Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Honorary Street Naming

In 2021, Tiffany Garriga, then a Second Ward alderman, introduced legislation to create an "honorary street naming dedication program." On December 21, 2021, the members of the Common Council at the time (Rebecca Wolff and Jane Trombley [First Ward], Garriga and Dewan Sarowar [Second Ward], Shershah Mizan and Ryan Wallace [Third Ward], John Rosenthal and Malachi Walker [Fourth Ward], Dominic Merante and Eileen Halloran [Fifth Ward]) and Council president Tom DePietro voted unanimously to enact the law.

Garriga had some specific people and streets in mind. North Second Street was to be "Joette Bell Way," in honor of the first African-American woman to be elected to the Common Council. The corner of North Third and Robinson streets was to be "Rev. Ed Cross Way," to recognize the man who served as Second Ward supervisor for two decades and lives on Robinson Street. Glenwood Boulevard was to be "Robert Doc Donahue Way," in honor of the man who served for twelve consecutive terms as Fifth Ward alderman and lived on Glenwood Boulevard. The law that was passed, however, was enabling legislation and did not actually bestow any honorary names on streets. 

On the agenda for last night's informal Common Council meeting was a request from Greg Mosley, representing Operation Unite, to give the 200 block of Warren Street the honorary name "Jacob and Barbara Walthour Way." Mosley and his wife, Elena, were at the meeting to speak in support of the honorary street naming, as were two of the Walthours' three children, Jacob, Jr., and Nona. Mosley called the Walthours "a piece of the fabric of what Hudson is about." Walthour asserted his parents' business in Hudson was "one of the most successful black-owned businesses in New York State," noting that they "consistently recycled dollars they made back into the community."

For thirty-five years, from 1982 to 2017, the Walthours owned a bar called the Savoia, located in the 200 block of Warren Street. It was first located at 255 Warren Street. 

255 Warren Street as it was when Savoia was located there
255 Warren Street today
Sometime around 2008, the Walthours retired and sold the building at 255 Warren Street, but they came out of retirement to reopen their bar at 216 Warren Street, a building their son Jacob, Jr., had purchased and renovated in 2002 to create the short-lived Cajun restaurant called Jubilee. The Savoia continued at that address until 2017.

The building is now the location of Ca' Mea and the Howard Hotel.

In 2015, the 200 block of Warren Street was closed for six hours on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend for a block party to celebrate Jake Walthour's 74th birthday. At that time, Mayor William Hallenbeck honored Walthour with a Life Time Achievement Award.

Jacob Walthour died in December 2020. His wife, Barbara, died in January 2022.


  1. Just wondering who will be paying for this. Although, a very nice idea isn't there other things we should be doing with City money? Also, is this considered an accomplishment of our City Council?

  2. I remember when I moved here in the early '90s and Hudson was very different from many angles, but one of the most noticeable was that places like Savoia catered to the city's Black population and made it welcoming for them. To be honest Savoia was welcoming to all. Since then, Hudson has become a center for an entitled and privileged few, shutting out many if not all of the community that helped sustain Hudson during its less than affluent times. Yes there were drugs and crime, but any worse than now? I say bravo to recognizing the Walthours and people like them that didn't give up on Hudson when others did. They are the reason the City is here today, even though most people are too blind to acknowledge their contribution and commitment.