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Lost...But Not Forgotten
By

Dem-o-li-tion - noun. 1. destruction of building: the complete destruction of a building or other structure.

 

Phineas Bemis House aka Fuller House Dudley MAPhineas Bemis House
Dudley, MA 1805-2005

Loss invokes a wide range of responses in people: shock, sadness, anger, vexation, helplessness, numbness, guilt and despair. The recent loss of the 1805 Phineas Bemis House in Dudley, Massachusetts elicited many of the same responses in me. When a significant historic building is demolished, a piece of the fabric of our history is gone forever. As a preservationist, I am more than aware of the pressures that result in the permanent loss of a building or structure; both economic and physical obsolescence factors are usually involved.


However, in the instance of the Bemis house demolition I am deeply disturbed and disappointed by the lack of insight by an historically rooted institution of higher learning that controlled the fate of this unique building. In their decision to destroy the Fuller House, the Board of Directors of Nichols College overlooked the opportunity that was readily available to them to relocate the structure or to have dining room Phineas Bemis House Dudley Mathe building disassembled and moved elsewhere, at virtually no cost. They appeared to ignore the local Historical Commission’s appeal to save the building and the many local residents who earnestly protested to save this building. Most disturbing is the fact that while many, if not most institutional organizations seem to understand and value preservation, and go to significant lengths to reap the plethora of positive benefits found through adaptive reuse, the Nichols College Phineas Bemis Dudley Massdecision points to a trend away from preservation.

 

Demolition is a deliberate act and is clearly not accidental. Every building steward has the opportunity to consider alternatives to destruction of an historic building. I am hopeful that there are a greater number of everyday Americans that feel sympathetic towards our architectural history and record. The fabric of these buildings and spaces are all that we have as a continual reminder of our past history, which we bring forward as a legacy in to the future of our American heritage and landscape. I, for one, wish our future to be filled with layers of history, which can only be accomplished through thoughtful preservation. ouse demolition I am deeply disturbed and disappointed by the lack of insight by an historically rooted institution of higher learning that controlled the fate of this unique building. In their decision to destroy the Fuller House, the Board of Directors of Nichols College overlooked the opportunity that was readily available parlor Phineas Bemis House Dudley MAto them to relocate the structure or to have the building disassembled and moved elsewhere, at virtually no cost. They appeared to ignore the local Historical Commission’s appeal to save the building and the many local residents who earnestly protested to save this building. Most disturbing is the fact that while many, if not most institutional organizations seem to understand and value preservation, and go to significant lengths to reap the plethora of positive benefits found through adaptive reuse, the Nichols College decision points to a trend away from preservation.


Respectfully,

John Petraglia, 
Publisher 

P. S. As more and more stories of development pressure and demolition reach us at Antique Homes Magazine we are trying to find a new way of quickly spreading the news in timely and useful ways to prevent the loss of historic buildings and structures. We welcome your ideas and look forward to a continuing dialogue. Please email us at info@antiquehomesmagazine.com Thank you for your diligence.

Demo of the Phineas Bemis House Dudley MADemo Phineas Bemis House Dudley MA                               
                               
 Demo Phineas Bemis House Dudley MADemo rubble Phineas Bemis House Dudley MA