriate windows.

Now, the house is getting an elaborate front porch that it never had before, and all of the original hood molding on the second-floor windows has been stripped away.

Needless to say, this house is not in a historic district.

The next building in the 2010 inventory is 102-104 North Fifth Street.

From 1893 until the first hospital building on Prospect Avenue was constructed in 1900, this house, "properly prepared for hospital purposes," was the first Hudson City Hospital. Three years ago, this historic house acquired a new owner who meticulously restored it.

This house is located in a historic district.

The next house from the 2010 inventory is 339 State Street.

This modest vernacular house got a new owner a little more than a year ago and is now looking significantly better.

Another building that is enjoying a better life since it was acquired by new owners at the end of 2012 is 408-410 Warren Street.

The restoration of the storefront of this building uncovered all of the original millwork and detail.

Some buildings that have left the Northern Empire haven't fared as well. The building at 718-720 Union Street, believed to have been the stable for the Silas W. Tobey estate, was demolished by its new owner in February 2017.

At last report, the site was being marketed as "buildable land in Hudson's core commercial district."

Another building that once was but is no longer owned by Gellert is 432 Warren Street.

The building has had a new owner since 2014, but it is still waiting for someone to restore it to its former glory, as it appears in this photograph taken after the Blizzard of 1888.



  1. I hope Gellert isn't getting premium prices for his properties. He doesn't deserve a dime.

  2. So glad the slumlord is divesting his "empire" of substandard housing. Good riddance! But the new owners should respect/restore the original exterior architecture. If lucky enough to uncover architectural elements, the savvy owner makes the most of it - by not removing it.