Wednesday, March 6, 2024

The Entrance to Cedar Park: Past and Future

Cedar Park, the newer part of Hudson's cemetery, was developed in 1896. According to research done by the late Mary S. Hallenbeck, when she was serving on the Historic Preservation Commission in 2006, the entrance to Cedar Park was landscaped by local notable Dr. John Conover Smock. 

Smock was a noted geologist, who retired to the mansion in Hudson now known as Cavell House in 1897. According to Hallenbeck, Smock engaged the help of Frederick Law Olmstead in his landscaping plan for Cedar Park, which is significant not so much for its funerary art as it is for its overall design.

The early picture of the entrance to Cedar Park, shown above, doesn't give much sense of the original landscaping of the entrance, but it's pretty certain the original was nothing like what is there today: a boulder, which has been there for more than thirty years, and three planters crafted from salvaged sewer pipe, introduced in 2019, arranged on a bed of gravel.

Last year, the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) encumbered about $3,800 in unspent funds to improve the landscaping at the entrance to Cedar Park. At last night's CAC meeting, Arone Dyer, the newest member of the CAC, shared a rough drawing of how she thought the landscaping at the entrance might be transformed. Among the features being suggested is a crabapple tree to replace the boulder at the center of the triangular bed. 

The CAC's plans for the entrance are subject to approval by Rob Perry, superintendent of Public Works.

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