Monday, June 7, 2021

What's in a Name?

We know that 327 Warren Street, now known as Hudson Hall, was originally Hudson's City Hall. Its construction began in early July 1854, and six months later, on January 2, 1855, the building had its grand opening. 

At some point in its history, the building came to be known as the Hudson Opera House, but precisely when that happened is not known. Today, while perusing the Hudson Daily Star from 150 years ago, on June 7, 1871, I discovered this item, which sheds light on how the notion of changing the building's name got started. 

Hudson never did get an opera house. Instead, sometime around 1881, the upstairs auditorium at City Hall was outfitted with a proscenium, a stage, and dressing rooms, and people began calling the building the Hudson Opera House. Given the disdain expressed in this op/ed from 1871 about the people of Hudson having to content themselves with "a Hall," it's interesting that in 2017, when the restoration of the building was finally complete and the grand performance hall reopened, it was decided to ditch the name Hudson Opera House, which had been used since 1992 when a handful of Hudsonians took on the task of rescuing and restoring the building, in favor of the name Hudson Hall.


  1. The Tappan Zee bridge got renamed. Guess what? NO ONE calls it the Cuomo Bridge. It was and always will be the Tappan Zee. And the Hudson Opera House will always be the Hudson Opera House. Calling it Hudson Hall is a failed marketing attempt. Give it up, people. It's the Opera House, and that is what people are going to call it.

  2. Totally agree with Cynthia Lambert. It was and is The Hudson Opera House. I was one of the original group trying to save the building from the wrecking ball - remember the
    Buy-a-Brick Campaign? We didn't save it to have it's name changed after 20 years or more.

  3. It is and always will be The Hudson Opera House.

    A name to be proud of ... instead of some doublespeak market branding.