An open house and architect’s presentation of the plans for repair and conservation to the Historic Robert Jenkins House in Hudson, NY, will be held on Sunday, August 6, from 1 pm until 4 pm, with the presentation at 2 pm. Project architect Marilyn Kaplan of Preservation Architecture in Albany will provide a detailed description of the project.
The event is free and open to the public. Unfortunately, the building is not presently handicap-accessible.
The Robert Jenkins House, located at 113 Warren Street on a particularly beautiful block of the city near the waterfront, is owned by the Hendrick Hudson Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
The chapter’s restoration project focuses on the house’s slate roof, upper masonry, and aging infrastructure. Funding assistance is from a Save America’s Treasures grant awarded by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. The City’s Historic Preservation Commission has issued a Certificate of Appropriateness, the State Historic Preservation Office has issued a letter of Concurrence of No Adverse Effects, and the National Park Service has recently approved the project’s detailed plans. Contractor bids are about to be publicly solicited.
The 1811 house, built by Robert Jenkins, son of Hudson Proprietor Seth Jenkins, is on the National Register of Historic Places as Nationally Significant and is in the Front Street-Parade Hill-Lower Warren Street Historic District. The house is a fine early example of federal-style architecture in the Hudson Valley where Dutch architecture dominated during the 18th century.
The house is maintained as a chapter house where routine business of the Hendrick Hudson Chapter, NSDAR takes place, and it also features a museum and a historical and genealogical library. In 1900 the chapter received the house as a gift from DAR member Frances Chester White Hartley, the granddaughter of builder Jenkins. Decades earlier, Hartley had been born in the house.
In 1900 it became the site of the city’s first and only free public library, losing that distinction only in 1959 when the Hudson Area Library was established. The historical and genealogical library remains open to the public and still is free of charge.
The house is also arguably Hudson’s museum. In 1900, a broad invitation to contribute to the new museum was issued by the Columbia Republican, which, in a lengthy story about the house, said “donations of books, pictures, relics and curios will be most acceptable, in fact anything of merit which will adorn, beautify or be of use.” The resulting historic collections include artifacts and documents from the whaling and Civil War eras, furnishings, and fine art.
The Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the DAR was chartered in 1896. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpartisan women’s volunteer service organization welcoming eligible women without regard to race, creed, or religion. The Hendrick Hudson Chapter includes 131 members who trace their lineage back to a patriot in the American Revolution – whether serving as soldier, shopkeeper, or seamstress. The mission of the DAR is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.
Photo of Robert Jenkins House in ca 1900 provided.