Given the retrograde design quality of so many of Hudson’s restorations and so much of its new construction, two new projects seem to have been taking a refreshingly sensible and attractive turn for the better. One looks, as of yet, to be a simple yet crucially needed paint job; the other is a new building abutting a severely compromised historical one that has been the source of much discord and worry over the years.
The first, the salvaging of two residential buildings left for rot by the former owners of the Armory, are being worked on by none other than the folks at Galvan, who I and others have criticized for their lack of action and varying quality in the past. The improving sight of these inexplicably neglected structures, which have for so long been a drain on an especially historically grand avenue of stately turn- of-the century homes, is especially gratifying (and as of yet, not polarizing.) A very promising start, it they aren’t transmogrified beyond their pleasantly simple bones.
Amicably contemporary in design, the submission by architect Jane Smith (formerly a member the Historic Perservation Commission) for the new senior center headquarters on 3rd street, is a refreshing solution to a difficult spatial problem: nonaggressivey natural in material, it is neither oppressively slavish to the original nor stridently contrary. Fresh thinking crammed into an oddly confined lot, it sort of reminds me of the sloped- roof library additions I recall growing up with in the 1960s, the reading pits of which I loved to hunker down into. It is nothing if civic minded. So far, I think everyone at the Preservation Commission and in the community at large should feel comfortable giving a thumbs up to these promising grace notes in town. –Scott Baldinger