Friday, June 24, 2022

Two Decisions of Great Import

This morning, while the news media and social media were reporting and reacting to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the Historic Preservation Commission was meeting to continue its review of the buildings proposed by the Galvan Foundation for North Seventh Street, the area of the city that has been dubbed the "Depot District." I won't keep you in suspense. The five members present at today's meeting--Phil Forman, Hugh Biber, Jeremy Stynes, Chip Bohl, and Miranda Barry--voted unanimously to grant a certificate of appropriateness for the two buildings, the designs for which had been significantly modified since the last time they were presented to the HPC.

At the May 20 meeting of the HPC, there was concern about the materials being proposed, particularly for the building at 75 North Seventh Street.

What the HPC found most troubling was the proposal to use a combination of engineered brick and rigid insulation formed to look like brick on the facade of 75 North Seventh Street. The architects for the project argued they could not achieve passive house certification for the building without the use of these synthetic materials. The HPC was concerned about the appearance and the durability of these materials. 

Today, Dan Kent, vice president for initiatives for the Galvan Foundation, told the HPC, "We are excited to share that we were able to find a way to use real brick at 75 North Seventh Street." He went on to explain, "We don't want one building to stand out from the others," so they would be using a color of brick that matches the brick of the historic Hudson Upper Depot building on both 75 and 76 North Seventh Street. 

The revised design for 75 North Seventh Street has brick on the front facade and on the facade facing Rope Alley and EIFS (Exterior Insulating and Finish System) on the back of the building and the side facing the Central Fire Station. EIFS is like stucco, and it is proposed to be colored to match the brick.

The building at 75 North Seventh Street will also have cast stone window sills and window surrounds, cast stone in the pediment of the gable in the north side of the building, and a cast stone band between the second and third floors. The windows being proposed for the building are now slightly taller than those originally proposed. 

Similarly the building across the street at 76 North Seventh Street will have the same color brick on three sides of the building with matching EIFS stucco at the rear, facing the railroad tracks.

After the HPC had voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness, Stynes thanked the Galvan team for its patience, and Barry thanked them for their willingness to use real brick and to reference the architecture of Hudson without copying any specific building. Kent responded by saying, "I love the way the buildings look now, as a result of all the input from this commission."


  1. The Planning Board is such a suck-up. Disgusting. All this strum und drang over "real brick" v. "engineered brick": if watching what Galvan's done over the last dozen years doesn't educate these folks, then perhaps they're not educable. Here's a bet -- anyone on the PB or HDC care to cover my action? Or, better yet, Eric Galloway or Dan Kent? I'll give 2:1 odds that real brick and that facade don't share a cousin when the work is done. Bait and switch; hand jobs all around. And all the history ignored. The punchline, of course, is that even if it were built of brick it would still be out of scale and out of place. Lipstick on a pig.

  2. What John Friedman has so descriptively written "hits the nail on the head. How the PB and HDC could applaud this abomination of a design, in a historic town like Hudson, is unconscionable. Who cares if it is real brick, when modeled after abandoned penitentiaries? The influence of Eric Galloway's complete takeover of Hudson through his minions seated in places of power, is palpable. Does the term conflict of interest ring a bell? I say investigate the whole bunch of them, with grandma's words as a guide, "the fish stinks from the head", and change the name of the area where this astonishing piece of architecture is located, to the Despot District.

  3. P.S. Inspiration of the latest brick design, in your neighborhood soon...and it's real brick folks.

  4. Galvan's mega project at 7th and State never should have been approved, even just on the issue of lack of parking alone. If the buildings are built, they will eventually be found to be a huge, regrettable and preventable mistake by anyone paying attention. This is the wrong place for 240 residential units, retail, and a brewpub. You watch and see. It will be a nightmare, and not just for those of us living nearby.

  5. Pathetic decision. Disgraceful architecture.
    Planning Board and HPC - thumbs down.