Wednesday, November 2, 2022

The House at the Fork in the Road

Gossips has posted a few times about the building at the fork in the road, encountered when approaching Hudson from the north on Route 23B. 

Photo: Paul Barrett
In 2011, the house, which according to the tax rolls, is actually in Greenport, was owned by Columbia County. There was a proposal then to demolish the house and create in its place a park, to be known as Gateway Park. This is the rendering of the park that circulated at the time. A central feature of the park design was a boulder, to be donated by A. Colarusso & Sons.

Mercifully, that plan was not pursued, and in 2014, Gossips reported the news that the house had been purchased at auction from Columbia County for $5,000 by Michael Molinski, who intended to restore the house. He even created a blog to document his progress.

The house in 2014
Molinski made a lot of progress in clearing out the house and stabilizing it, but in 2018 he sold it, for $20,000 more than he paid for it. Since then, the house has changed hands once again, and efforts to restore it continue.

Today, Paul Barrett sent Gossips this picture of the house, found in the collection of the Columbia County Historical Society. 

Photo courtesy Columbia County Historical Society 
This picture very likely dates from before 1920. Socony, which is an acronym for Standard Oil Company of New York, merged with Vacuum Oil in 1931 to form the company Socony-Vacuum. The absence of the word Vacuum in the signage suggests the picture was taken before 1931. The handwritten placard in the foreground advertising "Bottle Beer" suggests that the picture could not have been taken after 1920, which was the beginning of the Prohibition Era in the United States (1920-1933), but, given Hudson's scofflaw history, you never know.


  1. Can't imagine anyone ever wanting to live there with traffic so close and so loud and so consistent. Lots of Colarusso trucks in both directions of course. At some point a car or truck is going to slam directly into that house.

  2. Carole, well put. Thankfully we were "mercifully" spared! Definitely an important gateway deserving much consideration. It's unclear how much Colarusso contributed to the esthetics of the design but if built, an embarrassment to the city. Please keep us up to date-on-the restoration. Thanks for the history too.

  3. The progress looks great. A much-improved gateway into Hudson!