Letter: Belvedere at Thames is good for Bristol

Posted 5/9/19

Tom and Marianne Bergenholtz wrote a lengthy letter in the May 2 Bristol Phoenix concerning the Belvedere at Thames Street project.  These authors made several good points.

First, like …

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Letter: Belvedere at Thames is good for Bristol

Posted

Tom and Marianne Bergenholtz wrote a lengthy letter in the May 2 Bristol Phoenix concerning the Belvedere at Thames Street project.  These authors made several good points.

First, like developer James Roiter, they have taken on the challenging task of restoring historic properties in the downtown area. These are commendable actions and both parties have enhanced the downtown area by their efforts. 

However, the Bergenholtzes are concerned that the Belvedere project will destroy the preservation and protection of Bristol’s historic village streetscape. They maintain that new construction in historic districts is supposed to blend into the neighborhood, not dominate it. 

The Belvedere project may not be ideal, but we should keep in mind that this is Thames Street, and this project fills an empty, blighted lot with a structure that will add to the economic vitality of the area. This is the same Thames Street that includes the imposing JR Bean building and two very imposing nearby mill structures.

Thames Street is not Strawbery Banke. In a purely preservationist sense, the Bergenholtz proposal that several smaller buildings would fit the area nicely would be a good option in a perfect world. However, their claim that several smaller buildings would be profitable is questionable at best.

Maybe they could make this work financially. Perhaps a good solution to all of this would be for the Bergenholtzes to buy a good portion of the property along Thames Street and erect several smaller buildings. This should allow Mr. Roiter a fair profit and some space for off-street parking, and it would support preservation and protection of Bristol’s historic village streetscape. 

Mike Byrnes 
Bristol

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