Happy New Year! As we ring in the new year, we are very excited about what 2022 has in store for us as Hudson Heritage Association celebrates its 60th Anniversary!
Looking back at the last sixty years, we are inspired by what the community and HHA have accomplished in Hudson through thoughtful advocacy, education and preservation initiatives. There is no doubt that Hudson as it appears today would have been a very different place if it weren’t for the decades of preservation-minded citizens standing up, speaking out and taking action to preserve our town’s historic structures, streetscape and Village Green. What began as a small group of concerned, passionate citizens wanting to save the historic 1839 Brewster Store from unwanted demolition continues strongly today, as we confront many of the same challenges seen over six decades, even in the midst of an ever-changing and growing community with varied interests, needs, and perspectives.
Throughout the year, we will be highlighting and reflecting on HHA's extraordinary accomplishments. Our 2021-22 year has already begun with an exciting milestone - a record of 229 members, the largest in recent memory! There were 227 founding members in 1962-63. This speaks to the continued interest and enthusiasm our members have in preserving Hudson's rich history. Thank you!
Below are several important updates and reminders as we begin the new year.
The Hudson City School District Board of Education is contemplating the fate of the 1927 Building and property. As the school district weighs two competing proposals, HHA is urging the abandonment of Liberty Development’s condominium proposal and asking the BoE to support a six-month moratorium while HHA pursues Part 2 of a Feasibility Study to determine the financial viability of optional proposed uses.
1. HHA’s Option A and B seek to retain the building and/or site for community and educational purposes that will honor the original intent of the benefactors who donated the property to the Hudson School District in 1926. At that time, the deed restricted the use of the property to public school purposes. HHA met with members of the school administration and board of education January 6 to clarify its position and discuss these options in detail.
2. Liberty Development proposes to demolish three-quarters of the historic building to construct new condominiums behind the remaining front façade. As noted in a letter to the BoE and School Superintendent, Phil Herman, this concept does not honor historic preservation and violates the Department of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation for the following reasons:
- New additions, exterior alterations, or related new construction shall not destroy historic materials that characterize the property. The new work shall be differentiated from the old and shall be compatible with the massing, size, scale, and architectural features to protect the historic integrity of the property and its environment.
- New additions and adjacent or related new construction shall be undertaken in such a manner that if removed in the future, the essential form and integrity of the historic property and its environment would be unimpaired.
- A new addition should always be subordinate to the historic building; it should not compete in size, scale or design with the historic building itself.
A survey was sent to HHA members and subscribers on December 29 asking for community input on three options being proposed. The results of this survey will be available for review when the survey is closed on January 13. If you have not yet taken the survey, it is not too late.
HHA is also urging the school district to safeguard the building and property in the future regardless of the path chosen. Such protections would include a conservation easement to protect the expansive lawn and oak allée along Oviatt Street and a preservation easement to protect the building’s entire exterior façade, if an appropriate and financially viable adaptive reuse can be found.
HHA Membership Directory
This month the 2021-22 Hudson Heritage Membership Directory will be distributed to all members. We are happy to report record membership as more Hudson residents see the value of a preservation-minded organization in our historic town. Thank you for your continued support and belief in HHA’s mission and work.
HHA Monthly Program: Thursday, January 13 at Barlow Community Center.
This month HHA welcomes Mark J. Price, an award-winning journalist from Akron, as he presents his topic “This Place, This Time.” Please see below for more details.
HHA 2022 Preservation Awards Nominations
Applications are now being accepted for Hudson Heritage’s 2022 Preservation Awards, which recognize and honor historic structures in Hudson that exemplify high standards in historic preservation and restoration. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2022. Please see below for more details.
As we plan for HHA’s 60th anniversary year, 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.