NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 15, 2012

On borrowed time

Interior removed at historic Newbury house

NEWBURY — After several weeks' delay and a citizens' drive to save it, workers began removing the interior features of the circa-1800, Federal-style home on Little's Lane known as the Tappan House earlier this week.

A salvage crew has been busy the past couple days removing fixtures and other interior elements. Yesterday there were piles of debris outside the house, and piles of salvaged wood could be seen inside. Workers could be heard using tools to remove interior features.

However, it is not clear when the home itself will be demolished. A member of the salvaging team declined to speak to a reporter yesterday about the amount of time it would take for his team to complete its job. He said the Patricans did not want to comment to the press. When called by The Daily News, the Patricans declined comment.

The home, located along the dirt entry road to Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, is owned by Brian and Tara Patrican, who bought the property in October 2011 for $1.6 million. In addition to the Tappan House, built by Revolutionary War privateer Offin Boardman for his son-in-law, Amos Tappan, the property includes a 4,276-square-foot barn.

The Patricans received a demolition permit in November, but word of their plans to tear down the building didn't surface publicly until January. The outcry that followed from local historical groups and neighbors prompted the Patricans to delay the demolition of the house, but a shed on the property was torn down.

In February, the Patricans withdrew an application before the Planning Board to redraw the property lines around the 1 Little's Lane lot and their residence on the adjacent lot at 53 High Road. The change would have expanded the Patricans' backyard. The withdrawal of the application led many to believe that the Tappan House might be spared from destruction.

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