The picture two weeks ago was of a section of bricks on First Street, in First & Main. It was impossible to tell in the photo, but these are historic, reclaimed bricks. In studying the First & Main Project, developers Tom and Joy Murdough strongly felt that a genuine old brick street would add to the character of the area and were even more committed to that idea after traveling to see (and disliking) a faux brick street. Working with former City Manager Mike Morton, they found the bricks in Fairport Harbor and had them brought to Hudson and laid by a group of elderly bricklayers in May of 2004.
New residents of Hudson may not know that 10 years ago there was no First & Main. That space was occupied by Morse Controls - a factory and warehouses. The initial vision to revitalize downtown Hudson was conceived in the City's Comprehensive Plan in 1995. The goal was to create a plan to revitalize the historic downtown and restore it to its former economic prominence. Main Street, with its two-story clapboard buildings dating back to the mid-1800s, had always been the heart of Hudson's downtown. Over the years, however, that vibrancy was declining. Preservation of these historic buildings, listed on the National Historic Register, provided direction for the development initiative. The city's goal was to preserve the downtown core as the retail center of the community, by creating a new mixed-use development that blended the old with the new and would provide a greater base to draw consumers.
The design was a challenge. Hudson's historic district has stringent code restrictions, and it was critical to create a stimulating, contemporary environment for retailers, shoppers and office tenants while remaining true to the historical architectural traditions of Hudson. As First & Main celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, visitors can take note of the meticulous attention paid to historical details. Hudson architect Kevin Zack took great care in designing a series of two- and three-story buildings meant to blend seamlessly with the current Main Street buildings. In addition to the reclaimed brick, turn-of-the-century lighting and architectural details were incorporated throughout.