Despite the fact that work has already altered the footprint, massing and exterior appearance of the home at 160 Forest (pictured), the property was voted Historically Significant in a 5-0 vote. The Commissioners based their decision on information in the Form B, which our architectural surveyors had created as part of the Historic District Commission’s effort to document the older properties along Forest Street – north of the old High School, the Chevalier Theater and the Post Office – for the purposes of creating a more protective historic district in the area.
The developers should have, of course, applied for a demo permit before beginning work of this scale but this does not prevent the commission from following the due process and, possibly, delaying further development if the house is found to be “Preferably Preserved.” This decision will be made at next month’s meeting after a public announcement of the demolition of the structure.
We also voted 5-0 to lift demo delay on both 29 Summer and 75 Clewley, pending final approved plans from the sub-committee currently reviewing their plans. Both these properties were found to be Preferably Preserved in 2021.
The house at 17 Manning Street was voted to be Preferably Preserved and we are now actively working with the owner on revised designs.
Whenever a building is found to be “preferably preserved” an 18-month delay of demolition is imposed, to give the applicant time to consider sale, renovation, reuse, relocation and other alternatives to demolition. However, the demolition delay may be lifted before the 18-month period, if a plan is developed that addresses the concerns of the public and the commission. The applicant is always invited to return to the Commission’s upcoming public meetings to present plans and alternatives and to discuss the preservation concerns that their neighbors and the commission have; often the applicant works directly with a subcommittee that can help them develop appropriate plans.