Back in 2000, Patrick Doyle purchased a large warehouse, formerly a glue factory, on the bank of the Hudson River with a vision in mind. His plan was to transform his newly acquired building into an idyllic, unpolished haven for local artists and friends and create a base for unorthodox artistic experiences. In 2010, musician Melissa Auf der Maur and filmmaker Tony Stone joined Patrick in his quest and the place was transformed into the non-profit hub we now know as Basilica Hudson.
The industrial feel of the the building itself has remained through renovations, sporting exposed brick walls, an incredible old steel truss system and a massive terracotta ceiling. The waterfront scene just outside the huge bay windows reveals ships and barges trudging down the Hudson River, a thing of absolute mechanized beauty. The capacity is around 1,200 souls – pretty perfect for live music, visual art events, or large weddings and gatherings.
We spoke with the immensely talented Jacob Murphy from JBM Photography and were eager to get the lowdown about a recent wedding he photographed here. From the utterly loverly floral stylings of Sol Flower Farm and the bohemian decor, Basilica Hudson's cavernous space was turned intimate, warm and welcoming.
Basilica Hudson's mission can be boiled down to one simple goal: to serve as a place for like-minded people to get together. Granted, the space is inherently conducive to both love and art, but that's a byproduct of the mission. It's something that's created when one person bares his or her soul to another. And it's exactly the kind of experience we hope to discover over and over again, evident very clearly in this beautiful wedding.
Words + Images by Jacob Murphy of JBM Photo
What were some of the highlights of your experience at the venue?
I really enjoyed walking around and through the venue itself. It’s huge and has such an old school industrial feel to it. Walking the train tracks was definitely a highlight. Also, I really enjoyed inspecting the inner workings of the space, as it used to be a train wheel factory and glue factory in the late 1800s.
Tell us a little bit about the venue.
It’s so unique. Old. Industrial. Utilitarian. It’s an old factory with great bones located right next to active train tracks. Exposed brick building near a (very) active train track. Lots of rooms of different sizes. Located at the edge of beautiful historic Hudson, it stands out as a monument of the past. The capacity has to be upwards of 200 people.
Tell us a little bit about the event.
Despite the rain, Lindsay and Taylor had a really fun/creative vibe to their wedding. They had a custom fabric backdrop for their ceremony and musical instruments under everyone’s seats for the celebration. Lots of ferns and jungle animals strewn about, as well. The groom’s father also created custom stained glass table numbers. The live band killed it and had everyone on the dance floor all night! They also had an open fire caterer who cooked a whole pig.
What made this venue an ideal location for the event?
The size and the incredibly unique atmosphere/surroundings. Very high ceilings with old smelting equipment/chains hanging down
What do you think makes it a great venue in general?
Again, the size is really crucial for larger gatherings. Stadium-Style seating in the ceremony room/theater.
Were there any areas you thought lighting was the best?
In the ceremony room and the far end of the reception hall. Both areas have floor to ceiling windows that let in nice diffused light.
What additional types of events do you think the venue is ideal for?
Flea markets. Concerts. Weddings. Corporate. Anything large.
What made the venue a great backdrop and setting for photos?
Lots of textures and overgrown areas. Brick. Old paint. Cement. Ferns. Wooden doors. A photographer’s dream!
Did you have any favorite design elements at the venue?
Floor to ceiling windows. Huge barn door entrances. Stadium seating. Nice long bar through brick archways. The exterior facades are grand and gorgeous. The train tracks.
Any special drinks or eats you had in the surrounding area?
Hudson is quaint, hip, stylish town with a lot of attention to detail. Everything is good there :-)
What makes both the area + the venue a good destination for a group getaway or event?
Lots of places to eat, stay and enjoy the beautiful scenery of upstate NY.
Did you meet anyone at the venue that you connected with or made a lasting impression?
Was not in contact with anyone directly at the venue. But Fire Roasted Catering did the food and it was a feast for the eyes and the mouth.
Any inside tips?
Make sure to walk down main street in the downtown area. It’s full of amazing shops and places to eat. It’s very historic so it feels like stepping back in time but with a modern flair.
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