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Watertown Commission Close to Filing for Historic District Status for Orchard House

The 1830s farm house that is owned by the Beacon School was also recently added to the Massachusetts Most Endangered Resource List.

The Historic District Commission is expected to take the next step in the efforts to protect a Watertown farm house dating back to the 1830 this week.

to review their application to create the historic district for the Orchard House – which would include just the property at 917 Belmont St. in Watertown – and are expected to take a vote on whether to approve the application and send it to state officials.

The building currently sits on property owned by the Walker School, which uses it as part of the Beacon High School campus. The Historic District Commission started the process to protect the building in August after Walker School officials applied to tear down the buildling to make way for more space on campus for students.

The Orchard House has , according to the Historical Society of Watertown.

To create a district, the Historic District Commission must apply to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and then get approval from the Town Council to create the district. because it would limit what they can do with the building and the land and because preserving the house would be costly. 

The Historical Society of Watertown backs the move to create the historic district for the Orchard House, and recently got a measure of support for their preservation effort. Members applied to place the Orchard House on Preservation Massachusetts' Most Endangered Historic Resources List, and on Nov. 8 the house officially joined the list at a ceremony at the “Believe in Preservation” event at Worcester’s Tuckerman Hall.

"Access to Preservation Massachusetts’ expertise and inclusion on the Endangered list will help concerned parties find grants and other practical solutions to aid the preservation of Orchard House," according to a statement released by the Historical Society of Watertown.

The Historic District Commission will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. 

Mara November 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Either give funding to the school for the thorough upkeep or tear the building down. It is an eyesore!

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