Friday, June 10, 2016

A rush job, pure and simple

The Winchester Historic District Commission seems poised to allow the demolition of yet another historic building within the town’s main historic district. It’s a lovely Greek Revival home, clearly about 200 years old, located on a slight rise behind Mr. Mike's gas station in the town center.
It seems to me that the process the board is using to make this decision is abbreviated and inadequate. I plan to attend the Commission’s next meeting Monday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall in order to understand better what’s going on and to urge that they undertake a thorough process. I hope that many others will attend as well.
To responsibly decide whether or not to demolish a historic building, common sense dictates that you would gather various kinds of information and weigh them all thoughtfully to analyze the pros and cons of preservation versus destruction. The first kind of information that springs to mind, since we’re talking about a historic district commission making a decision about a historic district, would be, duh, historical. That is, solid information researched and written up by a professional historian pertaining to (1) the building’s own historical significance, (2) the building’s significance in relation to the other structures around it.
Our commission had indeed identified such a professional, ready and willing to do the job, and the developer proposing to demolish the house was ready and willing to pay for that research. Unfortunately, at its last meeting, a special meeting off the regular schedule, the Commission decided to cancel that professional historical survey.
I’m going to the meeting Monday because I believe that for the Commission and for everyone else in town, it will not be humanly possible to form a responsible opinion about the proposed demolition as long as we lack reliable and thorough information about the historical significance of the building. It’s common sense. You can not ethically destroy something without having first made a good-faith effort to understand its value.
Paul DobbsAshuelot


Good for the goose said...

Can't blame Mr. Mikes, the Sharra family made a mockery of the historic district rules and regulations.

Will buy my gasoline elsewhere said...

Of course we can blame Mr. Mikes. It doesn't matter how many "wrongs" there are - we need some "rights". Right decisions, right actions, right officials - doesn't look as though we have any of the above.
One way to show disapproval is to vote with your wallet - don't shop at businesses whose actions you disapprove of.
I find it interesting that Julia Ferrari was absent. She is a huge advocate for preservation of the Historic District; makes one wonder if that's why the vote was pushed through.

Buy my gasoline elsewhere too said...

Mr. Mike's never has any receipt paper in their gas pumps. Just another reason why I don't buy anything there.