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75th Anniversary of the Hudson House

by Daphne Philipson

On April 21, 2013, the neighbors of Hudson House came together to celebrate its 75th anniversary in the Terrace Room overlooking the Hudson River.

hudson house
Entrance ot Hudson House

Originally on the site stood the Ardsley Casino, which had been built in 1895 with the help of Jay Gould, Cornelius Vanderbilt, . Morgan and William Rockefeller, and included among its amenities a golf course, tennis courts, stables, a private dock for the New York Yacht Club, and daily stagecoach service to the Hotel Brunswick on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. In addition, the wealthy inhabitants of Ardsley Park had also arranged to have a private train station constructed at Ardsley-on-Hudson, complete with a connecting bridge to the Casino. In 1936, the Casino was torn down and the club house relocated, and construction of Hudson House, designed by the architects Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, began. The apartment house was completed the following year. One of the members of the Gould family kept an apartment in the building for many years.

Included in the celebration were three generations of my family. I have been a resident for more than 38 years. I moved in during the spring of 1976, about one year after my parents, Daphne and Anthony Romeo. My daughter, Samantha Hetherington Cassetta, was born three months later (the first baby born in Hudson House in the preceding 25 years, I was told). I wasn't sure if children would be all that welcome—Hudson House was after all more of a place for older people to live after they sold their larger

homes. However, at my doorstep were laid many handmade and knitted baby gifts. I knew then that I was in a unique environment.

During all this time I have had only two families as neighbors. Diane and Arthur Mojo moved in four months after I did. They had been informed that their apartment had been the building's restaurant (called The Hudson House Club), which is why to this day the large open living room is panelled in beautiful mahogany. Every one of the 80 Hudson House apartments had a dumbwaiter so that food from the restaurant could be delivered even if the residents chose not to dine "out." It was totally fitting that our neighbors after the Mojos were Marianne and Peter Oley, given Peter's love of all things historic in Irvington. Peter was given copies of the menus from the restaurant for safekeeping that Marianne treasures to this day. Dining choices included: Hot Queen Olive Maison as an hors d'oeuvre for 40 cents, Broiled Filet Mignon for $1.50, and a Zaba-glione for 40 cents. A table d'hote dinner could be enjoyed for 75 cents to $1.50.

Alcoholic beverages of many varieties representative of the times—sloe gin, side cars, a nice egg flip brandy—were served at prices starting at 30 cents. Interestingly all of the wines on offer were foreign—French and Italian primarily. This is likely due to the fact that the U.S. wine industry took years to rebound after Prohibition and therefore foreign wines were probably more desirable and easier to obtain.

club house
The Hudson House Club, formerly a restaurant, now an apartment.