A blog about Hudson, New York

Not Too Shabby

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

 

2 Responses to Not Too Shabby

  1. Scott ,I am a big supporter of your being on the HPC.I am a fan of your blog and ideas

    But you, as a member of the Historic Preservation Commission have approved publicly

    and endorsed the building of the proposed Senior Center before the
    HPC meets for the 1st time with new design.

    It has not been approved that anything can be built there yet at all

    this is not about ,NEW &OLD Architecture being able to harmonious.

    There are a millions of examples all around the world

    this about a Historic Church and its formerly tree filled side yard,having a small Senior Center be crammed into

    Youth Center’s side yard,spending$ 200,000 over budget

    so Seniors have an elevator to the kids gymnasium, all because in 2005 Scalera had this idea for getting more grant money.

    It is being attached to a Historic Building in a Historic Land Marked District

    in badly need of restoration.

    the youth center or anything else surrounding this proposed buildings are
    not WHITE,as shown in pretty pictures

    City Hall consistent choice, Crawford & Assoc have done an admittedly
    brief assessment of the structural soundness of the Youth center bldg.
    Was any of this bid out?
    Does Jane Smith have structural engineers on staff at her company?

    My only relief is that no one seems to propose digging a foundation

    (since the mechanical will be on 1st floor roof) and seriously, compromising structural foundation of Church
    and hopefully the design is such
    that if Future Citizens& Stewards of Hudson would like to Historically correct this decision,
    little to none of the Historic bldg will be disturbed or stressed
    by the addition of this annex.
    and it can be removed.

    If this SPACESMITH bldg was built in a non historic district,it wouldn’t matter what anyone on HPC thought about it.It’s a pleasant building as drawn.
    The $800,000 price tag for just the small building
    may have been a problem for taxpayers
    considering no land purchase ,parking or green space,is in that $800,000 price tag

    Senior center currently doesn’t have enough money to pay for seniors Yoga class.
    If this was built in a historically unprotected area,which is most of Hudson, it would be refreshing.

    Too bad Space Smith wasn’t consulted
    on all the other ugly civic Bldg,built in the last decades in Hudson ,not in Historic designated areas.

    Architect Jane Smith could have kept her position as the architectural consultant member of HPC

    which she was ,up until very recently.She was very far along with Senior Center design process

    before the conflict of interest was publicly voiced and she stepped down

    The location of the Senior Center is what the issue is and for that amount of money

    it is being Crammed into the Former Methodist Episcopal Church 1854 tree filled side yard

    and being attached to Historic Bldg.the foundation is by most written historical accounts

    the foundation of Friends meeting house 1794.

    This is also all being built on State 23B9G Trke RTE,between 2 traffic lights, trucks the size

    illegal in Manhattan,barreling through night and day

    and trucks will be constantly stuck at lights idling in front of Senior Center.
    There is no parking and what appears in the drawings as barely a sidewalk.Its dangerous.
    There would be no possibility for green space or parking for Youth Center or seniors

    these architect renderings are sales presentations,

    there is no reality in them,that could possibly convey the reality

    of the true proximity of this new structure

    to ALL the surrounding buildings,yards , alley& streets–to scale .A model would be best

    Not like that ubsurd rendering of “Civic” that shows grassy lawns where River Studio & Etsy a house and Helsinki exist.
    The whole concept for locating the Senior Center there was so ill conceived
    and a knee jerk idea originally from Scalera ,
    to increase grant funding for Youth Center
    by piggybacking the “concept” of a Senior Center in 2005
    on shared site and get 200k more,over the 400k for refurbishing Youth Center.

  2. City seeks funds for Boys and Girls Club renovation
    By Bob MitchellPublished:
    Friday, January 21, 2005 12:37 AM EST
    HUDSON — The Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency board on Thursday unanimously

    chose the Boys and Girls Club as applicant for the next round of Community Development Block Grant funds.
    The competitively sought $400,000 grant, if the city is successful at obtaining it, would be used to renovate the club.
    The application deadline is in April, and the city will know by September if the application was successful

    .Last week, HCDPA conducted a public hearing to solicit ideas for the grant application

    . There were several, but a suggestion to combine a senior center with the Boys and Girls Club

    appeared to be the most attractive.
    Peter Markou, executive director of HCDPA, said Thursday that presenting the project as beneficial to seniors

    as well as to youth might enhance the application’s chances of success.
    The panel said the intergenerational concept for the club presented at the hearing last week might work.
    “We need input from seniors,” said Mayor Richard Scalera, HCDPA board member.
    The money will not go far, said Scalera. Initial work includes restoration of windows, doors, heat and electric, he said.
    This grant is called a single-purpose grant.
    Municipalities also have the option of applying for a comprehensive grant for up to $600,000.

