Topics: Historic preservation

CHATHAM – “We're losing homes at a significant rate.” Historical Commission Chairman Frank Messina was speaking at a hearing for yet another demolition of a home on Stage Harbor Road, but was talking more generally about why the town adopted and the commission often enforces a delay on the razing of buildings determined to be historically significant. “We want to make owners stop and think about it,” he sai...

CHATHAM – Another historic home on Stage Harbor Road may come under the wrecking ball. The historical commission will hold a hearing June 19 on a proposal to fully demolish the George Taylor House at 356 Stage Harbor Rd., a 146-year-old three-quarter Cape located across the street from the Atwood House Museum. The commission will hold a second hearing June 19 on home on the historic street, but the proposal...

CHATHAM – With the number of Preservation Awards steadily declining the past few years, the coalition that oversees the annual event voted last week not to hold an awards ceremony this year. Beginning next year, the awards will be given out every other year. The awards honor projects that use sensitivity in renovating, restoring and preserving historic buildings. They are overseen by members of the town's hist...

History Abounds In Elmer Crowell Decoy Exhibit

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The Elmer Crowell barn relocated to the grounds of the Brooks Academy in Harwich Center is ready to relate the story of the world's most renowned decoy carver. The Crowell exhibit tells the story of two generations of wood-carvers, Elmer and his son, Cleon, who also had a hands-on role in the craft. “Today Crowell is considered the greatest of decoy makers. His early work, as well as the special orde...

CHATHAM – The only thing certain about the fate of an iconic Shore Road home is that it will continue to exist in its present state for at least the next 18 months. After unanimously agreeing that the 91-year-old house, whose official address is 233 Seaview St., is historically significant, the commission voted Tuesday to impose an 18-month demolition delay on the structure. Owners Ronald and Ann Cami of San F...

ORLEANS — The list of what didn't happen at 353 South Orleans Rd. over the last two centuries could be shorter than the list of what did. The property at the corner of Namequoit Road and Route 28 has been home to a sea captain, a selectman, a state representative, a lay preacher, a salt maker, a farmer, and a cultivator of trees – and that's just the life of John Kenrick, Sr., who lived there for the first h...

CHATHAM – A demolition delay application has been filed for the stately, iconic home at the corner of Shore Road and Seaview Street that once belonged the late noted geographer Harm de Blij. Owners Ronald and Ann Cami of San Francisco, who bought the 233 Seaview St. property in 2012 for $3.6 million, will go before the historical commission on Tuesday, May 1. According to application filed by Harwich attorn...

Voices Of Angels Fill South Harwich Meetinghouse

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — “These walls are smiling,” someone whispered as the voices of angels filled the sanctuary of the former South Harwich Methodist Church on Saturday. It had been many years since those walls buffered the voices of parishioners. The renewal of voice came in melodic harmony from the Chatham Chorale celebrating the 13-year preservation effort by the Friends of the South Harwich Meetinghouse, Inc., a major...

HARWICH — It has been a 13-year undertaking, but the results of the persistence of the Friends of the South Harwich Meetinghouse to preserve and restore the historic South Harwich Methodist Church will be on display over the St. Patrick's Day weekend with a grand opening series of benefit concerts by the Chatham Chorale. The Chatham Chorale will perform four of their popular Celtic concerts at the meetinghouse...

The recent failure of efforts to establish a National Historic Register District in the Stage Harbor Road area in Chatham and talk about establishing a historic district in Orleans raised questions about the benefits of historic districts, exactly what they protect and how to go about establishing one. There are dozens of historic districts Cape-wide. There are two main types of historic district: National Reg...

Public Shares Vision For Eldredge Garage Land

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Citizens still have more than a month to sound out on the future of the former Eldredge Garage property, but so far, public parking and rest rooms seem to be the most popular suggestions for the town-owned parcel. Last Thursday, more than a dozen neighborhood residents and other citizens shared their visions for the property with the Eldredge Garage property planning committee. The group will conti...

ORLEANS — As you travel on Main Street from Route 28 into East Orleans, the sense of history is palpable. Many 19 th century homes line either side of the road and most are situated to preserve the open elegance of the area. Yet something is missing from this picture: a guarantee that such history and style will survive to represent one of the town's great resources. Unlike many Cape communities, Orleans ha...

CHATHAM — With just a few days remaining in 2017, selectmen last week signed papers taking ownership of the former Eldredge Garage property. The year saw voters spending $2.5 million for one of the town’s most significant land purchases; the demolition of a historic building that was, for years, a downtown landmark; and the first dialogue about a new vision for the property. The story actually began in 2016,...

Town Restricts Parking At Eldredge Garage This Winter

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Town officials have not yet decided on long-term uses for the former Eldredge Garage property at 365 Main St., or even intermediate uses next summer. But they’ve got a plan for the short term: secure the property with a split-rail fence, and prohibit overnight parking there until at least the spring. There’s a key exception: the property will be available for parking during First Night Chatham, whi...

Restored Atwood Sleigh Will Deliver Holiday Cheer

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — This year, good tidings will be coming to the children of Chatham courtesy of an actual one-horse open sleigh. And it’s a sleigh with a story. On Saturday, Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m., visitors to the Chatham Historical Society’s Atwood House Museum will be able to see the fully-restored sleigh, which was rescued from the basement of the former Eldredge Garage before it was razed. Visitors are encourag...

CHATHAM — In an organizational meeting last Thursday, members of the new Eldredge Garage Property Planning Committee said they'd already received scores of suggestions for the re-use of that prime downtown real estate. The nine-member panel was chosen by the board of selectmen to review the potential uses of the property at 365 Main St., which was purchased by town meeting last January for $2.5 million. The ...