Tuesday, September 17, 2019

On the Agenda for Tonight's Council Meeting

This morning, a new item appeared on the agenda for tonight's Common Council meeting: a proposed local law imposing a nine-month moratorium on "the registration or operation of any new short-term lodging facility in the City of Hudson." 

The Common Council Legal Committee has been discussing ways to regulate short-term rental units, particularly the acquisition of houses to be marketed as short-term rentals on Airbnb, for some time, and the idea of a moratorium has been mentioned regularly in those discussions. After the Legal Committee's July meeting, Amanda Purcell reported on HudsonValley360: "A draft law creating a moratorium will be presented at the next Legal Committee meeting, [Alderman John] Rosenthal said." At the August meeting of the Legal Committee, that didn't happen. Now the law, presumably no longer a draft, is being presented to the full Council for consideration. The proposed law can be viewed here.  
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK

The Opposition Continues

The Hudson City School District Board of Education meets tonight at 7 p.m. in the library at Hudson High School. The rehabilitation of the baseball field behind Montgomery C. Smith School may not be on the agenda, but it is likely to come up.

Photo: Glenn Wheeler
Today, Ken Sheffer published new information about the project--specifically about costs and the prefab dugouts being proposed for the field--on his website, Save Hudson's Historic Sports Fields. 
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK

Another Meeting that May Happen This Week

At the informal Common Council meeting last week Monday, Linda Mussmann inquired about the status of the JLE feasibility study

Council president Tom DePietro indicated that the final version of the feasibility study was due on September 27, and there was to be one more public meeting before that time. It was suggested that the meeting would take place sometime this week, but so far there has been no announcement of such a meeting. Perhaps it will come at tonight's Council meeting.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK

Monday, September 16, 2019

Meetings and Events in the Week Ahead

City meetings this week are concentrated in the first three days. Then there's a break until Saturday, when Future Hudson presents the sixth in its series of community events: "Can We Talk About Housing?"
  • On Monday, September 16, the Common Council Youth, Education, Seniors, and Recreation Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. This is the meeting, originally set for Wednesday, September 4, that was rescheduled.
  • On Tuesday, September 17, the Common Council Finance Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall followed by the regular monthly meeting of the Common Council at 7:00 p.m. One item on what seems to be a short agenda for the Council is a resolution appointing Sidney Long to the Tourism Board, as one of the four Common Council appointees, to replace David Brown, who resigned some time ago. At the August meeting of the Council, long was a very vocal critic of the Tourism Board's intention to enter into a contract with Chandlerthinks to craft a marketing strategy for Hudson.

  • On Wednesday, September 18, the Common Council Public Works and Parks Committee meets at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall.
  • Also on Wednesday, September 18, the Zoning Board of Appeals meets at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. At its August meeting, the Planning Board rejected the opinion of city attorney Andy Howard and code enforcement officer Craig Haigh that the self storage facility proposed for the corner of Fairview Avenue and Oakwood Boulevard was an allowed conditional use and decided that the Zoning Board of Appeals should review the application and "determine if mini storage is an appropriate use in the General Commercial District." The ZBA is expected to take up the question at its meeting on Wednesday.

  • On Saturday, September 21, Future Hudson presents the sixth in its series of community events: "Can We Talk About Housing?" According to Future Hudson, "This event looks at the challenges and opportunities in quality housing for citizens at all income levels." The speakers for the event are Guy Kempe, vice president of community development at RUPCO; Dan Kent, vice president of initiatives for the Galvan Foundation; Ben Schulman, writer and founder of The Newburgh Packet; and James Lima, president of James Lima Planning + Development in New York City. The moderator will be Kamal Johnson, co-director of Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood and First Ward alderman. The event takes place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Community Room at the Hudson Area Library, 51 North Fifth Street.       
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Images of Hudson Buildings

The news from the History Room at the library is that the GoFundMe campaign for the restoration of the rare 1871 map of Hudson is now just $175 away from its goal.

