To The Daily Sun,
It is with great sadness that Laconia's Heritage Commission agrees with the city's Planning Department that the structure at 153 Church St., fondly known as Busy Corner, must come down.
Years of neglect, followed by a structure fire, has accelerated the need for this building to be demolished in the very near future. While we are charged with preserving architecture and artifacts that reflect the cultural history of our beautiful City on the Lakes and strive to preserve our heritage, we also recognize reality. Lest you think our efforts to preserve the Hathaway House failed, it could have been saved if Dunkin' Donuts/Cafua Management had honored their agreement with the city. At this time and for this historic site, there is no other option and we are sorry that this is the only possibility left.
There is a silver lining and we must be diligent in looking and finding those at every turn. There is a purchase and sales agreement in place. Plans are to create a mid-town, Gateway Park with benches, flowers, shrubs and lighting. And, so, the permit is in the approval process. These are our addenda to the permit.
We, the Heritage Commission of Laconia, regard Busy Corner as a significant historical site based on its age of 99 years combined with the many memories associated with its operation over those years. We also appreciate the efforts of the purposed purchaser to create an attractive mid-town, Gateway Park and will consider this park a memorial site.
The demolition permit for Busy Corner was signed by the chairman on Jan. 27 with three conditions for approval and one request. They are:
1. The lamp post at the corner of Church Street and Union Avenue shall not be demolished and shall be preserved in working order.
2. The Busy Corner sign, currently atop the structure, shall be preserved and donated to the Laconia Historical & Museum Society.
3. The curved front step leading into the front door of the structure shall not be demolished and shall be preserved and retained for a future Busy Corner Memorial.
1. As this is a park within the city, we request that the purchaser erect "No Smoking" signs that will encourage seniors, families and children to utilize and enjoy the amenities the purchaser has created with the City of Laconia without the inherit risks of second hand smoke.
Laconia Heritage Commission
Catherine Tokarz, Chairman
Mary Ellen Boudman
Mary Jane Hoey
Charlie St. Clair
- Category: Letters
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