April Newsletter
April 7, 2021
Message from the President
A Call to Action to Save the 1927 Building
The 1927 Building’s main front entrance west façade with stone fluted pilasters, entablature, and urns.
It has been a whirlwind of activity this past month. We learned of the developer’s shocking revised plans for the 1927 Building that called for demolishing three-quarters of the historic school and leaving only a façade to hide the condominium development behind it.

During its community webinar presentation, the developer sold this approach as “a preservation technique that’s referred to as ‘facadism’ … something that has been done for hundreds of years, so there is actual historical precedent, going back to the Greeks and Romans.”

‘Facadism’ is relatively common in large urban areas across the country. It’s frequently a compromise between preservationists and developers. Façadism seems to be a great temptation -- giving both sides what they want. The older building that's valued by preservationists "appears" to be saved, making room for a new condominium development behind it.
Façadism is not preservation. To save only the façade of the 1927 Building is not to save its essence; it is to turn the building into a stage set to make new development more palatable in our Historic District and surrounding neighborhood. Imagine Oviatt Street as a kind of Disneyland of false fronts. But Hudson is not a place of make-believe, a place of illusion where historic buildings exist to hide new structures behind. To turn the 1927 Building into a fancy front door for a new condominium development is to respect neither the integrity of the new or that of the old.

Do we really want to be considering this approach in Hudson, in our Historic District, with our historic school?

The developer’s plan would set a dangerous precedent for Hudson. The proposal does not save our historic school; it saves a fraction of its shell. If approved, the plan becomes a permission slip for developers and less-historic-minded property owners to embrace an illusion of preservation and turn historic structures into little more than stage sets.

I urge everyone to spend a late spring evening strolling through our Historic District. You cannot help but feel, genuinely feel, the history of our town. That feeling is from authentic preservation, not from false fronts or something make-believe.

The 1927 Building stands as a majestic monument to Hudson’s long-standing core values of exceptional education, strong community, and friendly, familiar neighborhoods. Those values are not a façade.

Christopher J. Bach
Hudson Heritage Association
As of March 31, Liberty Development’s three-month letter-of-intent and conceptual planning study with the Hudson City School District potentially came an end. We are awaiting updates as the deadline looms to potentially demolish the 1927 Building this summer.

HHA will continue to inform the school district on the progress of our feasibility study. The first phase of the study will be completed in mid-April. It is our goal to present initial findings and recommendations to the school board and community as soon as possible. Depending on these findings, a decision will be made whether to proceed with Part II of the study, which would identify the ways a community facility of this type could be funded, managed, operated and sustained. Part II would be completed by the end of May.

Since mid-March, our partner in the feasibility study, Webb Management Services, has been assessing the need and/or desire for arts, community and cultural facilities in Hudson, and in particular, the idea of transforming the 1927 Building into a community arts center.

Webb Management recently concluded more than two dozen interviews with a range of constituents, potential facility users, community organizations, government and business leaders, and other community members. The information collected will help shape recommendations on the potential viability of a community arts center for the adaptive reuse of the 1927 Building. 

To better understand the need for arts, community, and cultural facilities, we are now asking for your participation in a short community survey. 

All survey responses will remain anonymous. The survey will close on Friday, April 9 at 11:59 p.m.

We appreciate your participation. Please share the survey link with your Hudson family and friends. Access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hudsonarts or click below.
Since launching our 1927 Building Fund campaign with donation letters and emails, HHA has received over $6,000 in individual donations, applied for a pending foundation grant of $2,500, and received a generous commitment of a $10,000 grant from the ICF Foundation! 

HHA would like to thank our members, other individuals, organizations and foundations for their support and generosity!
The cost of this feasibility study – $23,500 for Part I, $25,000 for Part II – is a hefty price for a small nonprofit. 

Please support our effort here: https://hudson.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1594 or click below.
Show your community support for preserving the 1927 Building by displaying this 18”x24” double-sided yard sign! 100 signs will be available (one per household) for in-person pick-up at the Baldwin House porch (Hudson Community Foundation & HHA offices) at 49 E. Main Street on Friday, April 9 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM and Saturday, April 10 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Or email us at info@HudsonHeritage.org to arrange an alternative pick-up.
HHA Annual Meeting for Members
Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Location: 1927 Hudson School Auditorium
HHA Members, please save the date for an
IN-PERSON Annual Meeting and Event!
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Doors open at 6:30 ~ Program starts promptly at 7:00

1927 Hudson Middle School Auditorium

Program to include:
Recognition of Outgoing Directors
Introduction of New Directors
Vote on Revised Code of Regulations
2021 Preservation Awards Presentation
Historic Home Marker Presentation
Celebration of Square Dealers book

Light Dessert Reception

Current State & Hudson City School Covid Guidelines will be followed to make this long-awaited in-person annual meeting a safe gathering. Masks are required.

Members, please watch for an emailed invitation later
this week and rsvp accordingly.

