Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

Update: Senate Budget Amendment GOV 119 Withdrawn

| May 24th, 2012 | No Comments »

Preservation Massachusetts has learned today that the proposed Senate budget amendment GOV 119 has been withdrawn. This amendment would have seriously curtailed the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s ability to protect our historic resources through their review and consultation services. Preservation Massachusetts, along with many other partner organizations and individuals contacted the Senate in opposition to this amendment.

We also understand that another amendment that concerned a historic piece of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace was rejected as well.

Thank you for opposing this amendment and helping to ensure our historic resources and sites in Massachusetts are protected.

MER Update: End is near for Rev. Williams house

| February 24th, 2011 | No Comments »

Front Elevation

It looks as though the end is near for the Priest Williams House at 69 Dudley-Oxford Road in Dudley. This circa 1780 Federal-style house was the residence of Abiel “Priest” Williams, who was a minister in Dudley for 32 years. According to the Historical Commission, this wood-frame house was “once one of the most magnificent dwellings in Federalist Dudley.” The home had been vacant and neglected for nearly a decade before the present owners purchased it last October for $40,000. The new owners applied for a demolition permit, triggering Dudley’s demolition delay ordinance.

After inspecting the house with Circuit Rider Michele Barker last November, Historical Commissioners Ed Bazinet and Michael Braniff concluded that the house was remarkably sound, despite years of neglect. Mr. Bazinet and Mr. Braniff found the massive stone foundation and central chimney base one of the most impressive they’ve seen in town, and noted that much of the original interior trim remains intact. Even some of the original 12-over-12 windows have survived. The Historical Commission invoked a 12-month demolition delay in November 2009.

Since then, Dudley’s Historical Commission has been working tirelessly to find solutions for the Williams House before the clock runs out. Preservation Massachusetts listed it as one of the state’s Most Endangered Resources this past fall, in the hopes that the publicity might attract a new owner. The listing did bring the house to the attention of a potential buyer interested in relocating the building, but unfortunately, the cost of the project exceeded his budget.

The demolition delay expired last November. The owners are willing to sell the house for $1 to anyone who will relocate it, but unless a white-hat rescuer appears on the scene, it looks as though the Williams House will be gone as soon as the weather permits.

If there are any last-minute rescuers out there, please contact Ed Bazinet or Michael Braniff of the Dudley Historical Commission at 508-949-8004

Click here to read a Worcester Telegram-Gazette article about the house.

Find more photos of the Priest Williams House on Preservation Massachusetts’ Flickr site

New Bedford: A distinctive destination with national recognition!

| February 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

Our View: Award of Distinction for New Bedford

Editorial|The Standard Times| February 16, 2011

New Bedford — It might not have the horsepower of Boston, and it doesn’t have the mystique of the Cape, but New Bedford has what a lot of other places wish they did: authenticity.

On Tuesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named New Bedford one of the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations in America.

The program chooses communities that are “unique and lovingly preserved” in an effort to promote heritage tourism.

Few cities or towns of any size can match New Bedford, of course.

From the city’s preservation office to the Waterfront Historic Area League (W.H.A.L.E>) and the city’s Office of Economic Development, New Bedford has long recognized the value of historic preservation and its role not only in attracting new businesses and residents but in maintaining the close bonds of community among people who treasure their history.

Our collective history is not only in the Whaling Museum or the National Park…

For the full article, click here.

Preservation plays a role in Pittsfield’s revival

| July 26th, 2010 | No Comments »

The art of saving a city

By David Filipov| Boston Globe| July 24, 2010

Pittsfield — City of art, city of funk. The SoHo of the Berkshires, the Brooklyn of the Berkshires.

The sobriquets urban planners bestow upon this bygone manufacturing hub speak of their confidence that Pittsfield can become a center of culture and entertainment on par with Lenox and Stockbridge and Williamstown.

Once-vacant buildings in downtown Pittsfield are filling with galleries, and restaurants. North Street, the city’s long depressed main drag, now hosts regular street festivals, open houses and art shows that draw thousands of residents and visitors. …

For the full article, click here.

Tax Credit Sunset Extension Included in State FY 11 Budget

| June 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

The State’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget, finalized last night, includes an extension for the state historic rehabilitation tax credit. The tax credit, slated to end in December, 2011, is now extended to December, 2017. The language was included in Section 45 of the budget as follows:
 

SECTION 48. Section 38R of chapter 63 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 35 and 36, the words —6 year period beginning January 1, 2006, and ending December 31, 2011 and inserting in place thereof the following words:- 12-year period beginning January 1, 2006, and ending December 31, 2017.

The FY 2011 budget now goes to Governor Patrick, who has 10 days for review.  Preservation Massachusetts, along with our legislative consultant Paul Pezzella and Legislative Committee, will continue to closely monitor the budget to ensure the credits extension remains in place.  Thanks to all who aided Preservation Massachusetts’ effort by contacting legislators and sending letters to the Joint Budget Conference Committee.  Be sure to check back for more updates in the coming days.