On Friday, revised plans for the building fared better. The original plan was to replace the windows and the garage doors. In the revised plan, which the HPC deemed appropriate, the windows are to be repaired and the pattern of the original doors will be replicated in the new doors. The elevation drawings below show the building as it is now and with the proposed changes, which also involve the creation of the roof deck, which the HPC did not find problematic.
At its meeting on Friday, the HPC also saw and heard plans for the restoration of the firehouse on Park Place. This firehouse--actually two firehouses--was the last of the historic firehouses to be sold by the City after the Central Fire Station on North Seventh Street was completed and all but one of the fire companies moved into the new facility. The firehouse on Park Place was purchased from the City at auction by its current owner, Marshall Trachtenberg, in 2008. Ten years later, the plans for the building have finally come together.
What's being proposed is a complete restoration of the facade, including what Trachtenberg called a "grand gesture": re-creating the original arches over the doors.
The ground floor of the building will become commercial space, and the second floor will be living space for the owner and his family. The rear of the building will see some significant changes, involving the demolition of an existing wooden structure and the construction of a roof tower, a kind of belvedere, to overlook the city and view the Catskills beyond.
HPC chair Phil Forman commented, "I don't know how much we want to weight the perspective from the alley. . . . This project gets major points for what it's doing at the front, and I'm prepared to tread lightly on the back." Still, Forman suggested and it was agreed that the HPC would "go up there and take a look" at the site and the view of the building from Prison Alley. The site visit will take place prior to the HPC's next meeting, at 9:15 on Friday, January 11.
Trachtenberg told the HPC, "We really believe that this will be a catalyst to bring about a revival of the Public Square," and went on to say that he saw the park as an activity center and wanted to be a part of the park's revival. Craig Haigh, code enforcement officer and former fire chief, pointed out that J. W. Edmonds Hose Company No. 1, organized on April 17, 1794, was the oldest active volunteer fire company in New York State and would be celebrating its 225th anniversary next year. Trachtenberg said they hoped to start work on the building in April 2019, right around the time of the anniversary celebration.
The firehouse, which was built in 1868, was designed by local architect Peter Avery, the same architect who designed Hudson's first city hall at 327 Warren Street, now known as Hudson Hall.
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