Notable about this particular map are the nineteen images of significant buildings in the city that decorate the perimeter. To celebrate the campaign for its restoration achieving its goal, Gossips reviews and identifies those buildings--some survive, and some are gone.

***********


The residence of Cornelius H. Evans, absent its little corner veranda, is still stands at 412 Warren Street.



************

The publisher of the map, J. H. Lant, included an image of his own house, which in 1871 stood at 227 Warren Street. When the numbering of buildings changed in 1888-1889, with the introduction of 100 blocks, the address became 427 Warren Street. The building that was Lant's home was destroyed by fire in 1951, and in its place was constructed the building that was until recently the headquarters of the Hudson Police Department.

PhotobyGibson.com
************

What was City Hall in 1871 is now Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House.

************


The store and residence of George Storrs, who was a druggist and grocer, remains remarkably unchanged at 322-324 Warren Street. This image provides wonderful guidance should the current owner of the building wish to restore the doorway to the residence and the storefront to their original design.




************
Hudson Academy was founded in 1805. The school building stood at the summit of what is known as Academy Hill. After Hudson Academy closed in 1886, the building was used from 1889 to 1894 for the newly created Hudson High School, Hudson's first public secondary school.

Photo courtesy Historic Hudson


************


This building is identified as the residence of F. F. Folger. Today, we know it as Cavell House, the location of New York Oncology and Hematology. 

The house is believed to have been built around 1819 for Obed Worth Folger, Frederick Fitch Folger's father. Frederick, who was born in 1812, would have spent much of his childhood in the house. In 1853, having acquired a "satisfactory fortune" in New Orleans, Frederick returned to Hudson and purchased the "Bronson Place," which he named "Glenwood." He continued to be involved with his brother Nathan's business in New Orleans, the nature of which Gossips has explored elsewhere. According to Frederick's biography in Columbia County at the End of the Century, the Civil War "nearly wrecked" his brother's business, and he went back to New Orleans to tend to his financial interests. He sold Glenwood to Mary Whitney Phoenix in 1864, and when he returned to Hudson in 1869, he took up residence in what had been his father's house. (The Hudson city directory for 1870 lists Mrs. Mary Folger, Obed's wife and Frederick's mother, living on Warren Street at the corner of Prospect Avenue.)

In 1918, Dr. and Mrs. John C. Smock, then the owners of the house, donated it to Hudson Hospital for convalescent soldiers and sailors returning from Europe after World War I. Later it housed the hospital's nursing school and was named Cavell House for Edith Cavell, the British nurse who helped hundreds of British, French, and Belgian soldiers escape the Germans during the first year of the Great War and was arrested, tried, and executed in 1915.

************

The city directory for 1870 gives the address of Harper W. Rogers' home as simply "Green Street." It is possible to think that the house depicted on the 1871 map, enhanced with the addition of porches, dormers, a circle bay ending in the turret, and decorative brackets, is the same house that in 1905 was the home of Harper's youngest son, Charles S. Rogers. C. S. Rogers' house was located at 24 Green Street. Sadly, it no longer exists.

     ************
The residence of George H. Power is 400 State Street. Originally built in 1818 as the Hudson almshouse, the building had been a lunatic asylum and a female seminary before it became Power's private residence, and it was an orphanage and then the public library after his residency. The building is now owned by the Galvan Foundation.

************


The residence of Allen Rossman, seen in the image from the map and the photographs below, no longer exists, but Rossman Avenue, a collection of turn-of-the-century and early 20th-century houses, bears his name.


************

The residence of Silas W. Toby, where one of Gossips' idols, Anna Bradbury, once lived as a boarder, was located at 729 Warren Street. It is believed that the house may survive beneath the Diamond building, which now occupies the site.

  ***********

This, of course, is the first Columbia County court house to occupy the site at the south end of the Fourth Street transept, built in 1835.

Photo courtesy Historic Hudson

  
 ************

George Parton was the father of Hudson River School painters Arthur and Ernest Parton. According to the Hudson city directory for 1870, George Parton lived on Prospect Avenue, but exactly where this house was located is not known.

