|Photo: Colleen Hamm
Since publishing the post about the Robert Taylor House yesterday, I've stumbled upon a couple of things of relevance to the state of the historic house worthy of sharing. The first is a Gossips post from February 2012, just two months after the not-for-profit Galvan Initiatives Foundation was created: "What's It All About, Galvan?" In that post, Tom Swope, who was then the executive director of the foundation, defined the foundation's purpose in this way: "Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Hudson through acquiring [an] architecturally significant group of houses, renovating them, returning them to the housing stock and renting them out at market rates. It will enable people who are gainfully employed to find decent places to live right in town."
The post also quotes the foundation's registration statement found in the New York State Charities Bureau database--a statement that begins: "To preserve the unique heritage of the City of Hudson, New York, by acquiring, interpreting, conserving and maintaining buildings of architectural and historical significance." The foundation certainly has achieved the acquiring part of that goal--taking possession over the years of the birthplace of General William Jenkins Worth, the Robert Taylor House, the Charles Alger House, the 1818 Hudson Almshouse, the original Hudson Orphan Asylum, the 1805 building that housed the city's oldest surviving newspaper, the C. H. Evans Mansion, the Captain William Ashley House, to name a few. Two of these buildings no longer exist.
|Photo: Stephen McKay
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 protest, all Galvan projects were eliminated from consideration for DRI funds.
This morning, I spent some time on the Galvan Initiatives Foundation website, in particular checking out the section devoted to "Historic Preservation." There you will find a list of historic properties owned by Galvan--there are nineteen of them--and this statement:
Galvan Foundation is dedicated to the conservation of the rich history of Hudson. We stabilize and rehabilitate distressed historic buildings and neighborhoods to create spaces promoting housing, education, economic opportunity, and community services.
If you click on a historic property in the list, you get "Before" and "After" pictures of the building and a little history. Of interest are the "Before" and "After" pictures of the Robert Taylor House.
The "After" picture is a rendering, the same rendering, albeit with an altered context, that was used to show how the house would look in its new location on lower Union Street.
Interesting too are the "Before" and "After" pictures of the Captain William Ashley House. The "Before" picture shows that house at 900 Columbia Street. The "After" picture shows the new house built at 215 Union Street with some salvaged elements of the historic house.
The history of the house provided talks about its location, calling it "one of the earliest houses to be erected near the Columbia and Union Turnpikes, in the opening year of the nineteenth century," but fails to mention that the house isn't there anymore or that the historic house no longer exists.
So much for "interpreting, conserving and maintaining buildings of architectural and historical significance."
COPYRIGHT 2012 CAROLE OSTERINK