Interested, but are not an HHA member? Join today!
HHA April Virtual Program
"Restoration of the Johnson Home in Hiram"
with Dr. Elwin Robison, Kent State University
Thursday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
It may come as a surprise to learn that one of the most historically significant sites in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits just 16 miles away from Hudson, in Hiram, Ohio.

The John and Elsa Johnson Home, built in 1828 and located at 6203 Pioneer Trail, attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors a year.

For its April program, Hudson Heritage Association welcomes Kent State Professor Elwin Robison, who will share a detailed presentation of the remarkable five-year restoration of the Johnson Home, which he helped accomplish.
Before it was restored, the John Johnson Home in Hiram was covered with aluminum siding.
The stunning, completely renovated, John Johnson Home in Hiram is one of the most historically significant sites in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The program will be Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the program will be virtual, airing on Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) and HCTV’s online livestream (www.hudson.oh.us/1081/Watch-HCTV-Channels-Online). For those who miss the broadcast on April 8, the program will be rebroadcast throughout the month and then made available on HCTV’s online archives at www.tinyurl.com/HHAvideos and the HHA Website.

While living with the Johnsons at the home in 1831-32, prophet and church founder Joseph Smith received 16 revelations that are now recorded in the church’s Doctrine and Covenants. He also worked on his inspired translation of the Bible.

On March 24, 1832, a mob attacked Smith, pulled him from the house and tarred-and-feathered him. He was able to recover, clean himself and preach a sermon the following day.

The large 2½ -story frame house was purchased in the 1950s by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church. Restoration took place from 1996 to 2001.
Using scores of photos of the restoration, Robison will explain the process and what was discovered, including the house’s original clapboard siding, hidden under layers of shingles and aluminum siding. During its work, the restoration team discovered a cistern, period-painted wood floors and other surprises. They also discovered extensive termite damage and major structural issues.

“The Johnson home is a great little time capsule of the early Western Reserve and homes built in the 1820s and ’30s,” said Robison.

The home, operated by the church, is free to visit, with docents giving regular tours free of charge. However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant its temporary closure. The grounds surrounding the house remain open.

“The John Johnson Home is a wonderful example of how thoughtful, appropriate restoration can bring history to life,” said Chris Bach, President of Hudson Heritage Association. “We are grateful to Professor Robison for his work in our region and for showing, through this presentation, the power of proper restoration.”
Dr. Robison is a professor in Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. He earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Brigham Young University and master’s and doctorate degrees in architectural history from Cornell University. His areas of expertise include preservation technology, 19th century American architecture, architecture history and Renaissance and Baroque architecture. He is currently working on a historic structure report to document the Brewster Store Building in Hudson.
Tune in to Hudson Community TV (Channel 1021) tonight at 7:30 or visit HCTV’s online livestream (www.hudson.oh.us/1081/Watch-HCTV-Channels-Online). For those who miss the broadcast tonight, the program will be rebroadcast on HCTV and then made available on HCTV’s online archives and the HHA Website.
HHA March Virtual Program (NOW AVAILABLE!)

"At the Summit: A Centennial Celebration"
A look at the 200-year flight of American women for the right to vote.
With Leianne Neff Heppner, president and CEO or Summit County Historical Society of Akron
Unfortunately, the March virtual program titled "At the Summit: A Virtual Celebration" did not air as scheduled due to technical issues. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. The issues have been corrected and this program is now available on the HHA Website. A link to this program appears below.

“At the Summit: A Centennial Celebration,” offers a fascinating look at the 200-year fight of American women to win the vote, from the colonial era through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as presented by Leianne Neff Heppner, President and CEO of the Summit County Historical Society of Akron.
1826 Whedon Farwell House ~ 30 Aurora Street
Approved for Restoration and New Carriage House Addition
On December 16, 2020, the City of Hudson’s Architectural & Historic Board of Review (AHBR) reviewed a preliminary application for a major addition to the distinctive 1826 Whedon Farwell House, which is prominently located at 30 Aurora Street, with its unique orientation and siting on the geometry of the neighboring Village Green and Main Street, just to the west. The house was built facing directly west according to the points of a compass.

Subsequently, the AHBR reviewed a formal submittal on January 27, 2021, and as with all work being proposed in the Historic District, a site visit was then scheduled on February 4, where the AHBR met with the owners, architect, and contractor to review the historic house, property, and proposed scope of work. This was followed by a final AHBR review and approval for the restoration and addition on March 10, 2021. Construction is anticipated to start this spring.
An 1874 illustration, current photograph and architectural renderings illustrate various views of the distinctive 1826 Whedon‐Farwell House. The proposed 2‐1/2 story “carriage house” addition (top, center) to the east is connected to the historic House by a low, one‐story addition (bottom, center).
In addition to the planned restoration of the 2,300‐sf historic house, various landscape features and planting improvements are proposed. The most noticeable, visual change will be the proposed 4,000‐sf additions that include a finished basement, a low, one‐story first floor “connector” element to the south and a 2‐1/2‐story “carriage house” to the east. The carriage house includes a three‐car garage, laundry room, and second floor master suite.

