SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 29, 2013

Company rethinks demolition

Windover Development to look at ways to save former hotel near Beverly depot

BEVERLY — Windover Development says it is reconsidering the demolition of two historic buildings near the Beverly depot after the state warned that their destruction could cost the company $1.1 million in tax credits on another project.

In a letter to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Windover President Lee Dellicker said the company is “revisiting the feasibility of retaining and rehabilitating” the former Hotel Trafton on Park Street and the former Cushing Carriage Building on Rantoul Street.

Windover’s change of heart came after the commission’s executive director, Brona Simon, wrote a letter in February warning that the Beverly Depot-Odell Park Historic District would no longer be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places if the buildings are demolished.

“It is the opinion of the (Massachusetts Historical Commission) that both the Hotel Trafton and the Cushing Carriage House are significant contributing elements of the district,” Simon wrote.

Windover has nominated the district for inclusion in the national register in order to be eligible for $1.1 million in historic rehabilitation tax credits for its renovation of another building, the former J.P. Friend & Company Box Factory on Pleasant Street.

Windover was seeking the designation at the same time it was planning to demolish the two other buildings, drawing the ire of local preservationists.

In an interview, Dellicker said he appreciated the concerns of the state commission and others who want to save the buildings, in particular the former Hotel Trafton.

“It is in tough shape, and it may not be economically feasible to save,” he said. “But we will look at every possible way that it might be saved and incorporated into a project.”

The Massachusetts Historical Commission was scheduled to vote on the Beverly Depot-Odell Park district at its meeting last month. But the commission delayed its vote after a last-minute objection by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, a union of 22,000 carpenters and other workers.

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