Carriage Towne News
---- — Please vote ‘yes’ on Article 14 to postpone for two years the final decision to demolish the Historic Grace Daley House. The passage of this article will allow the Kingston Heritage Commission (HC) and the Historic District Commission (HDC) time to conduct a feasibility study and potentially provide an alternative to demolition of one of the few standing examples of an early 1800 New England Connected Farm house. Two years was requested so if a viable solution is found, Kingston has enough time to apply for suitable grants during the next Grant cycle and present findings to the residents of Kingston.
The background behind this warrant article started in 2013 when voters elected to demolish the Grace Daley House and voted to form a Kingston Heritage Commission. The new Kingston Heritage Commission was approached by many Kingstonians requesting intervention on the demolition of Grace Daley. The KHC met with the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and requested a demolition delay to afford the KHC and other volunteers an opportunity to ask the voters for more time to investigate alternatives. The BOS agreed to the delay because of the many Kingston residents and groups willing to volunteer time to work towards saving the building and because the 2013 article did not include funding or a timeframe. The BOS stated that beyond draining the pipes no town funds or resources would be spent on the house and if Article 14 failed the house would be quickly demolished. In preparation for the 2014 warrant article, the HC and volunteers had discussions with various state heritage agencies, p! reservationists, real estate agents and many others to confirm that the Grace Daley house had potential for new life. New life is something this house built in 1837 is accustomed to as it has been a rectory, private residence, town offices/storage and home to the Community House.
The details of the historic importance and obstacles were discussed at both the 2014 Warrant Public Hearing and Deliberative Session. Despite obstacles and with the willing volunteers, Kingston has a unique opportunity to preserve this historic structure. The goal of Article 14 is to study and propose to the Town a method to preserve this Town landmark without negative impact on the tax rate and further to prevent the destruction of a potential source of revenue to Kingston. Various organizations have performed research that has proven the statistical benefit of historic property to economic development. Please, before Kingston destroys the Grace Daley house, allow us the additional time to prove (or not) that “this old house” has more to offer. Remember once it is gone it can’t be undone.
Again, we believe that passage of this Article will have no detrimental impact on Kingston and only helps preserve our proud heritage and could further enhance economic development at no cost to the taxpayer. On March 12th, please vote ‘Yes’ on Article 14.
Debby Powers, Chair
Kingston Heritage Commission