RESTORE, REHABILITATE, TRANSFORM!
Protect the Baldwin-Buss Merino House and property--one of our most historic and endangered assets!
Watercolor by Lowell Ellsworth Smith.
Downtown Hudson stands out among our neighboring cities precisely because so many of them have lost their historic town centers or compromised them with insensitive development. Recognizing that this could happen here, The Baldwin-Buss House Foundation approached Hudson Heritage Association in January of 2019 to provide seed money for the acquisition and preservation of the property.
With pressure for development on the historic cornerstone of Hudson's Village Green, as well as the home's deteriorated and neglected condition, there was no question that the structure and its prominent location were endangered. Because of its importance both historically and architecturally, the HHA Board of Directors voted unanimously to provide $20,000 to assist BBHF in the acquisition and preservation of the property. Our thanks and gratitude are extended to Hudson Heritage Association for its early support.
Please join the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation in its work to restore the beauty and purpose of this prime location on Hudson's renowned green so that it can be enjoyed by Hudson residents now and for generations to come. Below are answers to frequently asked questions:
WHAT is the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation?
The Baldwin-Buss House Foundation (BBHF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation in the State of Ohio and is an independent entity. The Foundation's mission is to acquire, restore, redevelop and maintain the historically significant Baldwin-Buss House. In this endeavor, the Foundation will conserve, protect and maintain the house in a manner that leaves it enhanced and unimpaired for future generations. Its goal is also to educate individuals and organizations of the historical and architectural importance of the Baldwin-Buss House and promote a communal passion for history and culture.
WHERE is the Baldwin-Buss-Merino property?
The Baldwin-Buss-Merino property consists of five parcels of land bounded by Park Lane to the north, First Street to the west, West Streetsboro Street to the south and the Village Green to the east. The property includes the historic house, a retail building, and a mixed-use commercial building. Adjacent property on the north and east is part of the Village Green and is owned by the City of Hudson. The combined acreage of all five parcels is .92 acres.
WHY save the Baldwin-Buss-Merino House?
The Baldwin-Buss-Merino House is one of Hudson's most architecturally significant and historic homes. The two-story house was built in 1825 by one of the Western Reserve's leading master builders/architects, Lemuel Porter. He is the same builder whose skill and ingenuity produced the Congregational Church in Tallmadge, Presidents House on Western Reserve Academy's campus and the Whedon Farwell House located at 30 Aurora Street. All are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are regarded as fine examples of early Western Reserve architecture. The home's architectural significance is further corroborated by its inclusion in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) whose drawings and photographs are archived in the Library of Congress. Western Reserve Architect in 1929 described the house as follows: "The Ionic pilasters, the pedimented gable and the classical moldings have been executed in such delicate and refined lines that it presents a pleasing appearance . . ." I.T. Frary in his book Early Homes of Ohio (1936) went further and described it as "one of the finest houses of Hudson". Fortunately, most of the home's original architectural features are intact though obscured by unsympathetic additions and its deteriorated condition.
The house was endangered not only by neglect but by the continued onslaught of development. Preliminary development plans submitted to the City of Hudson in 2015 called for the house to be moved from its original location 50 feet south because its "location prohibits our ability to maximize the potential of the site." The historic home was then to be surrounded by two-story mixed-use buildings to maximize the density of the property. This development proposal was found to be "in substantial compliance" by the Hudson City Community Development Office. Nine large shade trees were to be removed as part of the project, further compromising the aesthetic of the Village Green.
Proposed massing submitted to the City of Hudson for the
Merino Development project in 2015.
Furthermore, restoration of the house and grounds will increase economic vitality to a prominent section of the Village Green that has become blighted. The gateway to Hudson's business district will be enhanced and used to support community events, educational initiatives and to promote an appreciation for our cultural and architectural heritage.
Hudson has a long legacy of historic preservation. Beginning with James Ellsworth in the early 20th century, the town's historic aesthetic and legacy has been fought for, and most battles have been won. Today many homes are individually listed on the National Register, and Hudson can boast three National Register Historic Districts with additional expansions contemplated. Acquisition of the Baldwin-Buss-Merino House property and its subsequent restoration will serve as a very public reminder of Hudson's rich past. THIS IS WHAT MAKES HUDSON DIFFERENT!
HOW does BBHF plan to save the Baldwin-Buss-Merino House?
The Baldwin-Buss House Foundation has entered into a partnership with the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, known more familiarly as Peg's Foundation. Peg's Foundation purchased the entire property which includes the two commercial buildings, the historic house, and .92 acres of land. The partnership with Peg's Foundation enables BBHF to deploy monies originally earmarked for the acquisition of the property directly towards the restoration. To date, over $960,000 has been raised in the form of donations thanks to the generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses.
How can YOU help?
Funds are needed to sustain day-to-day operations. Even before the construction dust settles and the house is open to the public, BBHF continues to incur operational expenses. The time to prepare for these obligations is now. Please help BBHF build its capacity to further its mission and care for the Baldwin-Buss House when the ribbon is cut, and the doors are opened. You helped save the house. Now we are asking for your continued support for our first Annual Fund appeal.
The Baldwin-Buss House Foundation is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt charitable organization.
THE BALDWIN-BUSS HOUSE TODAY
Baldwin-House Today / East Elevation
South Elevation West Elevation North Elevation
AND WHAT IT COULD BE . . . IMAGINE the POSSIBILITIES!
The Peter Allen house was built in 1821 and underwent a major restoration in 2017. The similarities to the Baldwin-Buss Merino house are striking.
Today, it stands as a ‘role model’ for the future transformation of the Baldwin-Buss House in Hudson on the Village Green.
We hope you will join us in supporting the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation and be part of the legacy of those who have fought to maintain a connection between Hudson's historic roots and its bright future. Please consider a donation that will help preserve and protect the Baldwin-Buss House for generations to come.