Since 1999, the Preservation League of New York State has published its list of Seven to Save to bring attention to the most at-risk historic buildings and places throughout the state. In the beginning, the list was published annually; since 2010, it has been a biennial listing.
Inspired by the recent loss of two historic buildings in Hudson--211 Warren Street and 620 State Street--and in admiring imitation of the Preservation League, Gossips today begins publishing its own list of at-risk historic buildings in Hudson. There are more than seven buildings on the list; there are nine. So, retaining the alliteration of the League's title but falling short of its catchiness, Gossips is calling the list Nine Not to Ignore. Unlike the League, which reveals all seven sites at once, Gossips will roll out the Nine Not to Ignore list one property at a time, beginning today.
1 The Robert Taylor House
Generally considered to be the oldest surviving house in Hudson, the original owner of the house, Robert Taylor, was a tanner. His tannery was across the way, at the edge of South Bay, and for this reason the path that ran between his house and the tannery was named "Tanners Lane."
In the early 2000s, there was a fire in the house. After the fire, the owner decamped to live with family in Albany, leaving the house vacant. The family put the house on the market, but having been told it was a unique and very old house, they set a very high asking price and rejected a few offers from people who might have restored it. Finally, in 2011, the house was sold to Galvan Partners LLC for $132,000--less than an offer they were rumored to have rejected several years earlier.
In 2012, Galvan had a plan to move the house from its historic setting at the head of Tanners Lane to Union Street, just below First Street. The Historic Preservation Commission refused to grant a certificate of appropriateness for the move. (That was a very good thing, since another building Galvan said it was going to move at about the same time--900 Columbia Street--ended up being demolished.)
In 2014, repairs were made to the roof, which eliminated the two shed dormers at the back of the house. The work was done without a building permit or a certificate of appropriateness from the HPC.
In 2018, a plan to convert the Robert Taylor House into a tavern was one of five projects involving Galvan properties submitted for DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) funding. The project brought hope for the building's future, but in response to public outcry, all Galvan projects were eliminated from consideration for DRI funds.
Today, the house continues to stand vacant and neglected, as it has for more nearly two decades. The photos below, which show the south wall, the upper right-hand corner of the facade, and the north wall, were taken this morning.
One wonders how much longer the building can stand before the owner is "saddened to announce," as happened with the original Hudson Orphan Asylum at 620 State Street, that engineers have confirmed the building has structural issues that are beyond repair and it is to be "deconstructed" in the interest of public safety.
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