The Whedon Farwell home is one of Hudson's oldest and finest homes. It was built in 1826‐27 for Deacon Benjamin Whedon (1779‐1833), who came to Hudson in 1805, and was excommunicated from the Congregational Church for hosting a dance in the home in 1830. Whedon hired the builder‐architect Lemuel Porter (1775‐1829) to design and build his fine home. Lemuel Porter is perhaps best known for his work at Western Reserve Academy, the 1825 Baldwin‐Buss house on the west Village Green, and his most enduring masterpiece – the historic Congregational Church at Tallmadge Circle, also completed in 1825.

The Tuscan tower/cupola was added when the house went through an extensive renovation and transformation in 1870. The interior features elaborate plasterwork and unusual walnut and cherry woodwork, that is unique to Hudson and rare to find in the Western Reserve. Charles Farwell (1821‐ 1904) took possession in 1850 and occupied the structure for six generations. Farwell, like others in Hudson, sent two sons to the Civil War. Arba P. Farwell (1849‐1880) served as a musician, while his brother Henry Farwell served as a minister (1846‐1925); both returned home after the war. Later the home was used as a day care center as well as a Christian Science Society meeting place.

For more on the history of the 1826 Whedon Farwell House click here to connect to the HHA Website.
HHA Awards Historic Home Marker
William M. Beebe House, 1879
55 College Street
Hudson Heritage Association is pleased to announce the latest recipient of an HHA historic home marker, the William M. Beebe House (1879) at 55 College Street.

Closures of city and state buildings due to Covid-19 have added new challenges to researching historic properties, but homeowners Anne and Andy Morse completed their research pre-covid and more recently assembled the report on their home at 55 College Street. Their beautiful home will now be known as the “William M. Beebe House,” after the man who built it in 1879.
William M. Beebe House (1879) at 55 College Street and home to Anne and Andy Morse.
Though the home was used as a rental for its first 60 years, the quality of construction and outstanding woodwork around the staircase, fireplace and windows suggest that Beebe planned to use it as a family home for himself or one of his children. Instead, three generations of Beebes rented the home and never lived in it. It was sold in 1940 and had a series of owners, including Don (and Sally) Wilson, a noted watercolor artist, and eventually the Morse family.

Beebe was first a merchant in town and in 1841 was awarded the position of postmaster. William’s son, David Duncan Beebe married Ellen Brewster, the daughter of Anson Brewster. Following Anson’s early death, Duncan ran the Brewster Store at the corner of Aurora and Main streets while he and Ellen lived in the “Isham/Beebe House,” now the section of Christ Church Episcopal with the beautiful pillars. Ellen held the deed to the 55 College Street property after William. The deed later passed to her four children.

The home sat on 1 1/2 acres of land, originally part of Heman Oviatt’s farm, which he later donated to Western Reserve College to endow a professorship. The college divided the land and sold it in lots along Church, Division and College streets. Beebe’s property was an unusually large lot to be located in the heart of the historic district. In 1940, the back acre was sold and became part of Ellsworth Court.

The home is Greek Revival, built in 1879, but appears to contain elements of earlier construction, leaving questions that will probably never be answered. The rear wing, for example, appears to be a section of an earlier home which had lower ceilings.

Researching these old gems answers many questions, but sometimes creates even more. Those who undertake the research gain a greater appreciation of the rich history of their home, both the construction and the fascinating lives of the builders and inhabitants.

Hudson Heritage Association encourages homeowners to research their historic homes, uncovering and preserving the rich history. For more information on HHA’s Marker Program for Historic Structures visit the Hudson Heritage Association website and click on the “Research & History” tab.
30 Videos Now Available on HHA Website
It is now easier than ever to access HHA's past programs. The videos page of the HHA website is located under the Research & History tab and is loaded with engaging and educational opportunities. HCTV has been filming HHA's popular monthly programs for over 20 years -- with 30 popular programs now available on the HHA website. It's like NETFLIX for Hudson history, without any fees! Visit the HHA website the next time you are looking for a new show. And come back often as new programs will be added monthly.
2021 Program Dates

Please plan to join us on our regular program dates/times (second Thursday each month at 7:30) when our programs air on HCTV (channel 1021) and Hudson Community Television's HCTV Channels Online Live Stream or anytime after as the programs are available on HCTV's online archives and the HHA Website. We hope to return to in-person programing in the fall.

Tune in to HCTV (channel 1021) at 7:30 p.m. as HHA presents the following:

April 8
"Restoration of the Johnson House in Hiram"
with Dr. Elwin Robison, Kent State University

May 13
HHA Annual Meeting - Members Only
1927 Hudson School Auditorium
(this program will not air on HCTV)

Hudson Heritage Association | info@hudsonheritage.org | www.hudsonheritage.org

PO Box 2218 - Hudson, OH 44236