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Opening the Door to History!
Hudson Mohawk Vernacular Architecture (HMVA) is a not-for-profit society, chartered by the New York State Department of Education with a mandate to promote recording, interpretation, research, and public education of and about traditional vernacular buildings and cultural landscapes within the the Hudson and Mohawk River Valleys. Our interests include eary Dutch, English,and Palatine traditions.
As a generation, we have the responsibility to see that these rare and significant artifacts from our heritage are conserved for future generations to observe, understand, and appreciate. When these buildings can't be saved, it is incumbent upon us to record their presence through maps, photographs, measured drawings and the compilation of historical records.
To fulfill this mission we work in cooperation with both private and public owners of historic properties. We organize monthly study tours throughout the region. We survey and record vernacular structures, offer technical and historical advice, and make information available through our newsletter, website, archives, and public presentations.
What is vernacular architecture?
Vernacular architecture is the common way of building; it is a product of regional cultures and traditions. New World Dutch vernacular architecture in the Hudson Valley was established soon after the arrival of the Dutch ship the “de Halve Maen” (Half Moon) in 1609. The architectural tradition it brought with it was centuries old and had as its source the traditional building practices found in the Netherlands and bordering areas.
This building tradition persisted as the dominant practice through the colonial period despite the influx of other cultures and traditions. Since the end of the Revolution the region's vernacular architecture has increasingly reflected the complex social and cultural forces at play in the valley, but a distinctly Dutch character remains.