Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait

Historic Hudson: An Architectural Portrait

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Author: Byrne Fone

More than 200 Photographs, Illustrations and Maps from 1850–2005

“In the spring of 1991, we turned off the Taconic Parkway and made a detour through the city of Hudson. As we drove up the length of Warren Street—the city’s main thoroughfare—we experienced an eerie sensation, as if we had slipped through a scrim of time and landed at the tail end of the nineteenth century.” from the introduction by Rudy Wurlitzer & Lynn Davis From an unlikely—but very successful—whaling and merchant seaport 120 miles from the sea, to a boom-and-bust factory town, and then to a depressed and failing city with a “frontier” reputation for prostitution, gambling, and official corruption, the city of Hudson, New York, founded on the shores of the upper Hudson River by New England Quakers in 1783, has recently blossomed into a vibrant antiques and arts center with a national reputation. Through these cultural and economic ups and downs, much of the city’s remarkable architectural legacy somehow survived the plagues of the centuries, making Hudson today “a dictionary of American architecture.” As remarkable as the survival of so many of Hudson’s 18th and 19th-century buildings, is the survival of a magnificent collection of photographs intimately documenting the city from the 1850s to the 1920s, published herein for the first time. The city’s architecture has suffered over the years, sometimes from fire and other accidental causes, more often from neglect, sometimes from instinctive hostility toward what is old and distinguished—think of William Carlos Williams’ line “Beat hell out of it / Beautiful Thing.” … Today there is new awareness of just how valuable, both aesthetically and monetarily, our architectural heritage is. As many of Hudson’s old buildings undergo or await restoration, this book’s long-overdue visual record of its treasures should provide a further inducement toward preserving what has so miraculously been handed down to us—nothing less than “a whole range of small forgotten things …, things intensely Hudsonian, more than Hudsonian.”
From the foreword by John Ashbery

Paperback, 208 pages

Publisher: Black Dome Press

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