Historic Structures

General Worth Hotel, Hudson New York

Date added: December 10, 2021 Categories: New York Hotel Greek Revival

Built in one hundred days after a disastrous fire in 1836, the General Worth Hotel is an important architectural monument. It was patterned after the Tremont House, constructed in Boston in 1828-29 by architect Isaiah Rogers, which was the first "modern" urban hotel in America. The General Worth Hotel was one of the rare remaining examples of this type of prototype urban hotel.

The first floor of the General Worth Hotel contained public rooms. On the upper floors were banks of rooms located along simple straight corridors. This interior arrangement was a form totally different from that of eighteenth century inns, which were basically residences adapted to public uses.

The exterior of the General Worth Hotel was a fine example of urban Greek revival design. It gave scale and dignity to Warren Street, which was virtually a catalog of nineteenth century architectural styles.

Historically, the building reflects the days when Hudson was a prosperous whaling port and a center of river trade. It indicates also that Hudson was important enough commercially to warrant a "modern" hotel which was comparable to the newest hostelries in Boston and New York City.

The main block of the General Worth Hotel, which faced Warren Street, was three and one-half stories high, and nine bays long.

The entrance consisted of one story porch with four Doric columns. The main block had a flat roof surmounted by a one story pedimented, Doric cupola, three bays wide. The exterior was a well detailed, finely scaled example of urban Greek revival architecture.

Directly east of the main block of the hotel on Warren Street was a 3 1/2 story Federal style dwelling, which had been incorporated into the hotel.

The plan of the hotel was "L" shaped, with the main block along Warren Street, and a three story wing extending to the alley in the rear. On the first floor of the hotel were the public rooms which still retained much of their original fabric. On the upper floors were banks of rooms located along simple, straight corridors.

In 1969 the city of Hudson propossed demolishing the hotel, siting the threat of fire and for the structural soundness of the abandoned hotel. Examination by an engineer on the staff of the Hudson River Valley Commission verified that the main section of the building along Warren Street was structurally sound and suitable for interior renovation. A rear wing of the building, however, had deteriorated to a point that would make its removal advisable.

The Hudson River Valley Commission found that Proper renovation would eliminate the fire hazard, and immediate fire danger could be alleviated by securing the building from vandals.

Since the stated hazards of the existing building could be overcome and since the demolition would destroy a resource of substantial value to the City, State, and Nation, the Commission found that this project would have an unreasonably adverse effect upon the historic resources of the Hudson River Valley.

The City demolished the building in early 1970.