Thursday, May 19, 2022

Considering What Will Be Lost

Tomorrow morning, the Historic Preservation Commission holds a special meeting at 10:00 a.m. The sole subject of the meeting will be the two buildings proposed by the Galvan Foundation for North Seventh Street, the area of the city that Galvan has dubbed "The Depot District." 

Although the location of the proposed buildings is not actually in a locally designated historic district, the construction of 75 North Seventh Street would involve the demolition of two buildings that are included in the National Register Hudson Historic District, which was created in 1985. It is for this reason the HPC is reviewing the project, and at tomorrow's meeting, the HPC will be considering the argument for demolition.

The following is the description to the two structures that appears in the 1985 National Register Inventory: 

These are recent images of the house and the ice house. 

County records show that 65-67 North Seventh Street was once owned by the Hudson Orphan Asylum, which until 1881 was located at the corner of State and North Seventh streets, in a building that Galvan owned and demolished in 2019. It is likely that the ice house on the property already existed when the orphan asylum owned and occupied the property.

In 1899, after the Hudson Orphan Asylum had moved to 400 State Street, 65-67 North Seventh Street was sold to Patrick Hoctor. The house was probably built soon after Hoctor acquired the parcel. The property remained in the Hoctor family until 1975.

One of the considerations for the HPC specified in the city's preservation ordinance is a building's identification with a historic personage. In Hudson history, Patrick Hoctor seems to qualify as a "historic personage." Columbia County at the End of the Century includes this biographical information about Hoctor:
Hoctor, Patrick, of Hudson, was born in Ireland, March 16, 1848, and came to the United States with his parents. His father, Timothy Hoctor, settled in East Dorset, Vt., where he was engaged in the marble trade. Patrick Hoctor was educated in private school, and, after completing his studies, learned marble-cutting with his father. In 1869 he came to Hudson and entered the employ of James M. Townsend, with whom he remained until 1873, when he went to Glens Falls, N.Y., and established business on his own account. Here he remained only three years and returned to Hudson, where he has since carried on marble-cutting and cemetery work, devoting his attention to the production of high-grade designs. He is an ex-member of the cemetery commission, and at present a member of the board of public works, wherein his experience and good judgment make him a useful member. Mr. Hoctor is an industrious, conscientious man, and an example of good citizenship, respected and esteemed throughout the city. In 1871 he was married to Jennie Barrett. They are the parents to two sons: Frank C. and Clarence E., and four daughters: Hattie J., Frances C., Gertrude and Isabelle H. 
Hoctor's business in Hudson was the Hudson Granite and and Marble Works, located at 48 North Sixth Street. Among the evidence of his good citizenship are donating, in 1883, "a fine slab of Vermont marble" for the foundation of the Venus fountain in the Public Square and, in 1892, donating the cornerstone for the original Firemen's Home. There are two stained glass windows dedicated to him in St. Mary's Church, which was constructed in 1930, two years after Hoctor's death. 

Hoctor is no doubt responsible for a number of monuments, both in the original Hudson City Cemetery and the newer Cedar Park Cemetery, which was developed in 1896. Hoctor's own monument in Cedar Park, marking the family plot where he and his wife and their children are buried, is impressive.

In addition to considering the demolition of what was the home of Patrick Hoctor and his family and of a rare surviving ice house, at its special meeting tomorrow, the HPC will be hearing from the Galvan people about the materials being proposed for the building they wish to construct on the east side of North Seventh Street, now being identified as 76 North Seventh Street. 

The meeting with take place virtually. Click here to join remotely.


  1. They keep saying two buildings, but it looks more like 7 buildings to me.

  2. Take away that perfectly fine house (plus the two others next door) and the ice house and 7th street, indeed all of Hudson, loses some of its character, especially considering what they will be replaced with. The Planning Board and Galvan should be ashamed and we all will regret what is to come on 7th, especially those of us living nearby (and that's after the 2 plus years of construction). Mainly, it's the scale of the two apartment buildings (140 units!!!) and all that other concrete ugliness that is most frightening. Goodbye little Hudson, hello Galvanville.

  3. 4 and 5 floors of concrete ugliness.

  4. I think some of the newer proposed buildings are too big and don't fit the character of Hudson. Can't Galvan divide up the buildings to be more like a traditional city block? Now is the time to revise the plan. He can still fit as many apartments in, but make it look less "big block-like".