ThursdayDoors: The Basilica

HudsonDoorsGoing back in time again, this time to a wedding in an abandoned factory in Hudson New York. The Basilica – once a forge and foundry for steel railways, then briefly a glue factory – now spends its semi-retirement as an events venue.




Founded in 1662, the town of Hudson thrived as a whaling and then manufacturing town for well over a hundred years until the late 19th century.  Once the manufacturers disappeared the town slipped into “the unlikely setting for a world of prostitution, gambling, murder, and government corruption—with more than a touch of the Keystone Kops thrown in.” This according to Bruce Edwards Hall, the author of Diamond Street, The Story of the Little Town with the Big Red Light District.

Apparently he wasn’t exaggerating because in 1951 then Governor Dewey had to send in troops to run the varmints out of town or lock them up.  Old West shenanigans in an otherwise quaint dairyland – gotta love it!


The inside of the factory the day before the wedding (trees had just been delivered)


The inside during the wedding – quite magical isn’t it?  During the reception a thunderstorm rumbled and flashed overhead and the roof leaked!

In the mid-eighties the town began to revive, thanks to an unlikely group of modern day pioneers.  Antiques dealers.  They were followed by artists and nouveau cuisine restaurant owners.  Today many urban couples have summer homes either in Hudson or the surrounding area which they rent via Airbnb. But we stayed outside of town on an organic farm.  I’ve always been a sucker for cows, chickens and pigs.

What’s the most unusual destination wedding you’ve been to?

This post was inspired by Norm Frampton’s #ThursdayDoors event.  Check out other doors here.

43 thoughts on “ThursdayDoors: The Basilica

  1. I love the charm that the old building has. I think that it would add to the overall ambiance of the evening.

  2. What a magical setting. The ambiance changes so much from day to night!

    I love the old door with the different colours of old paint. A very beautiful old building. I hope it continues to get the love and respect it deserves.

  3. Love the doorway – the faded green and yellow, with the shades of the natural brick, the passage of time clearly present in the gouges and crumbles of brick, wood. Even without the chair, it would be a great image, but the chair brings with a story that somehow counters what is behind it, there is still life going on. Who put it there? Why would someone sit right there?

    The backstory explains what is really going on, and it is always good to see areas that were going down become revitalized [although there is some places a less than aesthetic impact for me when gentrification arrives].

    1. I must admit the town had a ways to go before I’d call it gentrified. The local sheriff arrested my nephew because he was wearing wrap around sunglasses and looked like a “thug” – it was real Mayberry kind of stuff. My nephew is a fireman!!!

      1. Bizarre. Luckily he wasn’t wearing a hoodie sweatshirt?

        There are definitely places that are able to revitalize their neighborhoods without the financial stimulus of the well-to-do taking over. Even when they do, they Sometimes they move in and try to keep the “atmosphere” of the place which drew them in the first place.

        I spent much of my time in Seattle and watched as these folks came in altered what made a neighborhood (like Fremont) so special and quirky. All they wanted was to replicate the upscale neighborhoods they came from.

        Obviously I am still bitter and agitated about it all. Somethings are hard to breathe and just let go.

  4. I love when they find new uses for old buildings and what a wonderful spot to hold a wedding! The most unusual destination for a wedding that I’ve been to was my own: we held it in an Apple Orchard on a lovely late summer day – it was wonderful 😀

  5. Wonderful wedding venue. Hmmm…most unusual destination for a wedding. I guess my cousin’s wedding. She was married in a beautiful vineyard in Virginia horse country. So not very unusual but unique compared to the many other weddings I have been to!

    1. The building has no electricity or heat and so it’s kind of like having a marriage in a tent! You take the leaks as part of the ambience!

  6. This reminds me of The Red Barn on the campus of the University of Louisville. Beautiful old brick building. I’m so glad these are being repurposed and appreciated. I hope they repaired their roof!

  7. Your question got me thinking (an exercise that often causes discomfort). I’d have to say the most unusual wedding destination was my own. It was 1976, we’d been living “in sin” for two years. Our families did not approve of our coupling. I’d never wanted formal wedding. We went to work on a Thursday, came home, changed out of our casual clothes into something a bit more dressy, picked up a couple of friends, drove to a tiny funky chapel next to a termite inspection agency in Burbank, California, and got married. My only regret is we didn’t take pictures.

    1. That is an usual spot! Hubby Number 2 and I got married on a cliff in Mendocino in the rain. I wore a green raincoat. We didn’t get any pictures either. (formal weddings have never been my thing either!)

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