300 Historic Buildings
Hudson, New York has been called “one of the richest dictionaries of architectural history in New York state” and “a treasure house of architectural styles,” from 18th-century Federal buildings to 20th-century Arts and Crafts houses. The majority of the town remains miraculously unscathed by the kind of insensitive development and urban renewal efforts that countless other communities have been effected by.
Among the city’s many notable treasures:
Located at 327 Warren, the Hudson Opera House was constructed as Hudson’s city hall in 1855. It later housed a bank, the post office and a library. After a stage and dressing rooms were added in the 1870s, it became known as the Hudson Opera House. The brick Greek revival building was purchased by a non-profit organization in 1992. It is currently undergoing restoration and serves as an exhibition and performing arts center. It is the fourth oldest surviving theater in the country.
Columbia County Courthouse, situated at 401 Union Street, is the third county courthouse built in Hudson. Completed in 1908, it sits at the southern tip of Fourth Street. The Beaux Arts style building constructed of Vermont marble was designed by Warren and Wetmore, the architects of New York City’s Grand Central Station.
At the north end of the Fourth Street axis is the Hudson Area Association Library, a structure once considered “the most handsome building in Hudson.” Located at 400 State Street, the Federal style building dates to 1818. It first served as the city’s poorhouse, but was later used as a lunatic asylum, a school for young women, a private home and finally, an orphanage. It became the library in 1959. Two lions stand guard out front – one napping and the other looking down.
The First Presbyterian Church at Warren and Fourth streets, is built on the spot where Lafayette addressed the citizens of Hudson when he visited the city in 1824. The First Presbyterian Church was founded in 1792 and built on the site in 1837. It was constructed in the early Gothic revival style out of local stone. The church was later expanded and the steeples were added in 1875.
For more on Hudson, New York’s historic buildings, read Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait by Byrne Fone (Black Dome Press, 2005)