March Newsletter
March 11, 2021
Message from the President
The adaptive reuse of the 50,000-square-foot 1927 Hudson High School building located on Oviatt Street in Hudson’s Historic District goes far beyond the preservation and repurposing of a single structure. This is one of Hudson’s last opportunities to retain a significant public building within the historic center.

With the relocation of three significant public buildings/operations from the Historic District -- the post office (1997), library (2004) and the city/town hall (2013) -- residents have fewer reasons to go to the historic downtown. At one time, the Hudson Town Hall was the social center of the community; it included a fire department, a police station, civic offices and a community meeting room/theater with stage on the second floor.

The 1927 HHS Building was designed, built and integrated into the surrounding neighborhood and continues to be part of the historic fabric of the community. Its unique location, walkable setting and physical relationship to the school campuses, neighborhood and historic downtown have given it unique importance in the community.
The adaptive reuse and repurposing of the 1927 Building as a community/cultural arts center could provide a unique venue to bring people, community organizations and institutions together in the village core for shared experiences in arts and culture, youth and senior education/services, and civic and social activities.

Hudson has over thirty art, civic, community, cultural, educational, and social/service organizations, with many of these groups (both large and small) operating, sharing, and competing for spaces that are often difficult to schedule, inadequate for a variety of uses and/or lack adequate seating capacity. In contrast, the 1927 Building has unique spaces that are not found anywhere else in Hudson, particularly the 600‐seat auditorium with balcony, projection booth and stage house.

Potential uses for a community/cultural arts center include artist studio/gallery space, dance, conference/meeting rooms, classroom/program space, civic/community/organization offices, a senior center, makerspace, theater, music and performing/visual arts. For more information on HHA’s community/cultural arts center concept and approach, please click here.
The 1927 HHS Building’s 600-seat theater/auditorium with stage and balcony.
While the Hudson City School District continues to work with Liberty Development on a proposed concept of condominiums for the 1927 HHS Building and surrounding site, Hudson Heritage Association is working to preserve the important role of this building and engaging in a feasibility study that was initially defined in our response to the Request for Proposal from the HCSD in March 2020.

Because of the limited time we have in determining the fate of this building, the HHA Board has recently agreed to proceed with the hiring of a consultant who will help determine the needs, uses and aspirations of the Hudson community and how these could be incorporated into the 1927 Building.

The Feasibility Study is divided into two phases: 

The initial phase will include a market assessment, competitive analysis and community survey. The goal is to identify community needs and potential uses. The survey will invite the community to provide valuable input on the future of the building, the neighborhood and historic district.

If Phase One proves the viability of a community/cultural arts center and there is a consensus on the recommended direction, we will proceed with Phase Two, which will include the development of a business plan for how the redeveloped 1927 Building should be programmed, operated, financed and sustained.

The feasibility study will take approximately three months to complete. The HCSD’s demolition schedule/timeline indicates that the school's eastern additions (and potentially the 1927 Building itself) will be torn down this summer.

We hope the HCSD reviews the community-driven feasibility study in conjunction with the developer’s plan. It is our hope that with two viable options on the table, the district will find a suitable option for the preservation and adaptive reuse of the 1927 Building that will meet the needs of our community.

This community-driven concept for a community/cultural arts center has gained increasing support, and we anticipate that during the next few months this support will grow even stronger. Through careful planning and community discussions, the 1927 Building can remain a true community asset in the heart of our community.

Please join us in preserving and repurposing this important historic structure. HHA will soon reach out to our members and the Hudson community with an invitation to contribute financially to this initiative. We are hopeful that other community organizations and individuals would rather pursue a cultural arts/community center concept than a residential development and will lend financial support to the feasibility study.

We will share details about our fundraising efforts soon, and we look forward to sharing our progress!

Christopher J. Bach
Hudson Heritage Association
1927 High School Building
Community Webinars March 10 and March 11

The Hudson City School District has scheduled two webinars to present plan revisions of Liberty Development's residential proposal for the adaptive reuse of the 1927 High School Building. Superintendent Phil Herman and Liberty's Dru Siley will present. The two webinars will cover the same material.

HHA encourages your participation. Voicing concerns and asking questions during the Q-and-A period will be extremely important. These presentations are the only time for meaningful community feedback.

Follow the links below to join the webinars. The passcode for both is 1927.

March 10 at 7 p.m.
passcode: 1927
March 11 at 11:30 a.m.
passcode: 1927

Click HERE for the webinar invitation from the Hudson Hub-Times with complete instructions to join by internet or phone.
29 Videos Now Available on HHA Website
It is now easier than ever to access HHA's past programs. The videos page of the HHA website is located under the Research & History tab and is loaded with engaging and educational opportunities. HCTV has been filming HHA's popular monthly programs for over 20 years -- with 29 popular programs now available on the HHA website. It's like NETFLIX for Hudson history, without any fees! Visit the HHA website the next time you are looking for a new show. And come back often as new programs will be added monthly.
HHA March Virtual Program
TONIGHT at 7:30 p.m.

"At the Summit: A Centennial Celebration"
A look at the 200-year flight of American women for the right to vote.
With Leianne Neff Heppner from Summit Country Historic Society
In August, the nation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees American women the right to vote.