    Those grants are used to fund more than one project.
    Scalera asked Markou if HCDPA could apply for a $600,000

    comprehensive grant if a senior center was to be part of the Boys and Girls Club.
    “Now it is one site with two programs,” Scalera said.
    Markou said he would look into it.
    The city plans to have its Youth Department operate the financially strapped club.
    Opening of Boys and Girls Club pushed back one week

    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    No more thought than that was put into this
    Not location,its safety or how it would impact Seniors,

    the Youth Center and Youth at the Youth Center

    neighbors. No thought about

    it was a historic building in very bad repair

    Then it just took on a life of its own

    a shared space became a building

    an elevator,

    No more thought than what do we do to keep the grant money and get more

    and still start 200k over budget,before overruns,before a hammer has been lifted.

    This is a very disturbing phenomenon ,here in

    modern day Hudson of no City Planning

    in the 2nd Planned City in the United States 1784

    and no respect for that
    A half baked plan is mentioned one day

    next day there are pretty ,unrealistic pictures,

    and then CC votes to build it

    always grandstanding if you object

    that you are heartlessly against the poor,the homeless,children and old people.

    fait accomplis
    before anyone has time to stop it.

    I hope if this very ill conceived idea is slammed through,

    HPC forgets about SpaceSmith pretty pictures and
    does its due diligence on the Historic Building in a Historic District

    it is being proposed to attach to
    and side yard it is being built on

    that has
    never been built on,sacred in that way

    A yard of Friends Meeting House 1794

    and Methodist Episcopal Church 1854.

    since 1925 a yard for boys and girls club

    and in 2005 it was seized by city ,
    to run Youth Center,and not well

    It was then,2005,Scalera started to try to get more

    than the allotted$ 400,000 grant

    for Youth Center improvement by adding “idea”

    of a Senior center to the grant ,for an extra$200k

    Would HPC think this same Building design concept

    would be appropriate smacked up next to Presbyterian Church

    on East side yard covering every inch,on Warren and 4th St?
    It is the same thing.
    This 1960ish elementary school annex / carport design

    might look great on its own lot with parking and gardens.

    Not in a Historic District,crammed between a Historic Church and an alley on a 23b/9g Rte

    with no parking or green space.The gate way into Hudson

    the neighboring building on the other side of Youth Center /Church

    is the historic Masonic Hall

    how do these buildings relate with the 1960ish scholastic annex?

    We need the open space there. Trees.Like it was,historically

    This unofficial public pre- approval of pretty pictures

    by a member of HPC,however well intentioned

    is extremely harmful to the purpose of HPC

    premature , inappropriate and creates undue influence.

    the grant to build there, isn’t even approved yet.

    there are many citizens against building anything in the side yard.
    HPC can barely enforce any laws as is

    Very little of Hudson is historically protected

    This will set a standard,that will make it
    much harder to protect other historic buildings and sites

    We have very important buildings on the horizon

    If this is OK with HPC,prior to State Historic approval

    Proper structural evaluation of the Historic Building

    and the appropriateness to attach to it

    on the formally tree filled 1/4 lot belonging to

    the former Episcopal Methodist Church1854

    Friends Meeting House1794
    What isn’t going to be OK with HPC ?

    and how are they going to defend their decisions,

    knowing
    how little power Scalera has left the HPC.
    Why wouldn’t the restoration of the Methodist Episcopal Church

    that is on the Gateway into Hudson,be HPC,first priority.

    Then the condition of the youth center its self

    is there any money for the Youth?

    It’s only through the youth,that this grant for senior center was conjured up in the first place

    How much real time was spent looking for a much better

    location for a senior center?A city owned lot that Jane Smiths building would look lovely ,landscaped ,with parking and a savings of 200,000
    for an elevator.

    Or ,besides Peter Myer,how much time or effort was spent on finding a safer location for a Youth Center,for that matter?

    Sorry this is so long,but you are the only email I have to a member of HPC

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