- and vicinity -

HUDSON is an old whaling town (yes, whaling - it's a long story) located on the Hudson's east shore approximately 50 miles north of Poughkeepsie.   It is the largest municipality in Columbia County, an area in upstate New York whose rural landscape is dotted with pretty little American towns.

HUDSON ITSELF is doing quite well these days.  A colorful town once infamous for its brothels, Husdon's main drag (Warren Street) is now home to a slew of high-class antique shops that draw an affluent clientele from around the world.

STILL, Hudson has one or two abandoned buildings knocking about.  The one pictured here is an interesting little factory that apparently was once the Hudson Dress Company.

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FOR YEARS on my way up to Hudson along Route 82, I passed by several little ruins notorious for taking my eyes off the road.  Then one frigid day in January, 1999, I decided it was time to put them on film.  The two ruins pictured below are just anonymous places, a small house and what appears to have been a boarding house.  They're not as impressive as places like the great abandoned railroad stations of Buffalo or Detroit, but they offer something to the admirer of abandoned buildings that is often lost in more impressive ruins, where the magnitude of the structure distracts from the beauty of the ruin.  The serenity of places like these allows one to sit back and take in the abandonment, the neglect, the romantic image they convey.   Without a doubt they played a large part in someone's life.  Now the curtain has fallen, and these poor old buildings wait bravely for that heavy snowfall or strong gust of wind that will finish them off once and for all.  Yes, it's sad - but is there a better way for a building to die?  Maybe these places are lucky: so few buildings die natural deaths.

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JUST SOUTH of Hudson on Route 9 stand the ruins of the former Universal Atlas cement plant, which operated here from 1903 until 1977. Once it was one of seven portland cement plants on the Hudson between Poughkeepsie and Albany. A 1998 proposal by St. Lawrence Cement to reactivate cement production on this site sparked tremendous controversy until the company dropped its plans in 2005. Today four of the region's seven cement plants stand wholly or partially derelict.  

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FURTHER NORTH on 9, past Hudson, is a small village called Stottville.  Here for many years stood a series of large old brick mills, built on the great falls at Stottville.  Despite the presence of the town garage immediately next door, one of them still managed to burn in 1994, around the same time Pleasant Valley's mill burned.  While most of the mill is today nothing more than a shell, the ruins still stand, a reminder of another era in this small town's history.  (During a visit here in the autumn of 2001 I saw that work had begun clearing away what remained of these buildings.)

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© T.E. Rinaldi, 2006