Where in Hudson is this? for Jan. 8

By LIz Murphy | Destination Hudson Published:

The stained glass window from last week is in the Old Church on the Green (corner of 303 and East Main Street).

In 1861, what is now The Old Church on the Green was originally built on the corner of Oviatt and Railroad Streets (now Maple Drive) as a home for Hudson's Catholic population, mostly the Irish Catholic immigrants who came to build the railroad. Prior to this, itinerant priests celebrated Mass on an occasional basis in temporary quarters near the railroad.

In 1890 the building was moved to its present location facing the Green. If you look closely at the stained glass windows in the Church, you will see two distinct kinds. There are six in the main room, three on each side of the building, and these were installed in 1890. The rest, including the one in my photograph which is to the left of the front entrance, were created and installed when the steeple, entrance way and a rear section were added in 1908 and 1909. According to a history of the building, Hudson's Italian Catholic families presented St. Mary Church with the bell for the steeple. In 1939, parishioners hand-dug a basement under the original section of the building.

In 1970 a much larger St. Mary's congregation moved to their new location at North Main and Prospect, and by 1973 the Old Church on the Green was scheduled for demolition. The Hudson Heritage Association stepped in to help preserve this piece of Hudson history.

In 1978 Hudson residents Larry & Susan Terkel bought the building, and under their tutelage The Old Church on the Green has become a center for art, music, education and spirituality. The building has been home to a number of new congregations while they searched for buildings of their own, including Baptist, Quaker, and Presbyterian groups. Temple Beth Shalom congregated there for 22 years before relocating around the corner. Joan Van Osdol's Center Country Day School made its home there starting in the late 70s, along with Larry Terkel's Yoga Center. For several years, Susan ran a health food co-op with produce and merchandise purchased from local farms.

According to Susan, anyone with a valid idea for a start-up venture has always been welcome. There have been art classes and art shows, a music school, and band concerts for teens chaperoned by the Terkels. Zona Spray started the Cookery (now Western Reserve School of Cooking) in the Church's basement. For many years if the Concerts on the Green were rained out, those attending simply moved over to the Church. More than 1,000 weddings have been performed in the beautiful building. Susan calls the Old Church on the Green a perfect example of preservation and repurposing.

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