Former Hudson Jewelry Store and Coffin Manufactory, Yours for $1.25 Million

One of the brightly painted facades along Hudson’s main shopping street, this 19th century brick building has had an equally colorful commercial history as a spot to buy goods ranging from clocks to coffins.

The exact construction date of the three-story Italianate on the market at 524 Warren Street is not known. According to the listing, the property dates to the 1840s while the nomination for the Hudson National Register Historic District estimates the construction date as circa 1860.

A Hudson map of 1858 does show a building on the lot and newspaper accounts and city directories indicate a house there was the home of a Mrs. Lawrence, widow of Leonard Lawrence. Prior to the renumbering of Warren Street in the 1880s, the property would have been known as No. 284. In 1856, the residence of Mrs. Lawrence (first name unknown) was for sale and described as a two-story brick dwelling at 284 Warren Street.

19th century ads

Left: An ad published in 1870 for the new jewelry store operated by Henry G. Stevens. Image from the Hudson Daily Star via Fulton History. Right: An ad for Alanson Wagoner’s business in a Hudson directory. Image from The Hudson Directory for 1873-74 via the Hudson Area Library

storefront with glass display windows

A few different businesses appeared at the address in the 1840s and 1850s, but the first significant description of what is likely the current building pops up in 1869. That year Henry G. Stevens, whose family operated a gun shop next door, opened a new jewelry store in the building and local paper Hudson Weekly Star featured an extensive description of the newly fitted-out interior. There were chestnut counters with black walnut trim topped with silver showcases to display the shop’s wares, frescoed walls, gas chandeliers, an oil cloth-covered floor, and “elegant” green shades over the store windows. Hudsonians could pick up jewelry in a range of styles, including Swiss and Roman, according to one advertisement, get their watch or clock repaired, or pick up some silverware.

The extensive write-up did not, unfortunately, describe the exterior of the building, but it would not yet have had a long, narrow extension at the rear. That addition first appeared in 1872 after Stevens shut down his store to try his fortunes out west and the building was purchased by undertaker Alanson Wagoner. In April of that year, Wagoner opened his new salesroom after making some updates, including constructing the addition for use as a coffin factory.

map showing the block of warren street

An 1873 map of Hudson shows the house as the property of A. Wagoner with the rear addition already in place. Map by DG Beers & Co. via the New York Public Library

The city tax records confirm Alanson as the owner of the building, with notations on the old and new addresses, when it was connected to the city’s water system in May of 1875.

While the business took up the lower level, city directories and census records show that Alanson and Eliza Wagoner lived upstairs. Alanson died in 1886 and Eliza stayed in the house, renting out the storefront to other businesses, until her own death in 1903.

In the early 20th century, the building was home to a dental practice, Hudson Dental Parlors. The interior was photographed circa 1905 for ‘Illustrated Hudson’ which noted that five rooms in the building were “elegantly equipped” with well-lighted and ventilated operating rooms.

In more recent history, the edifice has been home to Gottlieb Gallery, with antique furniture and decorative art in place of coffins.

inside of the first floor with a tin ceiling and wood floor

living room with mantel and two windows

There have been some changes to the interior over the decades, with the property now including a roughly 2,600 square foot commercial space with wood floors and a tin ceiling.

On the upper two floors are three apartments with a total of four bedrooms. The second-floor unit is pictured and includes a decorative mantel in the living room.

The listing notes that a new roof was installed in 2020, but there is some water damage.

Listed with Robert A. Huston of Tri-Hudson Realty, it is priced at $1.25 million.

inside of storefront

inside stair with 19th century newel post

newel post

wood mantle

view from living room through arched opening to kitchen

kitchen with white cabinets and appliances

kitchen with white cabinets

view into kitchen and hallway

bedroom with three windows

large bedroom with bi-fold doors on closets and three windows

curved railing of staircase

curved railing of staircase

bathroom with white fixtures

exterior of the building with a bracketed cornice and cast iron storefront

view of arched entry door with pilasters

detail of arched entry

view looking up at brick building and its bracketed cornice

full view of exterior of red painted brick building

brick wall at rear of the property

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