The catastrophic impact of the inferno at 336-338 State Street, their burned-out shells a hideous reminder of the lives disrupted and the severity of the incident, might have given a push to Housing Resources of Columbia Country to finally start work on renovating its neighbor across the street (above), which a sign on the property has implied is about to happen for quite some time now. Recent peeks while passing by the building revealed workmen (two) inside, suggesting that something actually might be; there are also wooden studs dividing its void of an interior – a hopeful sign?
As a longtime resident of State, I’ve always felt that, sans vinyl/asbestos siding, the houses located there are the neglected treasures of Hudson and, once stripped of their dreary coverings, will reveal themselves to be of true historic and aesthetic merit. Down between Second and Third Street, a big chunk of the block escaped the so-called “improvements” made to other buildings on the street over the last few decades –due to economics from way back when to now, and is a sight to be seen. (Up the block, the arid concrete park just built by David Deutsch, adjoining the Housing Resources building between Third and Fourth, is just what the doctor didn’t order.)
Recently Carole Osterink advocated that the blocks on Fourth Street that fall outside the historic district boundaries be so designated, a no brainer of an idea since the street—with the glorious Warren and Wetmore-designed courthouse at the south end and the venerable library capping the north—is the closest thing, design wise, we have to a planned civic center. Additionally, I rather wish that it wouldn’t get so many people riled up to also suggest that other sections nearby — part or even all of State Street but particularly those blocks that remain miraculously intact at the moment — be given landmark consideration also. If these buildings — with their abundance of Nantucket-style and Hudson Vernacular originals — don’t qualify….what does? –Scott Baldinger