House Stories – 28 Hancock Street

It saddens me when one of our residents loses their home during these tight times.     It also saddens me when we lose citizens of Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

 

Fortunately, this turned out to be a short sale and the Logue’s who had purchased the home in 2007 for $413,000 was able to get a buyer, Concordia Homes Inc. who purchased it for $270,000.      

 

Now these same developers want to demolish it!        This is where I wish I wasn’t a poor preservationist because I would buy this place off this company and clean up financially once it was renovated!      This out-of-town developer thought he could do a fast one by gutting the house and then ripping out the windows so the elements could damage the home.    Unfortunately for them, this house is rock solid.    The roof line is straight, the walls are straight and the post and beam ancient hard wood – not so easily susceptible to dry rot and water damage.       In fact, the whole structure has nice lines.

 

Now according to the National Register of Historic Place’s Inventory (Which is now online at  www.newburyporthistoricdistrict.org), this home has been standing for a very long time.     It is pre-1800 and has beautiful post and beam construction that makes it solid as a rock.    The Inventory indicates a timber frame vernacular building which is definitely a ‘contributing’ historic structure toward the Newburyport Historic District.     Of course, the assessor’s office has it posted as 1850.      This was the year Newburyport became a city and if the actual construction date was not known, the start date of the city government would be arbitrarily stamped on it.      But this building is much older.      In fact, it is likely an earthquake couldn’t budge it.

 

The appearance of these out-of-towners before the Newburyport Historical Commission will be the 18th of November.      Frankly, I don’t even see it necessary for the commissioners to do a site visit!      All you have to do is stand on the sidewalk and peer in!

 

Don’t you bet (just contemplating) the building inspector thought since it was not on the online Historic Survey, the developer probably won’t have any problem.     I wonder if the Planning Office encouraged them too under the same false conclusion (just wondering of course).       It will be interesting to see if the developer’s lawyer was mislead, too.     

 

Heck, it will be fascinating to show up and watch the theater performance alone.     Can you imagine the sob stories that will be put forward?     This is going to be more fun than a 36 North Atkinson hearing!

 

-P. Preservationist

 

As part of the House Series, here are some stats:

 

Area on an assessor’s map: 25-47

Zoning: R3

Originally a Two-family Structure (1040 code)

Area: 5,440 sq’

Actual living area: 2,158 sq ‘

Assessed value (before gutting the house): $377,800.

 

As for the historic ownership, I just don’t have the time to spend ALL DAY at the Salem Registry.    I’d be going from shelf to shelf until I finally got down to the 1800’s!      If a demolition delay is imposed, and the developer is not in the mood to hear common sense, it may be necessary to document thoroughly the building for History’s sake!

 

Oh for a local historic district!

 

Ownership History (As it appears in the Assessor’s database)

Owner Name

Book/Page

Sale Date

Sale Price

 

 

 

 

LATTIME RICHARD B

07855/0244

8/2/1985

99,000

BROWNE PRISCILLA L

07175/0176

7/29/1983

89,000

ULRICH JOHN WADE

06735/0113

9/9/1980

75,000

LOGUE JUDE

27218/0357

9/28/2007

413,200

CONCORDIA HOMES INC

29627/0427

7/26/2010

270,000

 

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About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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