Tuesday, December 20, 2022

News of "Hudson Public"

"Hudson Public" is the name of the hotel proposed by the Galvan Foundation to be developed at the corner of Warren and Fourth streets. The proposed hotel was granted site plan approval by the Planning Board on September 29, but the plan has yet to receive a certificate of appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Commission.    

This past Friday, the HPC continued its review of the project which had begun on the previous Friday. At Friday's meeting, Walter Chatham, representing Galvan, provided what the HPC had requested: historic photographs, more information about the proposed new structures, and drawings that showed the buildings in context.

Chatham explained the infill building on Fourth Street would be the main entrance to the hotel. The two elevators for the hotel would be located in this new building. The mansard roof on the building was required to accommodate the elevators and the override. He cited the mansard roof that had been added to the row house at 18 North Fifth Street as a precedent to justify this design element.

Rather than re-creating the street wall, the new building would be set back. Chatham also indicated that the building would not be brick, like the historic buildings on either side, but stuccoed.

When Paul Barrett, the historian member of the HPC, questioned why, when we know what the missing townhouse looked like, they were proposing something so different, Chatham answered that they were "being frank about the fact that we are building something new." The picture below, which Chatham presented as dating from 1977 but was actually taken and appeared in the Register-Star in 2006, shows the missing building, a victim of demolition by neglect.

HPC member Miranda Barry opined, "If you are building something new, you should not copy what was there." She also commented that she liked the recess. Architect member Chip Bohl said he also liked the concept of recessing the middle section, observing that, on the other side of Warren Street, the townhouse behind the building that is now Face Stockholm is similarly set back slightly from the buildings around it.

The new building proposed for 406 Warren Street, the building that will house the hotel bar, received very little attention from the HPC.

What did inspire attention and concern was the plan to add a third floor to the pair of Greek Revival townhouses on North Fourth Street. 

HPC member John Schobel observed that it was "altering something historic to make it conform with something new." He was particularly troubled that the third floor addition as proposed created a gambrel roof, which would be matched by another on the alley facing elevation. This, he said, would be "a large transformation to the cityscape."

Bohl concurred, calling the third floor proposed for the townhouses "the least successful of everything you are proposing" and saying the "gambrel roofs on the alley does a disservice." Schobel added, speaking of the townhouses, "They are beautiful buildings and deserve to preserve their integrity."

The HPC is planning to hold a public hearing on this project, but it was decided that Chatham would work with the comments made and present to the HPC one more time before a public hearing was scheduled. It is hoped that he will in the meantime rethink those gambrel roofs.

The next meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to take place on Friday, January 13, at 10:00 a.m.


  1. And, facing 4th Street, there is a GALVAN WORK IN PROGRESS sign already on one of the buildings. If they say it, it shall happen.
    Oh, and the entirety of the 4th Street sidewalk along this property has been covered in ice for a week. It gets neither sunshine nor attention from Galvan in the way of proper snow removal which all property owners are responsible for and Galvan is fully aware of. Of course, our Code Enforcement Office doesn't care either.

  2. Looks like one big mish-mosh to me. And the buildings were taken down without any approvals as I recall, certainly the one on Warren. Shame. Hudson's historic character is changing.

  3. If people commented at the public hearings as often as they do here on Gossips, we might actually see some change in this City. If you don't show up and speak (or write your alders), you're directing your complaints to the wrong people!