$150,000 state grant will aid restoration of historic Hudson house

Baldwin-Buss House is located at 36 N. Main St.

Staff Report
Baldwin-Buss House Foundation members are pictured outside the historic house on North Main Street in 2019. Pictured from left are: Kathy Russell, treasurer; and Donovan Husat and Inga Walker, co-presidents.

HUDSON — Efforts to restore a historic 19th century home received a major boost this week in the form of a $150,000 state grant.

The funds were released from the state's capital budget to aid the restoration of the Baldwin-Buss House, 36 N. Main St., according to state Sen. Kristina Roegner, a Hudson resident.

Efforts to save the vacant and deteriorating 1825 Federal style house began in early 2019 with the formation of the Baldwin-Buss House Foundation (BBHF) by three city residents. During the next nine months, the Foundation raised more than $900,000 with the intent to buy the house and two commercial buildings located on the same property adjacent to the city's southwest Village Green.

When BBHF did not achieve the funding needed by the deadline set by the property owner, Hudson’s Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, familiarly known as Peg’s Foundation, agreed to make the purchase in December 2019 and formed a partnership with BBHF. The sale was completed in September of this year. The money raised by BBHF now is being allocated for the restoration and future operation of the house as a community educational and cultural asset, according to a news release from BBHF.

The Baldwin-Buss House is located at 36 N. Main St. in Hudson.

“I was very impressed with the professionalism and passion of those driving the purchase and restoration of the Baldwin-Buss House,” said Roegner. “It is critical to the preservation of our heritage and charm that we protect these historical buildings. Therefore, I was delighted to be able to direct some of the state’s capital budget to supporting this effort in Hudson.”

BBHF leaders said they appreciate Roegner's efforts in acquiring the funding.

“We began discussions with Sen. Roegner and her staff about state support in 2019,” said Inga Walker, co-president of BBHF. “We emphasized the importance of saving, restoring and returning to productive use one of Hudson’s oldest houses, and one of the most architecturally significant houses in the Western Reserve. We are grateful that she supported our efforts and worked hard to secure funding for the restoration, especially given the many financial challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Release of the state funds in the spring of 2021 will boost the money available for the project to a little more than $1 million. BBHF co-president Donovan Husat noted that community support for the project has been overwhelming.

“That we raised more than $900,000 in about eight months in 2019 is a testament to the love that Hudson residents have for their community and the pride they have in it,” Husat said.

While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the progress his group hoped to make this year, Husat stated, “we are now moving ahead. We will remove the unsympathetic additions that hide the house’s beautiful architectural detail, accurately restore the house to its original design and make it a true community cultural, educational asset.”

Built in 1825 by Lemuel Porter, the house has been owned by three families — the Baldwins (1825 – 1856), the Buss family (1856 – 1907) and from 1907 until 2019 by the Carano and Merino family. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is also included in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), whose drawings and photographs are archived in the Library of Congress. Visit www.bbhfoundation.org to learn more about the Baldwin-Buss House.

The state's biennial capital budget, enacted in each even-numbered year, provides appropriations for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. In some years, funds may also be allocated for community projects of local or regional interest.