************


The residence of Ezra Waterbury, notable for being a rare example of a cast-iron facade on a domestic building, still stands at 124 Warren Street.


*********


In 1907, after the National Hudson River Bank had moved to its new building at 520 Warren Street, now City Hall, the Elks Club took over this building at 231 Warren Street. The building suffered a damaging fire in the summer of 1935, and soon after that, the Elks having departed to 601 Union Street, the building was demolished.

************

This building, which was constructed in 1805, was damaged by fire in 1919. When the building was repaired after the fire, the roof line was altered, but the building still stands at 364 Warren Street.

  
************


An image of the residence of J. H. Lant, who published the map, is included on the map, and so is the residence of Alex. S. Rowley, who drew the map. This charming Gothic Revival cottage, once the home of Cassandra Danz, a.k.a. Mrs. Greenthumbs, still stands at 611 Union Street.

************


The residence of Augustus and Ellen McKinstry stood at 886 Columbia Street. The house, which is also shown in the photograph below, was demolished in 1910 to make way for the Dinehart mansion.

************

The residence of Casper P. Collier stood at 363 Allen Street, where there is now a parking lot for the court house. The house, then owned by Columbia County, was demolished sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. In the 1930s, it was photographed by Walker Evans.

Walker Evans Archive|Metropolitan Museum of Art









************


The store and residence of H. C. Turner may be the most interesting of the buildings included on the map, because H. C. Turner was Miss H. C. Turner, and her store was a millinery shop. The map gives the address as 279 Warren Street which, according to the Hudson Tap Book, became 521 Warren Street after the renumbering in 1888-1889. The building is remarkably altered today, with greater height and different fenestration. The first photograph below provides evidence that some of the changes--the addition of another floor--occurred prior to 1905, when the building was the location of K. V. Clark, "Hudson's Leading Cloak and Suit House." It is not known when the changes in the second floor fenestration and the alteration of the storefront happened.


************

We in Hudson take pride, justifiably, in our architectural heritage, but it is sobering to realize that, of the nineteen buildings considered significant enough to be portrayed on a map of the city in 1871, only eight of them survived through the 20th century.

Update: At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning, the GoFundMe campaign for the restoration of the map reached its goal of $7,500!  
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Replacing What Was Lost

In April, the owners of 211 Warren Street, where the historic building that had stood at the site for close to two hundred years had to be demolished in October 2018, had a workshop session with the Historic Preservation Commission to discuss the proposed design for the passive building that will replace it.

The design presented at that time was not enthusiastically embraced by the HBC. The proposed building met the compatibility requirements for massing, size, and scale, but it was the architectural features--specifically the corten steel--that caused the HBC to use the word jarring most often in discussing the design.



Yesterday, the owners of 211 Warren Street--Passive Aggressive Housing--were back with a new design which they said "pays respect to both Warren Street and what was there before."



In the presentation of the design, it was explained that a bay window had been added, inspired by the bay window (actually an oriel) next door at 209 Warren Street. Comparing it with the design presented in April, it seems the element now being called a bay window was there before, except now the corten metal has been changed to painted wood panels, and the fenestration, which before had been two windows replicating the size and placement of the windows in the original building, is now three narrower windows, imitating the proportions of the windows in the oriel next door. Also, the roof line in the back of the building has changed to eliminate what had been a kind of attic level balcony.

HPC member Miranda Barry touched on the issue of compatibility by noting that in Miami new buildings were not allowed to imitate the city's historic Art Deco buildings. They could reference the historic buildings but not imitate them. Kate Johns, the HPC's architect member, commented that has been the policy for years, but it is now being questioned.

There was not a great deal of discussion among the members of the commission before it was decided that the application was complete. It was also decided, on the recommendation of audience member Christabel Gough, that there would be a public hearing on the proposed new construction. That public hearing has been scheduled to take place on Friday, September 27, at 9:30 a.m., at City Hall.
COPYRIGHT 2019 CAROLE OSTERINK