Historic Buildings of Hudson
Historic Buildings in the City of Hudson’s Largest Historic District
This is a walking tour of notable buildings in the largest of the City of Hudson’s historic districts, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The boundaries of this district encompass structures representing the development of the city since its establishment in 1783 through its last principal building period in the 1930s. This district includes virtually all of Warren Street, the city’s commercial core, as well as Union and Allen streets, both residential, and running south of, and parallel to, Warren. The boundaries of the historic district roughly follow the rear property lines of properties on the north side of Warren Street, and on the south side of Union and Allen Streets.
This tour explores primarily Warren, Union and Allen Streets, tracing the evolution of Hudson’s architecture, from Parade Hill, at the foot of Warren Street by the Hudson River, up Warren to the Seventh Street Park, then south on Seventh Street to Union, down Union back to Front Street, then back up the hill from Front along Allen and East Allen, with a slight detour at Willard Place.
While Third Street serves as a major entrance to the City, Fourth Street was laid out as a central axis, with the Courthouse on its southern end, and the almshouse on its north. In between were the post office, churches, and other public buildings. Sixth Street became a point of interest in the late nineteenth century as industry developed on its northeast edge, leading to the construction of public buildings and a railroad station, in addition to a knitting mill and an ironworks.
The greatest density of eighteenth century buildings is located in the western area of the district, closest to the waterfront. Lower Union, as well as Front and lower Warren Streets, provide important examples of Hudson’s earliest buildings, from the Federal period of the City’s inception. These houses demonstrate the tastes of the Proprietors, and resulted from the wholesale transplantation of New Englanders to the Hudson Valley. As industry developed on the waterfront, however, proximity to the river grew less desirable for residential properties, and development spread up the hill on Union, Allen, and East Allen streets. Earlier houses, once sitting on larger plots of land, are sometimes interspersed with later nineteenth century structures. Greek Revival, Second Empire, and Queen Anne residences demonstrate styles of post-Federal nineteenth century architecture on Union and Allen. The Queen Anne and other Victorian homes begin to appear on the lower blocks of Warren, as well as the 200 and 300 blocks of Union and Allen. Lower Allen Street was not opened until the 1830s. The 200 block of Allen, with generally smaller homes and a somewhat less formal presentation than the same area of Union, has some Greek Revivals and Queen Annes. In some cases, earlier houses, such as Greek Revivals, may have been “Victorianized” with the addition of porches and mansard roofs. Later nineteenth century architecture climb the hill along East Allen Street, on the east side of Court House Square, turning north into South Fifth Street.
Please Note: It is almost impossible to select outstanding buildings in Hudson, as there are so many. Those walking the route provided above will pass many historic buildings about which details are not provided herein – due to the sheer embarrassment of riches. Along the way, one may well wonder, why highlight this building, and not the one beside it? Perhaps another walking tour may focus on some that this one has omitted.
Anyone interested in more information on Hudson’s architectural history may peruse Byrne Fone’s excellent book, Historic Hudson, an Architectural Portrait (Black Dome Press, 2005). Also of interest is a summary of the National Register of Historic Places’ designation report of 1985, at http://www.livingplaces.com/NY/Columbia_County/Hudson_City/Hudson_Historic_District.html
Walkers are encouraged to take breaks along the way; perhaps after walking each street in this tour. Fortunately, the coffee shops and restaurants of Warren Street are never far away, offering charming and convenient places to slake one’s thirst and indulge in whatever refreshment one desires.
TOUR ROUTE: Each building and point of interest is numbered on the following Map in the order in which it will be encountered on the tour; and the individual building pages that follow the map provide additional information on each, and are numbered in the lower right hand corner corresponding with the Map and this list.)