Hudson Heritage Association will honor the centennial of this crucial moment in history during its March program by featuring a special presentation from Leianne Neff Heppner, President and CEO of the Summit County Historical Society of Akron.
Neff Heppner’s presentation, “At the Summit: A Centennial Celebration,” will offer a fascinating look at the 200-year fight of American women to win the vote, from the colonial era through the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The program will be tonight, Thursday, March 11, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be virtual, airing on Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) and HCTV’s online livestream at For live-streaming, scroll down on the page and click on the arrow in the "HCTV Live Streams" box. For those who miss the broadcast on March 11, the program will be rebroadcast throughout the month and then made available on HCTV’s online archives at The many links in this paragraph will help you find the program.
This illustration, created in 1912 by
the National Women’s Trade Union League,
became a popular postcard for supporters
of women’s suffrage in Ohio. 
Neff Heppner will also focus on the women of Ohio and Summit County who played crucial roles in the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements. “They were among the first women to run for office,” she said, “and they were some of the first elected women government leaders.”

That includes Victoria Woodhull, from Licking County, Ohio, who in 1870 became the first female candidate for President of the United States; and Mary Paul, who in 1924 became the first woman to win a Summit County election.
Mary Paul became the first woman
elected to countywide office in 1924.
“This presentation is going to be a fast-paced ride through history, so buckle up,” Neff Heppner added. “We hope it will inspire you to learn more about local women’s history.”

Neff Heppner has more than 25 years of experience in history and preservation, managing multiple construction, preservation and conservation projects. Currently, she is leading the Summit County Historical Society of Akron’s efforts to complete the third phase of a $1.3 million preservation project at the John Brown House. She also helped organize exhibits for Akron’s and Summit County’s 175th anniversaries.
Leianne Neff Heppner, President and CEO or Summit County Historical Society of Akron.
“As is so often the case, momentous moments in American history have significant ties back to the people of the Western Reserve. American women’s pursuit of the right to vote is no exception,” said Chris Bach, President of Hudson Heritage Association. “Leianne Neff Heppner’s passion for history and engaging style are going to bring it all to life.”
Tune in to Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) tonight at 7:30 or visit HCTV’s online livestream ( For those who miss the broadcast tonight, the program will be rebroadcast on HCTV and then made available on HCTV’s online archives.
Brewster Store Approved for Restoration
and Enhancements
The photo-rendering illustrates the 1839 Brewster Store building and some of the proposed
exterior changes, with the intention to bring the building and its architectural features,
back to the “Ellsworth Renovation” period of 1908.
On November 18, 2020, the City of Hudson’s Architectural & Historic Board of Review (AHBR) reviewed a preliminary/informal submittal for the restoration of the 1839 Brewster Store building, which is prominently located at the northeast corner of Main and Aurora streets, directly across from the Clock Tower. Subsequently, the AHBR had a site visit and building tour on December 9, followed by another submittal and review on December 16, with a final AHBR review and approval for the restoration project on February 10, 2021. Construction is anticipated to start in the spring. 

The restoration scope of work for the property and building includes various site/property improvements – a reconfigured parking lot to the north, low brick and sandstone capped site walls, outdoor sandstone paver walkways and patios, low metal fencing to the east, landscaping, and planting.

The proposed exterior restoration work is intended to bring the building and its architectural features, back to the “Ellsworth Renovation” period of 1908. Exterior restoration work includes – repair and re-pointing of brick and stonework, all new wood windows (to match the existing) with added wood shutters, a new wood balustrade above the south cornice, and a new central entrance/vestibule that will replace the current “ATM machine” enclosure on the north side of the building’s one-story addition (1953).

The most noticeable change will be on the one-story north addition’s flat roof, where an outdoor rooftop patio/terrace for employees will be added, which includes a steel tube trellis/pergola structure with retractable fabric canopy/shades, all surrounded by low perimeter railing and boxwood hedge plantings. A proposed solar panel array located on the south sloping roof (behind the wood balustrade) would require approval from the City’s Board of Zoning and Building Appeals.
A photo-rendering illustrates the improved north entrance/vestibule enclosure, as well as the proposed outdoor rooftop patio/terrace with steel tube trellis/pergola and retractable fabric canopy/shades.
The interior will be completely renovated with woodwork upgraded to reflect profiles and materials in use for its era, while creating a modern workspace for offices. The entire building will be rewired, replumbed and a new HVAC system installed. The existing bank vaults will remain. A thorough historic structures report will be completed by the owner to document the existing historic fabric, architectural details, and structure of the building.

In 1962, shortly after a contentious community battle and preservation movement to save the historic 1839 Brewster Store building from demolition, the Hudson Heritage Association (HHA) was formally organized and named that same year. The building received HHA’s first installed historic marker in 1964.
2021 Program Dates

HHA is planning a virtual program year for as long as there are state mandates against in-person gatherings. The safety of our members and friends is our priority! Please plan to join us on our regular program dates/times (second Thursday each month at 7:30) when our programs air on HCTV (channel 1021) and Hudson Community Television's HCTV Channels Online Live Stream or anytime after as the programs are available on HCTV's online archives.

Tune in to HCTV (channel 1021) at 7:30 p.m. as HHA presents the following:

March 11
Women of Summit County with Leianne Neff Hepner
Summit County Historical Society

April 8
Western Reserve Residences of the 1820's and 1830's with
Dr. Elwin Robison, College of Architecture and Environmental Design,
Kent State University

May 13
HHA Annual Meeting - TBD

Hudson Heritage Association | |

PO Box 2218 - Hudson, OH 44236