Letter: Please do not demolish this house

Posted 11/23/22

To the editor:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Killion,

I am writing to ask you to please reconsider your decision to demolish the Gothic Revival Cottage at 135 Ferry Road. I understand the reasons—the …

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Letter: Please do not demolish this house

Posted

To the editor:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Killion,

I am writing to ask you to please reconsider your decision to demolish the Gothic Revival Cottage at 135 Ferry Road. I understand the reasons—the cottage does not meet your needs as an aging couple—that have caused you to construct a new house on the property. I also understand that there is nothing that legally compels you to save it.

But, I’m asking you anyway. Please do not demolish this house.

I could go through all the reasons why the cottage is historically important. I could explain how it is a part of this community’s identity. I could show how this house contributes to the fabric of Bristol's culture. But instead, I’m going to say this:

Bristol loves this house. 

We love driving by it. We love its adorable Gothic details. We love how it represents our community and its longstanding traditions. We love that all its owners—yourselves included—have taken care to preserve it in immaculate condition for over 170 years. This building is a part of us.

When you moved here seven years ago, Bristol’s architecture was part of the appeal. You said at the Planning Board meeting on April 15, 2021, that you loved this house. You said you were saddened at the idea of having to demolish it because, per the zoning requirements, there couldn’t be two houses on the lot. You said you wanted to find a way to save it. And, you were relieved when the solution to subdivide the lot was presented to you. We all walked away from that meeting excited at having found a compromise that made everyone happy. 

That option is still on the table. You can still move forward with the subdivision and save the house. It’s in immaculate condition. A family could live there. Lord knows, Bristol needs housing, especially right now.

There are other options, too. The rules about accessory dwellings are changing; you might be able to convert the cottage into an accessory dwelling with some simple modifications. You could build a connector, such that both houses are legally one. And, the house can be moved—admittedly not easily or cheaply—possibly right onto the empty lot abutting yours. Demolition is not the only answer.

We love this house. You’ve said you love it, too. Please show us how much. Save 135 Ferry.

Catherine W. Zipf

Executive Director

Bristol Historical & Preservation Society

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