Visitors to Hudson enjoy walking up and down our main street, Warren Street, which boasts beautiful and historic architecture throughout. One of the more significant buildings is the Hudson Opera House and the history of the building’s use is rather noteworthy.
Built in 1855, the building was designed by local architect Peter Avery. For more than a century, it housed various civic offices, including the Post Office and Police Station, and was home to the Franklin Library and the First National Bank of Hudson. Shortly after City Hall moved further up Warren Street in 1962, the building was sold to an out-of-town developer. For nearly thirty years it sat vacant, decaying and accumulating debris. During this time, lower Warren Street was virtually abandoned and considered by many to be a lost cause.
Today the building is undergoing the final phase of full restoration. When complete, the performance hall will be
adapted for modern use, creating a unique, intimate and flexible 300-seat theater to provide contemporary programming reflective of today’s audiences. For the first time in the building’s history, the performance hall will be accessible to all, including those who, because of age or disability, are unable to use the historic staircase. he character of the historical building will be retained. The current proscenium arch and raked wooden floor stage were late 19th century additions, and will be preserved. The historic fabric will also be retained, and new elements will be sensitively incorporated to retain the overall historic character of the spaces.
A “new” facility deserves a new name and, as such, the Hudson Opera House has added Center for the Arts to it’s title, expanding the scope of the programming being offered. When you are next in Hudson the renovations will be complete. Make it a destination while exploring Warren Street.