Friday, May 03, 2013
The house at 14 Charcoal Hill Road, off North Avenue, was demolished today. Built in 1928, the two-story custom contemporary had 2,911 square feet and was situated on a 2.32-acre property. The former co-owners of the house were Harry Maynard who died in August 2011 at age 93 (see WestportNow, Aug. 12, 2011), and his wife Natalie, a concert pianist, who died in March 2012 at age 85 (see WestportNow, March 5, 2012). The house, designed by architect Frazier Peters, was featured on the WestportNow series, Honoring Our Heritage (see WestportNow, May 21, 2011). It was the WestportNow Teardown of the Day on May 15, 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Posted 05/03/13 at 05:50 PM
That’s really a shame.
That one really is an important historical house for several reasons. If P&Z let that one slip away, what do they really do to help conserve historical sites?
From “Honoring our Heritage” May 2011:
The Maynards kept the property because they fell in love with the house, the setting and landscaping. To them each room had a unique charm and the windows have great vistas with the living environment never boring inside or outside. Peters designed his houses on sites which he believed to be attractive and which would stand the test of time environmentally.
Another historic home down the tubes! Will we soon be a community void of any significant number of architectural structures?
So, what does the historical society do, exactly? They preserve what? Photographs? That’s lovely. Future generations will at least know what character in design used to resemble.
What I always questions is why purchase the house in the first place? There weren’t two gorgeous acres elsewhere?
As with many other issues, it’s the voices and actions of the community that ultimately make the difference.
Several years ago P&Z held a meeting and proposed a plan that would keep new construction in some sort of balance with lot size—those who opposed such restrictions came out and spoke out…and quite loudly. P&Z got their message. And we have lots more McMansions.
Wringing of hands and shaking of heads change absolutely nothing. Maybe actually meeting with folks from SaveWestportNow, P&Z and The Historic Commission in order to have our voices heard would be a worthwhile step to take.
Anyone up for it?
Hopefully it was stripped of architectural items, houses like that usually are. The Historic commission and other organizations could easily block the destruction of significant homes, just buy them. I own my house and I would find my freedom attacked to be told that I can not do with it what I please. It’s mine, I paid for it. I understand there are rules to build a new one (setbacks and such) and it is my choice to make. Who is to say that the new house will not be significant in an architectural way, or by it’s lack of carbon footprint? No matter what, watching the blood sweat and tears, time, effort, energy and talent being destroyed and thrown away especially knowing how difficult such a home was to build in 1929 without the modern tools and techniques we enjoy today, really makes me conflicted because I also see the freedom of another to do what they please.
How would the Historic Commission and other organizations go about buying homes such as the one we’re discussing? Is there some sort of a land/home trust currently in Westport with funds earmarked for such purchases?
I believe there are cases where tax breaks and other benefits are provided to homeowners as incentives to restore and maintain vs destroy. Beyond that, I didn’t think there was much that could be done to save a property once an owner chose to call in the wrecking ball.
If there isn’t a fund, maybe there ought to be.
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