February Newsletter
February 4, 2022
Message from the Co-Presidents
While advocacy issues continue to be at the forefront of Hudson Heritage Association’s activities, other committees have also been active. We would like to give special recognition to Rob Swedenborg and the Research Committee, for their extraordinary efforts and work on the HHA Historic Marker Program. Currently, ten properties are being researched as candidates for the award. The HHA Historic Marker recognizes structures that have retained a high degree of historical and architectural integrity in the community.

Downtown Phase II Update
On January 4 City Council approved Resolution No. 21-149, which authorizes the City Manager to enter into a purchase and sale agreement with Fairmount Properties, LLC for the sale of property located in the downtown area adjacent to the First & Main development, also known as “Downtown Phase II”. This Resolution repeals Resolution No. 21-116 that was approved by Council on November 9, 2021. The new Resolution eliminates the City’s obligation to reimburse Fairmount for reasonable costs it accumulates creating the plans if the Phase II project does not come to fruition. It also requires Fairmount’s plan to meet the City of Hudson’s Land Development Code regulations and to go back to Council for final approval.

1927 Building & Property Update
On December 29th, HHA launched a 1927 Building and Site Community Survey to gauge public sentiment towards its future. The survey, now closed, drew 655 responses. The full survey results, including comments, can be viewed by clicking here.

At the January 24th Board of Education meeting, outgoing school superintendent Phil Herman announced final recommendations for the site and building would be postponed. He recommended that interim superintendent Steve Farnsworth, along with Facilities Committee members, establish the factors and timeline for final decision-making. He further suggested the assessment and recommendations should weigh the revenue, expenses and tax implications on the school district, the impact on student learning and student experience, the economic viability of each proposal, the impact to the neighborhood, and the alignment and fit within the broader Hudson community.  

He also reported that a community member has proposed working with the HCSD to fund, through private donation, development of a plan to create an outdoor learning center for use by Hudson students on the site. This proposal aligns with HHA’s Option B if a financially viable solution cannot be found for the building as a Community/Cultural Arts Center.
Baldwin-Buss House and Park Lane Square Project
Hudson Heritage Association applauds the work of Peg’s Foundation and the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation for their preservation initiative to restore the historic Baldwin-Buss House. It further commends Peg’s Foundation for its generosity and vision in revitalizing a neglected area of Hudson.

The 0.92-acre parcel of land, one of the most significant and prominent parcels of land in the Historic District, abuts the west Village Green. Because the National Register Historic District boundary intersects the property and the proposed Peg’s Foundation building on the site, City staff have recommended the east wing (facing the Green) and the main mass be reviewed separately, with the main mass subject to the city’s general design standards and the east wing viewed from the Village Green be subject to any applicable Secretary of Interior standards and City of Hudson design standards for historic buildings/properties.

To this end, HHA met in January with representatives of Peninsula Architects, Peg’s Foundation, and the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation to discuss design elements and concerns that impact the larger context of the Historic District and the west Village Green.

HHA February Program
On Thursday, February 10th HHA will welcome Professor Renee Sentilles, associate professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, to Barlow Community Center at 7:30 p.m. Professor Sentilles will speak about a local connection to the world-renowned studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. (See more details about the program below.)

New Monthly Feature
A new monthly feature, titled “HHA – Celebrating 60 Years of Preservation”, debuts this month. It will highlight HHA's history and key accomplishments over the last 60 years. The first article, written by Christopher J. Bach and Patricia S. Eldredge, highlights the early days of the architectural preservation movement in the U.S. as well as the events that led to the formation of HHA in 1962. Other monthly features will be introduced in the coming months. 

HHA's 60th Anniversary
The year 2022 will be monumental for HHA! Watch for more details as we make plans to celebrate Hudson Heritage Association’s 60th Anniversary. We look forward to celebrating this milestone with you and the community and recognize that your support will play an important part of our success. 

Be well and stay healthy.
Christopher J. Bach & Kathy Russell
Hudson Heritage Association
HHA’s February Program: "Hidden Gem - CWRU Professor Renee Sentilles to Share Stories Behind Clara Driscoll & the Women of Tiffany Studios"
Tiffany lamps and decorative objects, known for their classic floral design and subtle glow, became a sensation in the art world and society  because of Clevelander Clara Wolcott Driscoll. On Thursday, February 10, Case Western Reserve Professor Renee Sentilles will share stories of Driscoll, a luminescent figure in American women’s history. The free program, sponsored by the Hudson Heritage Association (HHA), is open to all at 7:30 p.m. at the Barlow Community Center.

