Hudson was the first chartered city in the United States. It was first settled by the Dutch in the mid-17th century and called Claverack Landing. In 1783, the Proprietors, a group of predominantly Quaker whalers and merchants came, seeking refuge from the Revolutionary War torn east coast and purchased the land from the Dutch. The Proprietors created a city plan consisting of a large grid, with a main street running west to east and lots measuring 50 by 120 feet, with 20 foot lanes behind. That grid largely exists to this day, with Warren Street at its center.
Early Hudson flourished early on thanks to the whaling, sealing, fishing and shipbuilding industries. While it was never a premier whaling locale, Hudson’s early prosperity was a direct result of an industry with its origins in and around its deep water port, and it remained a shipping and manufacturing center well into the 20th century. Although the city declined during the 1960s and 1970s, many of its abandoned and derelict buildings were reclaimed in the 1980s, and its former glory slowly began to re-emerge. Today, Hudson has transformed itself into a vital arts and antiques center.
The mile-long business district – centered on Warren Street – boasts dozens of first-tier antique and home furnishing shops, along with an eclectic mix of art galleries, restaurants and performance spaces, housed in buildings that constitute “one of the richest dictionaries of architectural history in New York state.”
Every fall, ArtsWalk celebrates the best artists the city and region have to offer. On the first Saturday of December, Warren Street is transformed into a winter playground with jugglers, dancers and horse-drawn carriages to mark the start of the holiday season.