Saturday, August 11, 2018

What's Happening Here?

Gossips recently discovered that 356 Union Street was the home of prominent Hudson physician Dr. H. Lyle Smith. Although my research hasn't confirmed it yet, it is very likely that Smith was the original owner of the house. What is known is that he was living in the house in 1873 and continued living there until 1900, when he sold the house to Delbert Dinehart. 

Today, the house is one of the many buildings in Hudson owned by the Galvan Foundation and one of several now being prepared for occupancy. Gossips reported about the house in March, when the slate on the mansard roof was covered up with blue plastic tarps. Then, although it was feared the original slate had been removed, we were assured that the slate was simply being covered up to protect it while work was done on the roof. It's interesting to note that back in 2012 when this project came before the Historic Preservation Commission, Ward Hamilton, then employed by Galvan, said the slate would have to be removed in order to repair the roof flashing.  

Recently, the plastic tarps have been removed to reveal gray slate on the mansard roof that bears little resemblance to the gray slate that was there originally, although admittedly it's hard to see because of the scaffolding.

But even though the roof is obscured by the scaffolding, it appears that the rosette detail of the roof has not been reproduced.  

This project does not have a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission. If memory serves (I can find no confirmation in the minutes of the HPC), the project was presented informally to the HPC by Jason O'Toole a few months ago. What was proposed then was to replace the original clapboard on the house, revealed in 2012 when the asbestos siding was removed, with Hardiplank. Kate Johns, architect member of the HPC, asked the applicant to consider using cedar on the front of the house and Hardiplank only on the less visible sides and back. The HPC also stressed, as it had in 2012, the importance of retaining the pattern of the slate on the mansard roof, with the decorative rosettes. A formal application for a certificate of appropriateness was never made, and a certificate of appropriateness never granted, yet work on the roof appears to have moved forward.


  1. As I have been pointing out for months, something is not right at HPC. For a building like this, in a historic district, not to have a C of A when it is covered by scaffolding borders on governmental malfeasance; it certainly looks like some property owners get passes while others have to jump through hoops. That's Fair and Equal? Does Galvan have a C of A for the work on the former library?

  2. It's a Galvan project. He's above everything. He does exactly what he wants to do when he wants to do it. He goes through the motions of getting certificates of appropriateness, then does exactly as he pleases. I don't know why no one puts a stop to it.

  3. Perhaps he's a "trend setter" we all need to follow ... ?!

  4. No way Galvan is ever going to satisfy his pious detractors.