Friday, August 16, 2019

Work on the Charles Alger House

A few weeks ago, the Charles Alger House, 59 Allen Street, became shrouded with plastic. I know from code enforcement officer Craig Haigh that such shrouding is an EPA requirement when removing paint that may have lead in it. This morning, it was clear that this is exactly what's happening.

The house has been painted yellow for a least a quarter of a century, but there is some evidence that the brick wasn't always painted. In this picture, probably taken in the early 1940s, the brick appears to be unpainted. 

The work on the building has so far not come before the Historic Preservation Commission for a certificate of appropriateness. In June, when I asked Haigh about work being done on the building, which included demolition of additions on the south side of the building, I was told the owner, Hudson Collective Realty (a Galvan entity), was "working on putting their CofA app together for the HPC" and was "cleaning up the property and exploring the conditions of what needs to be done for their design professional and the HPC." Haigh also assured me, "The renovation permit will not be issued until they have a CofA."

This is an important house in Hudson, one of three in the city with links to the preeminent 19th-century American architect Alexander Jackson Davis. The Dr. Oliver Bronson House was designated a National Historic Landmark for its association with Davis. Charles Alger, the original owner of the house, was Davis's patron, and he and his house in Hudson are mentioned in Davis's day books. An A. J. Davis scholar who visited the house a few years ago, shortly after Galvan acquired it, reported that some of the interior woodwork showed definite Davis influence. Given the significance of the house, I would be a lot happier if the HPC were involved a little earlier in the process.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Galvan projects are notoriously disrespectful to historic fabric. They really REALLY don't get it when it comes to preservation. I am sorry they got their hands on this one, because it's a very important house.