Many in this community are frustrated by the destruction of a beloved, historic home on Ferry Road in Bristol. The house itself was unique, it passed through a series of notable owners linked to the …
Many in this community are frustrated by the destruction of a beloved, historic home on Ferry Road in Bristol. The house itself was unique, it passed through a series of notable owners linked to the history of the town itself, and it had a “look at me” quality, perched close to one of the grand streets of Bristol.
No one wanted to see it torn down.
However, the new owners of this property had every right to do what they did, and they stayed within the existing property and zoning codes of Bristol.
Any shame or condemnation in reaction to Tuesday’s demolition should really be directed toward 10 Court St., where town officials convene regularly to create and enforce the rules of Bristol.
This is not the first old and noteworthy house to meet the wrecking ball along this beautiful and historic corridor at the southern end of Bristol. Just north of this property, two other old homes were ripped down in recent memory in favor of more modern designs that maximize spectacular waterfront vistas.
Further south, near the bottom of Low Lane, another older home was recently torn down in favor of modern luxury and extravagance. Wait long enough and more will fall.
Without the protections of an historic district or historic designations, properties in this stretch will remain vulnerable to the same fate. Rest assured, the treasure that is Blithewold Mansion is protected, but none of its neighbors are.
The owners of 135 Ferry Road followed the trend seen throughout this region. They bought waterfront property that is soaring in value, and they built a home to match the expectations for exclusive waterfront properties. They also exercised private property rights that trace back to the founding of this nation, and they worked within the laws of their community.
The passionate historic preservationists and residents who feel an understandable sense of loss can use this demolition as motivation to prevent the next one. They can, and should, petition their government to change the rules and develop more protections for the many structures that give Bristol its unique identity.