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July 15, 2013

Sale of Yellow School House OK'd

Building will be converted into single-family home

NEWBURY — The Board of Selectmen OK’d a purchase and sale agreement, deed and — pending approval from the Historical Commission — a preservation restriction for the property at 11 Lunt St. known as the Yellow School House.

New owners Christopher and Denisse Horan are purchasing the Colonial Revival from the town for $125,000 for conversion into their family home with a detached 22-by-25-foot, two-car garage.

Their plan maintains the existing building’s roofline and utilizes the same color scheme and all existing cornice and porch details. In addition, the project adds four windows on the front facade at both ends to match existing window trim and installs black shutters to the front and side of the building.

Proposed landscaping focuses on the center entrance, creating a “courtyard effect” to the home, designed to “soften the parking area, highlight the architectural detail of the front facade, and [maintain] open space around the home to preserve the existing landscape,” according to the owners.

Constructed in 1901 for use as a four-room schoolhouse in a style characteristic of work at the time by the Boston architectural firm Cooper and Bailey, the property is a prominent landmark located at the southeastern section of Byfield Village. It is listed both in the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System database as well as the state’s Historical Commission Reconnaissance Survey Town Report for Newbury in 1985.

The perpetual preservation restriction, which will run with the land, stipulates in detail how “the building shall not be demolished and its external appearance shall not be significantly altered, although its interior may be changed to accommodate approved re-use.”

Also during last Tuesday’s board meeting, selectmen approved an application for a Class II license for Internet Cars Unlimited, 88 Newburyport Turnpike, an online used car business that will use the Newbury site to store vehicles before sale.

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