Seen About Hudson

A few images from a morning walk.

I have taken hundreds of pictures of fire connections. Not sure why. Recently I have only added to this collection when I see a new use for them. Sometimes this is people perching on them. Sometimes they are holding up coffee, beer bottles, candy wrappers….

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The City of Hudson clearly doesn’t believe in modern chemistry. Can’t think of the last time I saw so many dandelions.

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My favorite stairs.

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Maybe this is just part of a seasonal business’s normal cycle, but??

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I know that this is a worn out topic here in Hudson. Nevertheless, I remain amazed at the bad taste of the county government to litter one of the best parks in the city with all of these signs. Why have a ark if you don’t want people to loll in the grass? Is the only purpose of this park to be a prop for war memorials? Why did they so proudly tout that a local builder had replaced the roof on the gazebo when it is almost never used? Strange thinking.

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New Bathroom

When we bought 114 Warren we knew that there was one mandatory renovation project, the second floor bathroom. After living with this ramshackle affair for a year we finally got to it in the Spring of 2010. Karen and I now think that this new bathroom, though very small, only 3 ft 4inches wide by just over 7 ft long, is now our favorite bathroom amongst the five that we have renovated over the years.

old bathroom view towards toilet new bathroom toilet view
old bathroom shower view new bathroom shower view
old bathroom sink top view new bathroom sink top view
new bathroom door view

Getting from the old to the new took much more time and money than we budgeted.

under shower in old bathroom

Once having removed the old fixtures and dug into the sub floor, it turned out that the plumbing infrastructure was decrepit and need to be completely replaced. There were old lead pipes leading from the shower to the main drain line. And the whole floor, down to the joists, needed to be rebuilt.

 

 

floor under toiletAfter ripping out the floor to reveal the joists, it became apparent that nothing was holding up this section of the second floor that I thought was cantilevered from the house but turned out to have just been toe nailed onto the house.

This discovery brought the project to a halt. We needed a structural engineer to design a beam and a general contractor to install it. Though I could easily calculate the size of the beam beam using standard engineering formulas, I am not a licensed engineer. It would be hard to explain to a potential buyer of this house in the future that the engineering had been done by Mr. Wonderful himself. The might say “Who is Mr. Wonderful?”.

We did find a general contractor who had an engineer in tow. $3,500 and two months later we had our beam in place.

digging footings

footing
support beam in place

 

The final phase of the project gave me a chance to use materials for the shower that were new to me. Several years ago I had seen a This Old House Show that featured a German tiling system called Schluter. I found a local supplier across the river in Catskill who sold me the materials and provided good practical advice about doing the actual work. This gave me a chance to do something different than the standard tile on cement backer board that I had used over the years.

With the addition of the fixtures and paint the job was completed in June, 2010. Now that we have used the bathroom for eight months we are still pleased with its appearance and funcitonality.

 





New Fence at 32 Warren St.

The 19th century cast iron fence at 32 Warren St. was seriously damaged a couple of months ago by an errant car. Fortunately good insurance and a diligent search for a company that could build a replica of the iron fence has produced results. The new sections of the fence contained a combination of steel, cast iron, and water-jet cut steel trim at the bottom. Welding the steel to the iron fence is not as easy as just cranking up your garage welder. Nevertheless, the craftsmen who performed the work made it look very easy.

Fence detail at 32 Warren St. Hudson NYWelding fence at 32 Warren St. Hudson, ny

32 Warren St. Hudson NY

Cambridge Public Library Opens New Main Library

I somehow suspected that the new library would not be finished before I moved away from Cambridge. It took perhaps ten years to complete this project. First, there was an interminable years of decision making about where to locate the building. Some, including me,  favored a Central Square location. But, in the end, a site adjacent to the old main library was selected. Then, another interminable design phase came. Finally construction began. The library now had opened. According to Robert Campbell, in his Boston Globe review of the building, it took 15 years and $10 million of state funds and $81 million of city money to build it. The library has a floor plan and other information about the building on its website.

Time will tell about how well this building functions as a library and public building. Part of this result will depend on the library staff being inventive and welcoming to public events in the lecture hall in the second basement and the other open spaces in the building. The new building does not have the encompassing warmth of the old building with its dark woods and somewhat less vast spaces.

If you are interested in the “green:” aspect of the building go here for a review of those features (a PDF file).

I went to for a visit.




View from Broadway of old and new library








1st floor looking back to entrance and stairs up on right (red)







from stairway to 2nd floor towards entrance and circulation






study area 2nd floor

study area in stacks on 2nd floor








Teen Room in old library building








kids area in 3rd floor Children's Division



Computer area in old building