15 September 2015
To the editor re “Succumbing To The Wrecking Ball” September 10, 2015
It is shocking to see the two pictures of the beautiful 175 year old red house at 16 Oak Street being reduced to a pile of rubble in a matter of hours. These pictures illustrate the sometimes unfortunate consequences of development pressures in our community, changes that reduce the distinctive architectural variety on each of our streets and eliminate fascinating reminders of the history of our town. This house could have been saved.
The Charlestown Preservation Society successfully sought and obtained through the Boston Landmarks Commission a 90 day delay of the demolition of the house. The delay was intended to provide time for the building’s owner to consider ways to keep the house while exploring alternate solutions for developing the property. Discussions to agree on a solution were not successful. A similar 90 day demolition delay was obtained with strong community support for retaining the 6 Soley Street house earlier this year. Again, the old house was demolished.
In coming months the Charlestown Preservation Society will begin exploring ways through modest zoning changes to more strongly protect our town’s history. Charlestown has seen many physical improvements in the last few decades. We would like to see these continue but do not want to loose Charlestown’s unique character along the way.
William Lamb, Chair, Charlestown Preservation Society
Design Review Committee
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