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January 20, 2013

Officials block house demolition

Newburyport: Historical board believes 18th century structure worth saving

NEWBURYPORT — The Historical Commission last week denied a permit to owners of a home at 17 Ship St. who want to demolish the structure and build a new residence in its place.

Commissioners said the house was built in the 18th century and efforts should be made to preserve it.

The house was recently purchased by Kathi Rodrigues and Patricia Kurkul for about $165,000, according to commissioners. The five-room, 1,092-square-foot residence has an assessed value of $298,000.

The new owners retained CWC Design of Haverhill to present the case to the commission that the house has been neglected and is too run-down to preserve.

Christopher Crump, president of the design firm, showed photos of the basement and interior of the structure. He said that the house had been empty for about four years and parts of it were “open to the weather.”

Several commissioners said that they had toured the house and felt it could be saved. They urged the new owners, who were not present, to work with them to find a solution for improving the house rather than tearing it down.

In other business, the commission gave approval to Caswell Development Ashland LLC to demolish a structure at 39-41 Ashland St. Its condition was deemed too poor to resurrect.

Also, the commission approved a permit for architect Scott M. Brown to move a brick structure at 2 Mechanics Court from one section of the parcel to another so that the lot there can accommodate two new buildings. The owners plan to build eight to 10 condo units in those new buildings.

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