Wednesday, March 6, 2019

McDonald's and Historic Houses

At the Greenport Planning Board meeting for February, Greenport Land Partners (TRG) presented a revised plan for the new retail development on Fairview Avenue at Healy Boulevard--a development in which McDonald's is to be the centerpiece and Aldi the anchor store. According to the minutes from that meeting, the "most notable change" was that the building for the supermarket has been moved ten feet farther from the property line, "giving abutting landowners more land between their property and the back of the ALDI Supermarket." The minutes report that the Planning Board was "extremely satisfied with this change," and a member of the public stayed to the end of the meeting to express her gratitude to the board "for their due diligence in making sure that the Greenport Land Partners' project complies with all of the board's requests."

A change of plan that would really have gladdened hearts--at least the hearts of many Gossips readers--would be abandoning the plan to demolish the Gothic Revival house once known as "The Pines."

Back in July, Greenport Planning Board chair Ed Stiffler reported that the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) had determined the house was eligible for listing in the State and National Registers of Historic Places and was asking that the house be incorporated into the design for the retail development. Hearing this, I immediately thought of the McDonald's in Freeport, Maine, where the McDonald's is located in a historic house.  

I was reminded again of the Freeport McDonald's last night when a reader sent me the link to this article about it in Atlas Obscura. 

Although some of the greatest champions of the Gothic Revival house on Fairview Avenue cringed when I told them about the McDonald's in Freeport, Maine, I still think becoming a McDonald's would be a better fate than the one that awaits the historic house. As Gossips previously reported, SHPO has decided that the building can be taken down provided that it is documented, that a public exhibit depicting the history of the building and the site be located somewhere in the new retail development, and that elements and materials from the building be offered to a local non-profit architectural salvage organization.

1 comment:

  1. That was the decision to allow Crossgates Mall to destroy the environment of the endangered and rare Blue Karner Butterfly.

    As long as a memorial plaque is put up somewhere documenting what once was then the killing is approved.