"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

There Doesn't Have to be a There, There

To some, it would seem that the Moultonboro village area is a lost cause and should just be forgotten. Nobody goes there except to the bank or post office and the tourists that frequent the Country Store, so why bother to do anything with it? Others don't want anything to change and would like to keep things as they are. The problem is that old buildings don't always age well as evidenced by the two most visible in town: the Taylor building and the Grange Hall. Leaving these buildings to continue to deteriorate will only worsen the look of the village and we would lose two more valuable pieces of local history.
As a town, I believe that we have an obligation to protect a few historic properties that are irreplaceable, and yes it may cost some money to do that.  I find it disheartening that there are some that see no value in saving this heritage. Once they are gone, they are gone forever, and unfortunately, some just don't care about that.
It would be wonderful if some private entities came forward with a plan to repurpose some of these properties along the lines of the Bank of NH building, but is that realistic? Maybe,  if there were some meaningful financial and infrastructure incentives from the town.
As cars drive through the village, I would prefer they see a vibrant street scape instead of some run down buildings. I hope that the Heritage Commission can offer some solid ideas to make that possible.


Anonymous said...

Instead of funding sidewalks, fund the repair of these buildings instead. I was at the Town Meeting with the Boy Scout telling us how dangerous it was for him to go for his after school snacks at Murphy's. Everything is sold as a safety issue. The Safe Routes to School dates back to 2008. A trivia question - When was the last pedestrian accident in the village. I'm sure the answer is never. If or when Moultonborough becomes more than a sleepy retirement community, I'm sure there will sidewalks, a huge Community Center with a gym and a Common in the village. The planners, includes the BoS, could start with the less expensive items first and see if they draw the crowds to the village. What was presented to the voters first, a $6.5m Community Center that would have been the finest and largest in central and northern NH. Next, the sidewalk warrant item would have resurfaced.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

To anonymous ( comment not published- no need for name calling) who asked why save these historic buildings.
Why save any old building or for that matter, save anything that is old? We spend money on infrastructure and improving new buildings, so why not invest in buildings that are rich in history and have been a part of the fabric of the town for hundreds of years. If we do nothing, they will reach the point of no return and nature will have made the decision for us.

Anonymous said...

I am under the distinct impression that the BoS would like to sell the old Lion's Club property or at least some of it. If it happens, can't the monies be used to repair the other town owned buildings and perhaps build a park (nothing elaborate) on the Taylor property? A warrant item would be required.

Fred Van Magness said...

Blogger, I agree with the need to preserve buildings that have a place in our heritage. Indeed, buildings like the Olde Country Store and the Historical Grange building are foundations of the community and deserve respectful use and attention. But we have already seen the Grange building continuing to fall into disrepair from prior surveys, most likely due to lack of funding. What is unique in the Taylor building is that I see little historical foundation, unless I am missing something and if I am, lease correct me. It seems to be an old family home. Not much in terms of unique architectural design that must be preserved like an old barn for example. And any grant application would want to understand what ht e preservation is going to accomplish in terms of retaining some unique characteristics. The town is still having a difficult time sorting out a clear path forward. So far, there have been ideas to carve up a portion of the land for an access road, a town common, a site for a Community center and gym, and ideas to reuse the building after restoration. But to what end? We must understand that the condition of the building that must be brought up to current building codes will be a very costly project. And in the end, what will we have? I must admit that I do not see using this site for a Community Center/Gym. I have other ideas where any such facility should be relocated, but will there be folks who would listen? What is needed here is something that will make the town better. Private entities that would repurpose this building are probably slim. But I have been wrong before. For the time being, let's give the Heritage group time to work their magic.