Born in Tallmadge in 1861, Wolcott attended Cleveland Central High School and the Western Reserve School of Design for Women (now known as the Cleveland Institute of Art). In 1888, she moved to New York City to study at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s School and began her career with Louis Comfort (L.C.) Tiffany. While design credit for the beautiful, hand-crafted Tiffany products was traditionally given to L.C., in fact, Driscoll was pivotal in their creation. 
Driscoll also was a savvy manager, negotiator, and leader. Women who worked at Tiffany were not unionized (male employees were) and Driscoll led her women coworkers, creating many of the company’s most prestigious commissions for stained glass windows and mosaics. 
“She was an incredible designer and manager in her 30s and 40s, running a huge shop of women, representing a whole cadre of women,” Sentilles said. “In some ways, it was the age of the new woman, featuring amazing characters who weren’t really known.”
Sentilles noted Driscoll’s influence on the New York social scene in the late 1800s, taking in plays and parties with fellow employees dubbed the “Tiffany Girls.”
Driscoll’s writing also illuminated the full Tiffany story, Sentilles said. “Driscoll and her sisters and her mother wrote letters to each other and kept them. Sometimes they would even make copies of their letters on carbon.” But Sentilles said it wasn’t until 2009 when a relative of Driscoll’s turned over the letters to art historian Martin Edelberg that hidden stories and contributions were revealed in a book titled, “A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls,” authored by Edelberg, Nina Gray and Margaret K. Hofer.
Thursday’s presentation by Sentilles promises to reveal that, as is often the case, behind every great woman is a great woman. Sentilles is a modern match for contributions to the understanding of women in her role at Case Western Reserve as the Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History. She also is the author of two books, “Performing Menken: Adah Isaacs Menken and the Birth of American Celebrity,” and “American Tomboys, 1850-1915.” Her latest project is a book and website called “In Her Shoes: Getting to the Sole of American Women’s History,” which uses shoes as an entry point into multicultural women’s history.
While Sentilles has traveled to many cities and every state, she loves Cleveland for its art and history, and how it drew her to the place that is now her home.
“In college I thought I would be an artist and a writer, and I majored in American studies, studying American culture, looking at art and literature and history. When it came to art, all the major American works are in the Cleveland Museum of Art, and I wanted to come to Cleveland so much.”
Twenty years later, she continues to live, work and study our regional and cultural landscape, and the contributions of women here and everywhere who break glass ceilings in art, industry, education and life.
Historic Farmstead Receives HHA Historic Marker
A home linked to some of Hudson’s earliest settlers, as well as its agrarian past and the family of John Brown, is the latest property to receive a historic marker from Hudson Heritage Association. Current owner Greg Arsenault will receive the marker at HHA’s monthly program meeting on February 10.

Known as the Alling-Hawkins Homestead, 1817/1837, the home is located on the northern border of Hudson and was once part of a large parcel acquired in 1815 by Esquire Gideon Mills, an early settler of Hudson and the brother of John Brown’s mother. Mills quickly resold part of the parcel to Connecticut resident Steven Alling, who sent his sixteen-year-old son Ethan to explore the territory and establish a homestead. By 1817, young Ethan had built a barn and home on the site, along with a working sawmill and grist mill. A community called Millville grew up along the river, named after the Mills family. Alling grew to become a leading businessman in the Twinsburg community, but maintained strong ties to nearby Hudson, which served as the center of commerce for the then just-developing Twinsburg township.

In 1837, Alling sold the farm to Joseph Hawkins and his wife Lucia, early settlers who ran a farm and inn in northeast Hudson. The Hawkinses built the home being honored by HHA and established a 400-acre dairy farm that they operated together for 56 years. After Joseph Hawkins died, Lucia and their sons operated the farm until 1893.

“We are delighted to recognize this important early property,” said Rob Swedenborg, Chair of HHA's Research Committee. “The research done by Greg Arsenault provides a unique glimpse of early life in Hudson and its rural heritage. The story behind this homestead and what became known as Hawkins Hill Farm reminds us that at one time, the borders between Hudson and the surrounding communities were much more fluid. Early settlers all knew each other, worked together and depended on each other to build successful lives in what was essentially the American frontier.”
HHA - Celebrating 60 Years of Preservation
Left, Members of AGBANY protest the demolition of Pennsylvania Station, 1962. Center, Adolph Weinman’s maiden at the left, holding the garland of sunflowers, represents “Day”; her comely sister at right, “Night.” Right, a fragment of Weinman’s stone maiden statue “Day”, dumped into a trackside landfill in Secaucus, NJ.
A Call to Action: Saving Hudson’s Brewster Store & the Beginnings of HHA 
By Christopher Bach & Patricia S. Eldredge

Editor’s note: this is an abridged version of a longer article that provides more detail about the founding of Hudson Heritage Association. To access the full article, click here.

In August 1962, a group of architects in New York City formed a new organization called the “Action Group for Better Architecture in New York.” Its first and primary cause was the preservation of historic Penn Station. The group organized a protest, launched a letter-writing campaign, ran newspaper ads, spoke up at hearings and held a grand rally in front of the station that drew hundreds of supporters. 

