A blog about Hudson, New York

Most Things Don’t Happen, This One Looks Like It Will

IMG_1238 I’m paraphrasing a line from a typically mordant Philip Larkin poem (about a favorite subject of his: death) to refer to what is happening at the former First Methodist Church at 448 Warren Street (new life). In other words, unlike Marina Abramovic’s ambitious performance art project on Columbia Street, a lot is happening at this spot, and it’s taking place right now, not at some vague time in the future. After making inquiries (of workers at the building site, knowledgeable passersby, a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, etc.) I’ve gathered the following info: David Hammons, a very “big” artist (i.e .well-known and in demand) has bought the church, owned previously by a person who reportedly stripped out a good chunk of the historic space’s interior details for some unclear purpose (possibly “a museum to herself,” I once recall her telling me years ago). Rumor has it that Hammons, who last year bought a warehouse in a section of southwest Yonkers for an art gallery and living space, is turning the former church into a jazz and arts center. What is most obvious right now is that he is doing exactly what is needed to the exterior: restoring the brownstone detailing and re-pointing and cleaning all of the brick work. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could also bring back some of the now absent stained-glass windows and, most ambitious of all, the missing steeple on the building’s left side? — Scott Baldinger

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