Deena Watson, Chairman Lynn Schroder, Vice Chairman Lara Bordick, Member Rich Cassata, Member Donna McCalla, Member Peter Moon, Alternate
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1 Hebron Historic Properties Commission
Why are we here tonight?
The Town of Hebron is in a unique situation. Citizens are about to be asked: (1)Should 150 East St. be publicly or privately owned? (2)If 150 East St. should be privately owned, are the current terms of sale agreeable?
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Why is the HHPC Involved?
The Town purchased an open space parcel which included a recognized historic property. The HPC was given the role of ascertaining: 1. just how important (culturally and historically) this property might be 2. if there might be some use for the property
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3 Hebron Historic Properties Commission
We requested assistance
Special Guests: Contributors:
•Robert B. Hurd - AIA, The Architects •Gregory Farmer - Circuit Rider, •John Obed Curtis, Antique house and restoration expert; •Brent Leggs, African American Heritage Initiative, National Trust for Historic Preservation;
Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation;
•Mary Dunne - Grants Coordinator, Connecticut
Commission on Culture and Tourism
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From the Robert Hurd Report
• Recommendation #1: “municipal community center and office building as the best alternative use for the property.” •Recommendation #2: Sale of the house for use as a private residence •Noted that load capacity for the structure exceeds requirements of 50 pounds per square foot required by state building code for all levels should the house be used for community or office usage. • Noted the unique “early built-in chest” on second floor. • Noted that because the house has less than 3,000 square feet on any floor, the second floor need not be handicapped accessible if the activities on both levels are the same.
• Building is “well made and structurally sound.”
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5 150 East St. - Assessing the significance
From the John Obed Curtis Report
•The built in chest on second floor is “extremely rare,” and may be the only one in Connecticut. •The red sandstone fireplace in the ell, with its “curiously projecting feet is rather elegant,” and indicates that portion of the house was built between 1750 and 1775. •The second floor ballroom is “remarkable…although regrettably bisected by a modern curtain wall to create two conventionally sized rooms;” the tray ceiling shows that it was once one large room. •Ballroom benches are all original, although they have been covered with other materials. •The fireplaces are all original, as is much of the door hardware
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6 150 East St. - Assessing the significance
From the Bruce Clouette Report
•Concludes that the house was owned by Jonathan Peters, the brother of Reverend Samuel Peters. •Concludes that the house has been commonly associated with Reverend Samuel Peters because Samuel owned all the surrounding land. •In his summary, states that “Not withstanding the fact that the Reverend Samuel Peters did not own the house, it is highly likely that the abduction of Cesar Peters and his family occurred on the property at 150 East Street.”
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7 150 East St. - Assessing the significance
•State of Connecticut, Historical Property Designation • Unanimously Endorsed for Connecticut Freedom Trail by Amistad Committee
•Nominated by HPC for Local Historic Property Designation (Planned Public Hearing Feb.
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8 150 East St. - Assessing the Significance
Town received proposals until June 22, 2007 Five proposals from two individuals: •One from Jeffery Farber to reuse the property as a private residence •Four from John Baron with various uses (2 public uses, 2 private uses)
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What has Hebron Considered so far9
What is unique about Public Ownership?
•Given the aforementioned recognitions and given that the property is publicly owned there are potential funding opportunities •What kind of funding? Certified Local Government (CLG) Planning Grant Historic Restoration Funds (HRF) grants available up to $200,000 per year; requires matching funds; Others sources may be available •This funding is not available if the house is in private hands
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150 East St. - Public Ownership
Considerations for Public Ownership
• Usage - Fill Town and Community Needs • Cost - Renovation cost could be matched and operating costs would be normal cost of running town business • Location - The proximity to the park is an asset to public ownership but could be a liability to private ownership •Open Space Land Policy – Building was purchased as part of an open space land acquisition
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150 East St. - Public Ownership
1. Local historic designation (Exterior)
2. Preservation Easements (Interior)
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Procedures for this sale
1. Terms of Sale include protections for many important interior features 2. Terms of Sale provide for a renovation timeline
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The Town Entities
• The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended against the sale of the house on Dec., 11, 2007
•The HPC stands by its December 2005 recommendation that accompanied the Hurd report to keep the property in public hands
• If the property is to be sold, the HPC recommends a stronger agreement that provides for long term preservation of the property and a revised and improved solicitation process which would net the best combination of preservation and financial benefit to the Town
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Where are we now?