Saturday, January 26, 2019

A House History: 6 West Court Street

As we reported a couple of weeks ago, 6 West Court Street made it out of the Galvan inventory, and yesterday, the Historic Preservation Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness for the proposed restoration of the building.

In the months that the house was owned by Galvan, the house received one of the benefits of being a Galvan property: Walter Ritchie did a study of the building's history. Gossips has acquired a copy of that history and permission from Ritchie to quote it here. What follows is Ritchie's research; what has been redacted are details about the interior of the house.
In 1836, prominent Hudson attorney Nathan Chamberlain acquired two parcels of land, one fronting on Union Street and the other on West Court Street, that intersected to form an L-shaped property. He then built on the part of the lot facing West Court Street a brick Greek Revival-style two-story house with a raised basement and two-story service wing. 
Detail of Map of Columbia County, New York (Philadelphia: John E. Gillett, 1851).
The house built in 1836 is highlighted in red.
The residence stood along Washington Square, the park recently laid out in front of the new county courthouse, a monumental domed structure with portico in Greek Revival style built in 1835.
Photo: Historic Hudson
The main facade of the house was three bays wide, with an entrance on the right, two windows to the left, and three windows above. A porch consisting of two Ionic columns supporting an entablature fronted the entrance, which was surmounted by an oblong transom light and flanked by pilasters. Many houses of this type were built throughout Hudson in the 1830s and 1840s. 
In 1868, the property at 6 West Court Street was purchased by Horace R. Peck, a young attorney who worked in the Hudson law offices of his father, Darius Peck, and his wife Anna Van Deusen Peck. The couple married the previous year, and shortly after moving into the house, Anna gave birth to their one and only child, Bayard L. Peck, who later became an attorney in New York City.
Shortly after acquiring the property, the Pecks remodeled the outdated Greek Revival house in the fashionable Second Empire style by introducing a mansard roof with small bracketed gables that project over the second-floor windows of the main part of the residence. Each gable is filled with scroll-saw work of acanthus leaves.
Photo: Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.
Another mansard roof, punctuated by dormer windows, was added to the service wing. Additional updates included three-sided bay windows projecting from the front and south sides of the house, two-over-two light windows, a door with heavily molded shaped panels in the main entrance, and brackets under the cornice, as well as a porch introduced to the front of the service wing. 
Photo: Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.

Photo: Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.
Photo: Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.
Despite all these modifications to the exterior, the Greek Revival porch of two Ionic columns was retained.… 
In December 1870, Horace Peck sold the residence and all its furnishings to his father, who on the same day transferred the house and contents to his daughter-in-law, Anna V. D. Peck. The unusual real estate transaction, as well as other evidence, suggests that Horace and Anna had agreed to a formal separation. For a number of years after 1870, Horace lived at his father's house on Warren Street before eventually boarding at the Worth House, where he remained for several decades.
Darius Peck's house at 208 Warren Street
Anna continued to reside at 6 West Court Street with her son until 1880, when she sold the property to Dr. Charles P. Cook.
Of all the property's owners, the Cook family occupied the house for the longest period of time, living at 6 West Court Street for more than thirty years. Dr. Cook, a successful Hudson physician and surgeon who followed in the footsteps of his father, Abijah B. Cook, maintained offices on Warren Street. It appears that the Cooks did not make changes to the exterior of the residence, with the exception of introducing a stained-glass panel to the transom light above the entrance. 
In 1913, the house and lot were sold to Harold B. Evans, a member of the family who owned the C. H. Evans Brewery. The Evans family resided in the house for only nine years. In 1922, John F. Brennen acquired the property from Evans's widow, Dorothy, and immediately sold it to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. The house passed through a succession of owners later in the twentieth century before it was acquired in 1991 by Lance R. Miner and his wife Maryellen Miner, attorneys who maintained law offices in the residence for more than twenty-five years. The Galvan Foundation purchased the property from the Miners in 2018.
The tax rolls list Hudson Collective Realty LLC as the entity that acquired the house in February 2018. Today, it is no longer owned by the Galvan Foundation or any Galvan LLC.


  1. Hudson Collective Realty LLC ... ???? who do they represent ... what other Hudson properties do they own?

    1. Hudson Collective Realty (an apt name IMO) is a Galvan entity. Galvan has been using it to acquire and hold property for a few years now. According to the tax rolls, Hudson Collective Realty LLC owns 26-30 Allen Street (Ruth Moser's former house), 55-61 Allen Street (the Charles Alger House), 229 Union Street, 340 State Street, 336 State Street, 229 Allen Street, 233-235 Allen Street, 618 State Street, and, until recently, 6 West Court Street.

    2. Now I'm confused. I thought you said in your post that "Today, it is no longer owned by the Galvan Foundation or any Galvan LLC.

    3. Why are you confused? It is no longer owned by Galvan, but UP UNTIL RECENTLY, when it was sold to its current owner, it was one of the properties owned by Hudson Collective Realty LLC, a Galvan limited liability company.

    4. Carole, it's very confusing, especially because you name every owner the building has ever had, including Galvan and Hudson Collective Realty and even say the tax rolls as being owned by said Collective Realty, but is not owned by the Galvan Foundation or any Galvan LLC (both of which could very well be different Galvan entities. You could have helped a lot by just telling us who bought the house rather having us play a guessing game about which Galvan entity no longer owns it. So that's the big news of the day? GALVAN NO LONGER OWNS 6 EAST COURT?