Painting a “Painted Lady”

According to Wikipedia, the term “Painted Lady” was coined in 1978 by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies – San Francisco’s Resplendent Victorians.  The post continues, “The best-known groups of ‘Painted Ladies’ is the row of Victorian houses at 710–720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square park, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as ‘Postcard Row’.”  Hudson has it’s own row of “Painted Ladies” on Willard Place and one of them, The Croff House at 5 Willard Place, is about to get a makeover.  Just prior to the inn being sold in 2008 the owner at the time contracted to have the house repainted from the all-over white to more closely stay in keeping with the style of the houses of the period and with the inn’s next door neighbor.  The house at 4 Willard Place, having been completely renovated, had been painted in an elaborate Painted Lady style.  But while the painting at #5 was completed quickly, the quality of the work was not especially good and the years and weather took its toll.

Beginning in March contractors began scraping the old paint away, beginning the process of the house’s exterior makeover.  During the scraping patches of wood repair on the 1875 clapboard siding also were completed, and now the painting can begin in earnest.  The biggest challenge in the execution of the Painted Lady style is the selection of proper colors that work together to highlight the intricate details of the woodwork and carving details of the exterior, an important feature of the Second Empire Victorian style.

The color palette that has been selected for the re-painting is not a large divergence from the current color scheme.  While The Croff House is currently painted using three colors (green, rust and tan), the new color scheme includes five colors (see photo below)

Curious to know what the “new” inn will look like?  Stay tuned!

What’s in a name?

Hudson Opera House

Exterior of the Hudson Opera House

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

Hudson Opera House

Interior performance space at the Hudson Opera House

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.