Topics: Historic preservation

CHATHAM – Years ago, when folks wanted to move a building, the most efficient way was to take it apart piece by piece – a process known as flaking – and reassemble it at another location. Because it is so labor intensive, that's not done often these days, when it's easier to use modern machinery to simply pick up and move a building in one piece. However, the historic barn at 68 Shell Dr. is too fragile to mov...

CHATHAM – After months of displaying the incorrect time, the town clock in the steeple of the First United Methodist Church isn't telling the time at all right now. As part of a restoration and repair project, the hands and numbers on the clock were removed several weeks ago and are being worked on by an Orleans contractor. The $18,000 project is being funded through the Community Preservation Act. Voters a...

Town's Oldest House To Be Preserved

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – What many consider the oldest house in town and a direct link to founder William Nickerson will be preserved. The antique Cape built by Nickerson's son, William, will be moved to a different spot on the waterfront property where it has stood since about 1700 and serve as a guest house for a new home that will be constructed on the three-acre property. The interior of the First Period house will be re...

Group Drops Bid For West Harwich Schoolhouse

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH – After failing to come to terms with the town, the board of directors of the non-profit West Harwich Historic Schoolhouse LLC has voted not to pursue purchase of the historic former school building. Selectmen, however, put off a vote on the matter after several members said they continue to support the group's offer. The town has been wrestling with what to do with the historic structure at 5 Bell’...

CHATHAM – A member of the historic business district commission last week criticized the developers of the former Monomoy Theatre property for planning to build “rich men's houses” while the town suffers through an affordable housing crisis. The HBDC held a pre-application meeting to review preliminary designs for four single-family homes on the property at 776 Main St. and 70 Depot Rd. The planning board rece...

CHATHAM – During a public hearing last week, members of the planning board made clear their reluctance to approve a subdivision for the former Monomoy Theatre property without more information about the future of the theater building and the historic home adjacent to it. They may have no choice, however. If the five-lot subdivision plan for 776 Main St. and 70 Depot Rd. meets the requirements set out in the...

Draft Bylaw Incentivizes Historic Preservation

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Having had limited luck with the stick, town officials are hoping to use a new carrot to keep developers from tearing down historic homes. The historical commission has drafted a historic preservation incentive bylaw that would allow property owners renovating certain historic buildings to construct larger additions closer to the property line, in exchange for a pledge to preserve the structure forev...

Interest Builds In Preserving West Harwich Schoolhouse

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town hopes to sell the historic West Harwich Schoolhouse at 5 Bells Neck Rd., which has been vacant for approximately 20 years. In May town meeting voters approved the sale of the building, which could include conditions that require preservation of the 1871 structure. Town Administrator Joseph Powers told selectmen last week that a request for proposals for the sale of the building is ready t...

CHATHAM — Having learned that it would cost the same – or a bit less – than building a new structure, the select board voted unanimously Tuesday to endorse the use of the historic Coast Guard Stage Harbor boathouse to house a new upweller at 90 Bridge St. The town’s engineers estimated that it would cost about $4,740,500 to build a new building for the town’s shellfish propagation program, putting it on a new ...

CHATHAM – Protect Our Past, a Chatham-based group focused on saving historic properties on Cape Cod, delved into some of the background and origins of historic preservation recently, welcoming internationally recognized architect Gunny Harboe as guest speaker at the group's fourth program in its online lecture series. What we have called historic preservation is perhaps best thought of as cultural heritage, fo...

CHATHAM – The planning board approved a preliminary seven-lot subdivision plan for the former Monomoy Theatre property last week. It's the latest step in the redevelopment of the 2.7-acre property by owner Chatham Productions LLC. The proposal will require final subdivision approval by the planning board as well as a special permit from the zoning board of appeals to develop single-family homes on six of the l...

Cape Rep Theatre Restores And Transforms Historic Crosby Barn

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster, with support from the community and the state, is in the midst of transforming the property's historic Crosby Barn from a storage space for scenery and props into a fully restored performance space which will double as a venue for rehearsal, classes and community events.  The Crosby Barn, the final building on the Cape Rep campus to be renovated, was built in 1889 by one of Brewst...

Town Accepts Donation Of Coast Guard Boathouse

By: Alan Pollock

Plans For Reuse Are Still Developing CHATHAM — Twice before, the town of Chatham declined opportunities to take ownership of the historic Coast Guard Boathouse that once watched over Stage Harbor. Members of the select board weren’t about to turn down a third opportunity, vot ing Tuesday to accept the donation of the building and effectively saving the structure from demolition. It appears feasible tha...

ORLEANS — Isaac Snow was no Anglophile. The Eastham native, twice imprisoned by the British during the Revolutionary War, returned to America with the help of the French. In 1797, when the south parish of Eastham became its own town and needed a name, Snow urged that the new community be called Orleans in honor of the revolutionary spirit of a Gallic aristocrat who became known as “Citizen Equality.” Just a ...

Holy Trinity Church Annex Building Reduced To Rubble

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — After a one-year demolition delay expired less than two weeks ago, the Roman Catholic Diocese and Holy Trinity Church moved quickly to remove the Gothic Revival late Victorian 1914 structure on church property along Route 28 in West Harwich, razing it last Wednesday. “It is sad that the church couldn’t have found it in their hearts to conserve, restore and repurpose this...historic parish home,”...

CHATHAM – The historic home at 68 Shell Dr. is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Massachusetts Historical Commission has determined. Whether it will be listed or not remains to be seen. Later this month the zoning board of appeals will be asked to approve its relocation on the waterfront property to make way for a new, larger home. The full Cape is thought to have been built...