I was optimistic as I strode boldly up Warren from S. Front Street. After all, Warren was the centerpiece of the Hudson story and economic resurrection. Surely the building at this address would be in place!
I got to 345Warren (a realty office) and began to worry. There did not appear to be a building next door. But tucked in the back of the next lot (347 Warren) was what appeared to be an old garage that now housed an antiques store. Next to that, where a building might once have been was a food truck in a semi-permanent location. I walked beyond the food truck hoping that the building next door would sport the number 351. Actually, I could find no number on that storefront, but later located an address for the "Dogs of Hudson" (dog training): 355 Warren.
It was clear now, that my grandfather's home in 1904 was somewhere between 347 and 355 and the only place that could be was either the food truck called "Tortillaville" that has its own screen door - a nice touch - or something between that and 3FortySeven Warren (the antiques store).
3FortySeven, has a nice video on its website that travels northwest down Warren from Fourth Street and then turns into the lot. At about 24 seconds into the video look where the picnic tables are located. That's the place.
I spoke with someone from Tortillaville (in English) and he told me that there had been a theater in the space and probably also a glass store. The theater had burned down some time ago, presumably taking its next door neighbor (351) with it. I could see that some research would be required.
At the Hudson Area Library I was able to find a photograph taken (perhaps in the 1890s) from the intersection of Fourth and Warren, looking west. I took a photocopy of this photo with me to the intersection, located the existing buildings and the ones no longer there. In addition, I contacted Hudson blogger Carole Osterink of "The Gossips of Rivertown." She sent me a photo or two and let me know that the name of the theater had been the Hudson Playhouse. She has done a couple of posts about the theater: "Hudson in another era" and "More Hudson in another era." The earlier post includes a 1932 photo of the theater.
With that information and the fact that the theater also had the year 1912 in its name,  I searched through Hudson city directories from 1903 through the 1920s and determined that, in this case, the demise of the Hudson residence of my Wilson family had not been urban renewal but the more standard growth and renewal of the urban landscape. The 351 Warren that my grandfather had known had probably been destroyed in about 1911 to make way for the theater and several associated shops. 353 Warren, the address of the Playhouse, had been a residence through 1910. The 1911 directory did not indicate anyone living at that address. In 1912, the Hudson Playhouse is at 353 Warren and there are no residents thereafter. 
|Likely building (ca 1890s) at 351 Warren (detail and annotation of larger photo) |
1. J.H. Lant Hudson City, Claverack and Stottville Directory for 1904 (Hudson, NY: Bryan Printing Co., 1903), page 150 , Family History Library microfilm 1,759,798.
2. Searching on Hudson newspapers in the Old New York State Newspapers website (http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html : accessed 14 October 2012), turned up several Hudson Playhouse advertisements with 1912 as part of its logo.
3. "Hudson City Directories 1862-1959." Database. Ancestry.com. http://www.ancestry.com: 2012.
4. Photo from the collection of the Hudson Area Library Association, Hudson, New York.