Last October, after seventeen months of construction, the newly redesigned approach to Promenade Hill was officially opened, and once again folks had access--now universal access--to the bluff that in 1795 had been set aside as a public space for viewing the river and the mountains beyond. This was the view restored to us on that day.
|Photo: Sarah Sterling|
In recent weeks, workers from the Department of Public Works have cleared the brush from the escarpment, and this morning, they were scraping the old paint off the fence in preparation for repainting it.
According to Rob Perry, DPW superintendent, the repainting will be done when the weather is a little warmer.
Although Promenade Hill was established as a public park in 1795, nearly 80 years passed before the fence was erected. This painting by Henry Ary, done in 1854, shows Promenade Hill before there was a fence.
According to Anna Bradbury's 1908 book, History of the City of Hudson, New York, the fence at Promenade Hill was erected in 1878.
In the same year, 1878, the authorities took measures to improve the Promenade Hill, by the erection of an ornamental fence along the full length of its dangerous frontage, and by increased attention to its walks and lawn.
The minutes of the Common Council indicate that the Council voted to pay for the fence on Promenade Hill on April 25, 1872.
Somewhere between 1872 and 1878, the fence was erected, so around this time, it is celebrating its sesquicentennial. Hence, it is very appropriate that the fence is getting some attention now.
On a related topic, at the informal meeting of the Common Council last week, Rob Perry explained why the new stairs leading to Promenade Hill are cordoned off when it snows with signs directing people to use the ramps.
The stairs are made of quarried stone, which cost $400,000. It will last and look beautiful for a long time, but it does not react well with salt. As a consequence, to protect the stone stairs from being damaged by salt, when it snows, people are directed to use the ramps, which are made of composite stone and concrete and can be cleared and salted.
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