On October 28, 1963, the demolition crew appeared with jackhammers, and the “monumental act of vandalism” began. Although all 22 stone-carved eagles (created by sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman) that adorned the station were saved, most of the travertine and granite – including several of Weinman’s paired stone maiden’s “Day” and “Night” that once graced the four entrances – were dumped into a trackside landfill in Secaucus, NJ. By 1966, all traces of the monumental gateway were gone. The demonstrations to preserve Penn Station could not save it, but they did spark what became the architectural preservation movement in the United States.

Here in Hudson, in early 1962, the First National Bank of Akron was making plans to tear down its Hudson branch building and construct a new modern drive-in facility. Known as the Brewster Store at 5 Aurora Street and located directly across from the Clock Tower, the building was built in 1839 and had been designated as “the oldest commercial brick edifice in constant use in the Western Reserve.” Residents of the village were outraged by the announcement and were “ready to do battle” to keep the building from being destroyed. 

By late March, petitions and petitioners took to the streets, asking First National Bank to change its mind about tearing down one of Hudson’s historic structures. HHA luminary Patricia Eldredge recalls that “the bank officials proposed to raze the historic building, use the street frontage for parking, and construct a typical Georgian-style building at the rear. The bank was, and still is, a linchpin for the downtown area. To lose it to a modern building with an anti-historic setback would destroy the 'cornerness' of that pivotal property and would have irrevocably scarred the face of the village.”
1839 Brewster Store – First National Bank, 1962
Hudson residents spoke out, with many writing protest letters to the local paper. “This is all we have left of Ohio’s beautiful past and I love it. Save it!” wrote one resident. “This brick building has stood on the square in Hudson since 1839 and is regarded by most of us as a personal friend, treasured as one of the few remaining old buildings which make our square so beautiful,” wrote another. 

In neighboring Peninsula there were similar immediate threats to the Bronson Episcopal Church, also built in 1839 and the GAR Hall, built in 1851. By April, a group of women from Peninsula (Lily Fleder and Eunice Conger Halls) and Hudson (Gloria Guldan) had organized and headed to Washington, D.C., to meet with their Congressman William Hanes Ayres, the director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and Chief Historian for the National Park Service (NPS).  In that meeting, it was agreed that both the NTHP and NPS would send representatives to assess the historical value of the disputed sites. 
Formation of Hudson Heritage Association Announced, 
The Akron Beacon Journal, June 18, 1962
The women returned to Hudson and Peninsula and suggested the next step would be to organize a committee. At the National Trust, the Hudson representatives were promised a consultant. Helen Duprey Bullock, the legendary editor of Preservation News, arrived in Hudson for the annual Ice Cream Social on the Green and for a large meeting held at Western Reserve Academy’s Ellsworth Hall where she was to speak. It was at this meeting that the Hudson Heritage Association was officially founded as Hudson’s preservation organization. Its first order of business was the salvation of the Brewster Store.

On June 17, 1962, after a two-day study of the communities and a presentation by NTHP and NPS officials, the Hudson Heritage Association was formally organized and named. And in August, the group interested in preserving the scenic and historic beauty of the Cuyahoga Valley was formed and named the Peninsula Valley Heritage Association, now the Peninsula Foundation. Both the Bronson Episcopal Church and GAR Hall buildings were eventually saved and preserved, as well as the prominent Brewster Store building that proudly stands, among many other historic structures, safeguarding the perimeter edge of our beautiful historic Village Green.

This was the beginning of Hudson Heritage and its first challenge. There would be many more to follow in the next sixty years. We will tell you about some of them in the months to come.
Seeking History Sleuths

Our Research Committee needs people who are interested in helping uncover the pedigrees of Hudson’s historic properties. Do you have previous experience, or do you think you might like to try your hand at researching the stories behind some of our historic homes?

Deeds for properties in Summit County are now online, making the research process much easier and less time-consuming. Whether researching deeds, finding biographical information, or simply writing up the reports, computers have made the job much easier for our research team. Your work can be done at your own pace and our committee will provide guidance and advice to get you started.  

Those who have done this work in the past will tell you that it can become a fascinating journey into the history of our community. Properties that have been fully researched are eligible to receive one of the prestigious HHA markers that currently grace more than 175 homes and commercial properties throughout Hudson. The reports also become a valuable resource that can be important to new homeowners, city staff and others who need details on Hudson’s historic properties. All reports are kept in the Hudson Library and Historical Society archives and the HHA archives for future reference. Reports also become part of the descriptions that can be found on the “Find a Property” section of HHA’s website.

If you have some time to help us with this important work, or would like to learn more, contact HHA at info@hudsonheritage.org. Send us a message and we will contact you.
2022 Program Dates

Plan to join us for our popular monthly programs. Unless otherwise noted, these meetings are open to the general public and are held in the Assembly Room of Barlow Community Center at 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments are provided. Mark your calendars for the following dates:

March 10
Ohio and Erie Canal Program

April 14
"Tale of Two Cities" presented by Nicholas Kent and his students from WRA

May 12
HHA Annual Meeting Program TBD

Hudson Heritage Association | info@hudsonheritage.org | www.hudsonheritage.org

PO Box 2218 - Hudson, OH 44236