1) St. Winifred statue, Promenade Hill, at the western end of Warren Street
Proceed East up Warren Street:
2) 32-34 Warren (1834; Curtiss House)
3) 113 Warren (1811; Robert Jenkins House, now Daughters of the American Revolution)
3a) 113 Warren Street (1811; interior)
4) 115 Warren (1815; Seth Jenkins House)
5) 116 Warren (1809; originally the Bank of Hudson)
6) 327 Warren (1855; Opera House, formerly City Hall)
7) 364 Warren (1805; originally the City jail)
8) 4th and Warren (1837; First Presbyterian Church; Gothicized 1855)
9) 401 Warren: Now the Face Stockholm building (probably post-1853, as seen in 1853 image on advertising token from Clark Clothing Manufacturers, circulated 1853, which shows a different window configuration, apparently at this address)
9A) Photo of advertising token circulated 1853 by Clark Clothiers (associated with 401 Warren)
10) 441 Warren (1869); First Universalist Church
11) 520 Warren: (1907); Originally a bank building, now City Hall. Please note that the 500 block of Warren is among its best preserved. While many storefronts have been altered since original construction, it provides a good view of a nineteenth century shopping street’s cityscape).
12) Seventh Street Park (originally known as the Public Square, at Warren and 7th Streets)
Make a right on Seventh Street, heading south toward Union Street:
13) 13 S. Seventh Street (1870s; now Governor’s Tavern; previously the Iron Horse Tavern)
Proceed West down Union Street to Front Street:
14) 613 Union Street (Ca 1850); Carpenter Gothic cottage
15) 611 Union Street (Ca. 1850); Carpenter Gothic cottage
16) 620 Union Street (1827); McKinstry Mansion
17) 601 Union (Ca. 1860): the Italian Villa-style Terry-Gillette mansion, after a design by Richard Upjohn
18) John Gaul House (Northwest corner of South 4th and Union Streets)
19) Courthouse (1908); third court house built at this location; design by Warren and Wetmore, architects
19A) St. John’s Hall (Union and Third Streets, originally a Masonic Hall)
19B) 241-243 Union Street (Ca. 1784-1814)
20) 234 Union Street (1780s); original Nantucket house
21) 123 Union Street (Ca. 1784-1814)
21A) 117 Union Street (Ca. 1784-1814)
Make a left on Front St, walk down to Allen Street, and walk uphill (east) on Allen (note: lower Allen Street was not opened until the 1830s):
22) 59 Allen Street: yellow gothic cottage
23) 251 Allen Street: Queen Anne, now a Bed and Breakfast, built 1900; designed by Michael J. O’Connor, architect.
24) 318-320 Allen Street (sharing a party wall) (Ca. 1850-1870)
Make a right on Willard Place (opened in 1890 as a private street)
25) 7 Willard Place (Italianate with a three story central tower)
26) 8 Willard Place (1892; Colonial Revival commissioned by William Traver
Return to Allen Street and Continue East, Up the Hill
27) 317 Allen Street: (1906); built in the Dutch Jacobean style: the Morgan Jones House, designed by Albany architect Marcus Reynolds
28) 325 Allen Street (1842): the Chamberlain House
29) 335 Allen Street: (Ca. 1840-1880); Gothic Revival
30) 359 Allen Street: (Ca. 1880-1900); Queen Anne mansion
31) 357 Allen Street: (Ca. 1835-1890) Rare Egyptian Revival (columns and porch superimposed on earlier Greek Revival or Italianate house)
Make a left on West Court Street
32) 31 West Court Street: (1894-1895); The John Ashbery House
Cross Court House Square, walking East to the intersection of East Court Street and East Allen Streets, and continue east on East Allen Street (home to law offices and residences, many from the latter half of the nineteenth century). East Allen curves to the left as it meets South Fifth Street; walk north along South Fifth Street, toward Union and Warren:
33) 39 South Fifth Street: Built between 1845-1850; Italianate villa similar to the Richard Upjohn design used for 601 Union)
34) 35 South Fifth Street (Ca. 1860); Queen Anne house
35) 34-36 South Fifth Street: (Ca. 1825); Capt. John T. Haviland House (originally two houses)
Conclusion of Walking Tour.