Topics: Historic preservation

HARWICH – “It is a very big deal for the museum!” Thus did Janet Cassidy, executive director of the Harwich Historical Society, describe the event held last Friday afternoon in the Brooks Academy Museum in Harwich Center. With some 25 Society members present, Chad Tragakis, president of the Potomac Decoy Collectors Association, presented the organization with an original and pristine A. Elmer Crowell duck deco...

CHATHAM – Looking for a house in Chatham? There's a nice three-bedroom, post-and-beam Cape available, and the price is pretty reasonable. In fact, you can have the house for nothing; you just have to have someplace to put it. At a time when historic homes are disappearing as new owners clear lots for new, more modern structures, it's unusual for an owner of a more contemporary home to offer it up for free, ...

Costs Delay Brooks Library Preservation

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Brooks Free Library will not be getting a facelift this summer after bids for the work came in above the appropriated amount. The town has $490,000 set aside for the project. In the first round of bids, the low bidder was $143,200 above the allocated funds. A second round, which elicited a single bid, also came in too high. “There was only one bidder and the total cost of the project to include th...

CHATHAM – A crowd gathered Sunday morning on the front lawn of the First United Methodist Church to witness the rededication of the facade of the historic downtown building. Pastor Barbara Kszystyniak blessed and dedicated the newly renovated front of the building “to the glory of God, the people of Chatham and people of faith.” The crowning achievement of a multi-year restoration, renovation and preservati...

CHATHAM – As the large truck crept slowly along Champlain Road, Gwyn Brittigan didn't see a 250-year-old building, partially covered by a tarp, perched precariously on the flatbed. She saw her new home. “I just love old houses,” she said as workmen scrambled to trim branches and lift wires out of the way of the historic house. It took most of the afternoon last Wednesday to get the house from 181 Champlain ...

SOUTH CHATHAM – Residents gathered at the historic South Chatham Village Hall Saturday to hear about the possibility of establishing National Historic Register District running from the South Chatham Cemetery at the Harwich town line to Cockle Cove Road. Local historic commission chair Frank Messina worked with Cape Cod Commission preservation specialist Sarah Korjeff and Eric Dray, a historical preservation c...

CHATHAM – The town has long honored its history, and for the past several years has highlighted its past and the institutions that celebrate it with the annual History Weekend. Sponsored by Historic Chatham, a coalition of the town's museums and history organizations, this year's History Weekend takes place June 16, 17 and 18. Local museums will be open with free admission, highlighting new exhibits for the se...

ORLEANS — Over the last 14 years, the historic Northwest Schoolhouse between Namskaket and Rock Harbor roads has received around $350,000 in community preservation funds from the town. Paul Davies is among those who wants to invite townspeople inside to benefit from their investment in the building, also known as the Odd Fellows Hall. Although a public discussion May 20 at Snow Library on creating a “well-pl...

HARWICH — Town meeting members made it clear last week they want to retain the West Harwich schoolhouse in its present location. Selectman Peter Hughes told the board this week the message he took away from the vote was for selectmen to be stewards of the historic structure. Sally Urbano, who has been active in the Captains' Row Historic District initiative along Route 28 in West Harwich, offered a positive mo...

SOUTH HARWICH — The preservation and restoration of the South Harwich Methodist Church has been a labor of love for the South Harwich Meetinghouse, Inc. group that has been working since 2005 to restore the historic structure. The fruits of their labor were pleasantly revealing on Monday when selectmen were invited to see the accomplishments of the past year. The church, built in 1836, now belongs to the town ...

Habitat Requests Continuance To Address ZBA Concerns

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod six-home development project proposed along Route 28 in West Harwich hit a snag last week when members of the board of appeals challenged the completeness of the organization's application. After a nearly three-hour session a week ago Tuesday, Habitat representatives requested a two-week continuance to research issues raised by the appeals board. The appeals board...

Historic Eldredge Garage Gives Up One More Secret

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A downtown landmark for more than a century, the large livery barn at the former Eldredge Garage will likely go under the wrecking ball this week, deemed unsafe to use and impractical to restore. But before being reduced to rubble, the historic building had a secret treasure for preservationists. Deep in the basement of the old building, perhaps untouched for the better part of a century, was a horse...

HARWICH — A proposal to establish a Cape Verdean Exhibit/Cultural Center, potentially in the Harwich Middle School, received strong support from selectmen Monday night. The proposal was put forward by Barbara Burgo and Jane Teixeira-Henry. Burgo worked as one of the curators in collaboration with the Harwich Historical Society in hosting So Sabi , a Cape Verdean exhibit at Brooks Academy in 2012. “During t...

ORLEANS — People who love old buildings and serve on historical commissions face a conflict. Their instinct is to preserve, but often they are required to facilitate demolition of historic structures. “It's really discouraging,” said Ann Sinclair, chair of the historical commission. “After all, what is it that people love about Orleans? Houses, the old homes and the ocean.” On Friday, March 3, at 4 p.m., ...

White Paint For Brooks Library

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Conceding that it lacks the authority to mandate a different color, the historic district and historical commission last week authorized the town's request to paint the exterior of the Brooks Free Library white. But some members worried that the ruling might whitewash a larger issue about how Community Preservation Act funds are used. A white paint job is favored by the board of selectmen and the b...

CHATHAM — Rounding out this year's list of projects seeking Community Preservation Act funding are preservation projects at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center and various recreation projects, including a pickleball court. The community preservation committee will now begin debating the merits of the dozen different applications, which total more than $615,000. Having already heard presentations on several r...