By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – The Town of Hudson is installing roughly three dozen plaques funded by a Town Meeting article intended to highlight historic buildings.
The first round of plaques includes businesses, churches, town buildings and old rail bridges. Town Hall, the Unitarian and Saint Luke’s Churches, the Senior Center, and the Cherry Street Light and Power building were all specifically among the buildings included in that first round.
The project is separate from an article on Monday’s Town Meeting warrant that will ask voters to allocate $3,550 for a larger signpost describing the Unitarian Church’s history and its many uses over time.
A few private homes on Lincoln Street have received plaques for their notable architecture. The Hudson Public Library is also expected to receive a plaque.
The voted sum of $4,000 is funding some 35 plaques. Each cost $100, but a few required mounting on posts at an additional expense.
Each plaque contains a name, date of construction, and details about the architectural style or historical relevance of the structure it marks.
Several historic bridges have received plaques, including three railroad bridges: one at Bruce’s Pond, one behind South Street and the old trestle bridge behind Main Street.
Another sign will adorn a large stone abutment, visible along Hudson’s portion of the Assabet River Rail Trail, which formerly held up a bridge used by people and cattle.
The Town of Hudson expects to finish installing the first 35 plaques by the end of this year.
The town is also interested in adding to its roster of historic buildings. As such, individuals who know of buildings of architectural or historic interest can contact Assistant Planner Amanda Molina Dumas. A few homeowners have already expressed interest to the town.
“The historical commission will help them research and design the sign,” Assistant Director of Planning and Community Development Pam Helinek told the Community Advocate.
“It was a fun project; I learned a lot,” Helinek continued. “I do hope people are noticing the plaques and stopping to read them.”
She cited the Unitarian Church as an especially interesting Hudson site.
“It has quite the history,” Helinek said.
Helinek also suggested citizens stop by Town Hall, a building that has served not only as a civic center, but as a jail at earlier points in Hudson’s history.
“We couldn’t even fit everything on the sign,” she said of that building’s plaque.
The historical plaque project is just the latest effort to use signage to celebrate and enhance Hudson’s municipal environment.
The Town and Business Improvement District has previously collaborated on a downtown “wayfinding” system intended to direct locals and visitors to parking opportunities, town attractions and the Rail Trail. That project cost $8,367 and was approved by the Select Board in July.