Tuesday, April 6, 2021

What Lies Beneath

At some point in the middle of the 20th century, the collective taste of Hudson seemed to spurn the decorative corbeled cornices of the previous century in favor of a sleeker look. Many buildings were "modernized" by covering the cornices with sheets of plywood or some other material. That the cornices usually survived beneath the covering was demonstrated last year, when the sheets of plywood that covered the cornice at 212 Allen Street were removed to reveal that building's cornice, intact and apparently in fairly good shape.

Raccoon kits that tumbled from a nest behind the plywood panels were the reason the panels were removed from this house. Now there's a house on Union Street, which was similarly modernized by covering the cornice with a panel of wood or aluminum slats. 

Recently, a couple of those slats fell away to offer a glimpse of what lies beneath: a bracketed cornice.

Perhaps the missing slats will prompt the complete removal of this 20th-century feature to expose the 19th-century cornice behind it. The house is currently owned by Galvan Partners, LLC.


  1. I can’t believe that anyone ever thought that those ugly bandaids over those old cornices was somehow more attractive than the original cornices! Why were they so embarrassed about the original cornices? I don’t get it.

    1. Easy of maintenance was the drive for covering everything up in aluminum or vinyl.