Saturday, February 25, 2023

Of Proposed Hotels and Slurry Wash

The plans for the restoration and adaptive reuse of 601 Union Street, presented to the Historic Preservation Commission two weeks ago, involve slurry wash on the brick of the "Lodge," the extension to the building constructed soon after the Italianate mansion became the Elks Lodge in 1936, as part of the effort to "clean it up and quiet down."

Slurry wash is now being proposed in the revised design for the buildings at Warren and Fourth streets, to be restored and developed as a hotel called "The Hudson Public."

At the HPC meeting on Friday, Walter Chatham returned with further revisions to the design for the hotel being proposed by the Galvan Foundation. The new design uses slurry wash on the two infill structures that are part of the hotel--the building at 8 North Fourth Street, which will be the entrance to the hotel, and the building at 406 Warren Street, which will be the hotel bar.

HPC member Jeremy Stynes applauded the use of the slurry wash to articulate the difference between old and new. Architect member Chip Bohl, however, said of the colonnade on the Warren Street facade, "It still feels like a continuation of the original design." Chatham responded by saying he wanted this to be a unified composition, adding, "If this was a hundred years ago, you wouldn't want me to make it different." Bohl's desire that the new building be "more different" seemed to be satisfied when Chatham explained that any new stone to be used in the colonnade on the original building will match the stone that still exists on the building, but the stone on the new building will be slightly different in color or texture.

There is one more step before the HPC is ready to grant a certificate of appropriateness. HPC chair Phil Forman asked Chatham to return to the commission's next meeting with full details of what it being proposed.

Matt McGhee, the HPC's most learned and steadfast critic, who in his comments at the public hearing on the project called the buildings "a noble ensemble" of very high quality and urged, "It would be a great asset if these buildings were restored and the missing building rebuilt," congratulated the HPC for the outcome and expressed the opinion that changing the color of the material would be enough to distinguish new from old. He also said he liked "seeing the commission, the public, and the applicant working together."

1 comment:

  1. Slurry wash or not, a 30 room hotel and bar and etc at 4th and Warren with no off street parking is a horrible, unwise use of that property. It will make downtown Hudson less attractive and welcoming. But Galvan has the keys to the city.