People Come to Hudson for the Cranberries: A Guide to the Decommodification of Suburban Land, Small-Town Tourism, and Communal Boarding
Once the harbinger of an elite class of whalers, an underground red-light district, and the region’s most affluent housing stock, Hudson, NY, fell victim to the most destructive eras of mid-century suburban sprawl and later, urban renewal. Promoted by its picturesque views of the river, relative distance from major urban centers in New York state, and strong culture of antiquing, the city today has seen a complete population resurgence since the strongest waves of the recent pandemic. A new commons of communal work and boarding seeks to undo decades of suburban commodification and modern tourism-fueled gentrification by providing universal access to shelter (through boarding), food (through sustainable land cultivation), education (through ecological stewardship), and work (through craft workshops) to re-situate the productive, suburban human within a process of revival, cohabitation, and engagement. Principally, the architectural solutions holistically address the transience phenomenon in Hudson by scaffolding the boarding house program amongst existing commercial structures, domestic homes, and vacant land and regenerating unbuildable wetlands into a productive cranberry bog to address the uncompromising popularity of weekender Airbnb/hoteling, flexible work-home relocations from New York City, and Hudson’s unmitigated economic reliance on small-town tourism.